Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The tropical forms are resident, but European and Asian birds winter south to Africa and southern Asia.
This species breeds in colonies on inland marshes, sometimes amongst Black-headed Gulls, which provide some protection from predators. It nests in a ground scrape and lays two to four eggs.
The hybridus in the scientific name arises from the fact that this, the largest marsh tern, show similarities in appearance to both the white Sterna terns and to Black Tern.
The size, black cap, strong bill and more positive flight recall Common or Arctic Tern, but the short tail and dark grey breeding plumage above and below are typically marsh tern characteristics. The summer adult has white cheeks and red legs and bill. The call is a characteristic krekk.
In winter, the forehead becomes white and the body plumage a much paler grey. Juvenile Whiskered Terns have a ginger scaly back, and otherwise look much like winter adults.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details