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White Tern

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  • Motacilla alba
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  • Ciconia ciconia
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About the White Tern

Also known as: Angel Tern, White Noddy, Fairy Tern, Atlantic White Tern

The White Tern is a small species of seabird that is found across tropical ocean habitats. White Terns have a nearly all-white plumage; only some feathers around the eyes are black.

The White Tern has an unusual breeding habit; it doesn't construct a nest. Instead, a single egg is laid on a bare tree branch, in a small depression or at a fork. Once hatched, the chick has to hang on to the branch as it grows.

The population trend for the White Tern is stable and the conservation status is Least Concern as of November 2013.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 09 November 2013
Scientific Name Gygis alba
  • Charadriiformes
  • Sternidae
  • Gygis
  • G. alba
Birdorable Family Terns & Gulls
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 29 September 2017)

International Names

  • Grazina (Brazilian)
  • 白燕鸥 (Chinese)
  • nody bělostný (Czech)
  • Atlantisk Silketerne (Danish)
  • Witte Stern (Dutch)
  • keijutiira (Finnish)
  • Gygis blanche (French)
  • Feenseeschwalbe (German)
  • Sterna bianca (Italian)
  • シロアジサシ [shiroajisashi] (Japanese)
  • Silketerne (Norwegian)
  • rybitwa biala (Polish)
  • Белая крачка (Russian)
  • Charrán Blanco (Spanish)
  • Fetärna (Swedish)