Caspian Tern

About the Caspian Tern

Also known as: Taranui (New Zealand)

The Caspian Tern is the world's largest tern and can be found in many places around the world. Its breeding habitat is large lakes and ocean coasts in North America (including the Great Lakes), locally in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Caspian Terns in North America migrate to southern coasts, the West Indies and northermost South America. European and Asian birds winter in the Old World tropics, and those in Africa and around Australia are resident or dispere over short distances.

Adult birds have black legs, and a long thick red-orange bill with a small black tip. Caspian Terns have a white head with a black cap and white neck, belly and tail, and its upper wings and back are pale grey.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 20 July 2007
Scientific Name
Hydroprogne caspia
  • Charadriiformes
  • Sternidae
  • Sterna
  • S. caspia
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 6 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
19 to 22 inches
50 to 55 inches


International Names

Chinese (汉语) 红嘴巨鸥
Czech (Cesky) Rybák Velkozobý
Danish (Dansk) Rovterne
Dutch (Nederlands) Reuzenstern
Finnish (Suomi) Räyskä
French (Français) Sterne Caspienne
German (Deutsch) Raubseeschwalbe
Italian (Italiano) Sterna Maggiore
Japanese (日本語) オニアジサシ (Oniajisashi)
Korean (한국어) 붉은부리큰제비갈매기
Norwegian (Norsk) Rovterne
Polish (Polski) Rybitwa Wielkodzioba
Russian (русский язык) Крачка чеграва
Spanish (Español) Pagaza Piquirroja
Swedish (Svenska) Skräntärna
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Ten Facts About the Caspian Tern

Ten Facts About the Caspian Tern

Here are ten interesting facts about the Caspian Tern: The Caspian Tern is the world's largest tern species. The Caspian Tern's diet consists almost entirely of fish. Unlike many other tern species, the Caspian Tern ... more