Little Tern

About the Little Tern

The Little Tern is a small species of seabird found in parts of the eastern hemisphere. The species is migratory; it breeds across parts of Europe and Asia, and winters as far south as Australia and southern Africa.

In its breeding plumage, the Little Tern has a black cap contrasting with a bright white forehead. Males and females look alike.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 21 March 2014
Scientific Name
Sternula albifrons
  • Charadriiformes
  • Sternidae
  • Sternula
  • S. albifrons
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 4 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
7.9 to 11 inches
17.7 to 21.7 inches
1.7 to 2.2 ounces


While the population trend for the Little Tern is decreasing, the species has an extremely large range and has a conservation status of Least Concern as of March 2014.

International Names

Brazilian (Português brasileiro) Trinta-reis-boreal
Chinese (汉语) 白额燕鸥
Czech (Cesky) rybák malý
Danish (Dansk) Dværgterne
Dutch (Nederlands) Dwergstern
Finnish (Suomi) pikkutiira
French (Français) Sterne naine
German (Deutsch) Zwergseeschwalbe
Italian (Italiano) Fraticello
Japanese (日本語) コアジサシ [koajisashi]
Norwegian (Norsk) Dvergterne
Polish (Polski) rybitwa białoczelna
Russian (русский язык) Малая крачка
Spanish (Español) Charrancito Común
Swedish (Svenska) Småtärna
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