Sandwich Tern

About the Sandwich Tern

The Sandwich Tern has three subspecies: The Sandvicensis breeds on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Europe, and winters off western Africa and Arabia; the marginally smaller Acuflavida breeds on Atlantic coasts of North America, wintering in the Caribbean and further south, and has wandered to Western Europe;the yellow-billed Eurygnatha breeds on the Atlantic coast of South America from Argentina north to the Caribbean.

Sandwich Terns breed in very dense colonies mostly on coasts and islands. It nests in a ground scrape and lays one to three eggs.

The Sandwich Tern's thin bill is black with a yellow tip, except in the yellow or orange billed South American race. In winter, the Sandwich Tern's forehead becomes white.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 20 July 2007
Scientific Name
Thalasseus sandvicensis
  • Charadriiformes
  • Sternidae
  • Thalasseus
  • T. sandvicensis
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Least Concern (as of 8 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
14 to 17 inches
33 to 38 inches


International Names

Brazilian (Português brasileiro) Trinta-réis-de-bando
Chinese (汉语) 白嘴端凤头燕鸥
Czech (Cesky) Rybák Severní
Danish (Dansk) Splitterne
Dutch (Nederlands) Grote Stern
Finnish (Suomi) Riuttatiira
French (Français) Sterne Caugek
German (Deutsch) Brandseeschwalbe
Italian (Italiano) Beccapesci
Japanese (日本語) サンドイッチアジサシ (Sandoicchiajisashi)
Norwegian (Norsk) Splitterne
Polish (Polski) Rybitwa Czubata
Russian (русский язык) Пестроносая крачка
Spanish (Español) Charrán Patinegro
Swedish (Svenska) Kentsk Tärna
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