The White-winged Tern (or White-winged Black Tern, which is the older alternative name), is a small tern generally found in or near bodies of fresh water from Southeastern Europe to Australia. It is a scarce vagrant in North America, mainly on the Atlantic coast, but there have been a few records on the Pacific coast and inland in the Great Lakes area.
Unlike 'white' (Sterna) terns, these birds do not dive for fish, but fly slowly over the water to surface-pick items on the surface and catch insects in flight. They mainly eat insects and small fish.
Details & Statistics
The White-winged Tern is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2015 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.