Other Terns

Genus Chlidonias

Three species of small,  predominantly on fresh water depending species, also called 'marsh terns'. During migration species may occur in coastal waters. All of them have black bills.

  • Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus. Resident and migratory in Old World. Three subspecies:
    • C. h. hybridus. Breeding southern Europe, North Africa east to China.
    • C. h. sclateri. Breeding South and East Africa and Madagascar.
    • C. h. fluviatilis. Australia.
    • C. h. delalandi. East and Southern Africa
    • C. h. javanicus. Java to Australia
  • White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus, widespread from western Europe, Africa to south-east Asia.
  • Black Tern Chlidonias niger. Two subspecies:
    • C. n. niger. Breeding western and Central Europe and Central Asia, migrating along West African coast.
    • C. n. surinamensis. Breeding North America, wintering south in Caribbean.

Black Tern Chlidonias niger
Slijkplaat, The Netherlands
Culmen: 26.4 mm, total: 58.1 mm, adult male

Genus Gelochelidon

One species: a rather large tern with a strong all black bill.

  • Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica. Almost cosmopolitan. Six subspecies:
    • G. n. vanrossemi. Western North America south to Ecuador.
    • G. n. aranea. Eastern North America from Long Island to West Indies.
    • G. n. gronvoldi. Eastern South America: Argentina to Brazil.
    • G. n. affinis. Southern China to Malay Archipelago.
    • G. n. nilotica. Europe, North and East Africa into Asia to Mongolia
    • G. n. macrotarsa. Australia.

Gull-billed Tern
Gelochelidon nilotica
Location unknown
Culmen: ca. 38 mm, total: 85 mm.
unsexed adult.

Genus Phaetusa

One mainly fresh water species with a large yellow bill that is seldom seen at sea.
  • Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex. South America, east of the Andes.

Genus Larosterna

One single species.
  • Inca Tern Larosterna inca. Endemic from Humboldt Current from Gulf of Guayaquil to Chilean coast.

Inca Tern Larosterna inca
from captivity
Culmen: 44.2 mm, total: 85.6 mm, unsexed adult