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Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata


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Sooty Tern
credit: Duncan Wright, USFWS

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Family: Laridae, Gulls and Terns view all from this family

Description Adult has mostly white underparts, with subtly darker flight feathers, and mostly black upperparts, except for the white forehead. Note the deeply forked tail and long, dark bill. Juvenile is similar to adult, but black elements of plumage are sooty brown, as is forehead.

Dimensions Length: 16" (41 cm)

Range New England, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Texas, Southeast

Discussion Striking, mainly tropical and oceanic tern that breeds on Dry Tortugas, Florida; vagrant on Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Flight is buoyant and powerful, and feeds by picking fish from surface waters.