Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

A small gull-like migratory seabird nesting along the river around Montreal. Commonly seen along river and lakes flying over the surface looking for fishes which then are catched with a dive into the water.

How to Identify

The bird is grey on the back and upper side of the wings, white of the belly and lower side of the wings, has a black cap and red-orange beak transitioning to black towards the end. Very similar to the larger Caspian Tern which is less frequent than Common Tern. Different to the Caspian Tern, the Common Tern's beak ends in Black.

Where and When to Spot

Late spring till mid autumn along the river and in parks with ponds near the river.

Common Names

Common Tern

Fluss-Seeschwalbe (de)
Charrán común (es)
Sterne pierregarin (fr)


Sterna hirundo

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