common tern



common tern defined in 1930 year

common tern - Common Tern;
common tern - Bill, legs, and feet orange-red; entire plumage as in the arctic tern, except the lower parts, which are more nearly pure white. Length, fourteen and a quarter inches.

So nearly alike are the arctic and common terns that it is hard, well-nigh impossible, in fact, to distinguish them when they are observed flying about in company. In size, manner of flight, language, and general appearance, they are identical. On a close examination the common tern is found to be slightly less slender in build, its under parts dull white instead of pale grey, its beak tipped with black and coral-red, instead of blood-red. It is doubtless owing to their similarity that the two species associate freely together at all times, and are often to be found breeding side by side. But while the arctic tern is most common in, the north, from the Shetlands, Orkneys, and Hebrides, to the coast of Northumberland on the one side of the country, and of Lancashire on the other, the common tern is common only on the coasts south of these two points. The nest is a slight depression, sometimes with a little dry grass for lining, placed on the shingle of the beach; the three eggs are yellowish stone, grey, or olive colour, spotted and blotched with dark brown and grey.

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near common tern in Knolik


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