Large-billed Tern

Phaetusa simplex

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4

LBTE

Code 6

PHASIM

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Large-billed Tern is native to South America, Central America and North America. This is a freshwater bird species with a range of up to 13 million square kilometers. The population of the Large-billed Tern has not been quantified at this time, but it is considered to be frequent enough within its native range to not be facing any current dangers or threats. This bird species had a prior rating of Lower Risk in 2000, which was downgraded to Least Concern in 2004 to reflect is range and population.

SUMMARY

Overview

Large-billed Tern: Dark gray mantle and short dark gray tail; black cap; white breast, belly, chin, cheeks, and throat; black primaries to the bend of the wing are striking in flight; white secondaries; distinctive large yellow bill. Yellow legs, feet. Direct flight with strong shallow wing beats.

 

Range and Habitat

Large-billed Tern: South American tern commonly found in freshwater habitats, especially near lakes and rivers, sandbars, wetlands, estuaries, bays and coastline. This common South American inland tern is strictly an accidental visitor to the United States. It has been spotted in Illinois, Ohio and New Jersey.

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Large-billed Tern SONGS AND CALLS

Large-billed Tern E1

Typical calls.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"honk", "cluck-cluck"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Large-billed Tern was first described in 1789 by Johann Friedrich Gmelin, the German naturalist, botanist and entomologist.
  • These noisy birds are often captured by indigenous peoples of South America to serve as pets.
  • Though they are usually found singly or in pairs, when resting they may aggregate in small flocks.
  • A group of terns are collectively known as a "ternery" or a "U" of terns.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
ChinX
The area of the face just below the bill.
MantleX
The upper surface of the back and wings covered with shorter feathers.
PrimariesX
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X