Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia

Caspian Tern Commonly seen in the spring, summer and fall in the Elkhorn Slough

The Caspian Tern is the largest tern in the world and can be as large as a big seagull and can be easily identified by its coral red bill with a black tip. The tail is less forked than other terns and they have a loud heron-like croak.

Be careful with the Caspain Tern as they pursue and attack anything that invades their breeding colony. From potential predatory birds to people the entire flock will take flight to defend their chicks. Unfortunately, this may expose their chick to predation from seagulls. 

Young Terns stay with their parents for long periods of time and are fed by them on their wintering grounds. This could be due to the learning process of fishing efficiently.

The oldest known Caspian Tern in the world was banned in Michigan in 1959 and found in Louisiana in 1989 making it at least 29 years 7 months old.