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Common Tern

What am I?

I am a tern and despite my name, I'm not the most common in Britain.

Where do I come from?

I come from North and Western Africa where I spend the winter.


A bit about me

I come to the Solent to breed.  I'm a sociable bird and you will find me in concentrated colonies with my friends. I nest in scrapes in the sand which I dig with my feet, my eggs are really well camouflaged to help protect them from predators, but I have great eyesight, so don't worry I won't lose them!

Some people know me as the sea swallow because of my tail streamers, but unlike swallows who eat insects, I prefer fish.

Fun fact

Not all us common terns breed on the coast, some of us breed inland in flooded gravel pits and on nesting-rafts in reservoirs, all we need is fish nearby and we will be happy!

Conservation status

I'm  amber listed in the UK .

Im not a SPA (Special Protection Area) bird, but you still might see me whilst you are on the coast!

Find out more