Little Tern (species: Sternula albifrons) in Monterey Bay, California (Gaia Guide)
Sternula albifrons
Little Tern

©J.J. Harrison: Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

©Leo: Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) taking off

©Leo: Lesser tern at the northern end of Tathra Beach, Australia
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Laridae
Genus Sternula
Species Sternula albifrons
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

It is not likely to be confused with other species, apart from Fairy Tern and Saunder's Tern, because of its size and white forehead in breeding plumage. Its thin sharp bill is yellow with a black tip and its legs are also yellow. In winter, the forehead is more extensively white, the bill is black and the legs duller. (Wikipedia)


  • From 21 cm to 25 cm (Length of specimen)


  • From 41 cm to 47 cm



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution: Little Tern (Sternula albifrons)

Web resources


  • Simpson, K., N. Day and P. Trusler (2004). Field Guide to Birds of Australia: 7th Edition Penguin Group (Australia), Camberwell, Victoria.
  • Smith, G.C. (1987). The birds of Eagle Island, a tropical sand cay on the northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia, The Sunbird, 17(1): 1-11. LIRS catalog number 245.