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Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)

General Description: Caspian Terns (Hydroprogne caspia) are large, white terns with forked tails and a heavy orange bill. The tail is slightly forked, the underside of the outer primaries is black, and the tip of the bill can be black.

This species has differing winter and summer plumage. In breeding plumage, Caspian Terns have a jet black cap that extends from the top of the bill to the back of the head. During winter, they loose most of the black feathers in the cap, resulting in a dusky gray, streaked cap.

Taxonomy: Charadriiformes, Laridae, Sterninae. Formerly Sterna caspia.

Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)

Favored Habitat: Marshes in the northern US and southern Canada during summer; coastal US and Mexican waters during winter.

Where to Find: Around Las Vegas, look for Caspian Terns during migration around marshes and bodies of water such as Lake Mead, the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, and the Pahranagat Valley.

Comments: Along the southern California coast during winter, this species could be confused with Royal Terns. However, Royal terns have a lighter bill and have black on the top of the wing, not on the bottom.

Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia) Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Caspian Tern in flight with a fish
Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)
Caspian Tern in flight with a fish
Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120826

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