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Little Tern Bird

Identification of Little Tern Bird

Little Tern Bird 1 Length: 22-24cm Wingspan: 48-55cm Call: "yik"

Little Tern bird is the smallest of our terns, typically less than half the weight of Common Tern. Little Tern bird has a rather fine yellow bill with a black tip, orange legs, and a black cap with a prominent white forehead that extends over the eye. It has pale grey upperparts, and in flight shows a short forked tail and a blackish wedge along the outer two or three primaries. The flight action is noticeably quicker, jerkier and more buoyant than its larger relatives, and it hovers rapidly and often close to the water, into which it plunges forcefully.

Habitat of Little Tern Bird

Little Tern bird is a summer visitor that in Britain is strongly tied to coastal regions, but elsewhere is often found well inland along large rivers and on some lakes. Little Tern bird nests close to the sea near shallow waters, on low-lying small islands, bare shingle, shell beaches and sand bars above the high-water mark. At inland localities it favours comparable habitats for nesting. Outside the breeding season it migrates southwards to African coasts, and on passage can be found in a wider range of coastal habitats, such as harbours, tidal creeks, estuaries, lagoons and mudflats.

Song / call of Little Tern Bird

Little Tern Bird 2

Little tern bird is very vocal at breeding colonies and during the nesting season, it gives rather high-pitched and and sharp monosyllabic calls, such as a rising "yik", "yeek" and "krieet", "yaeeep" and "kyik". Shorter, sharper notes are given in alarm or anxiety, such as "kit kit kit" or combined with the longer call as "kit-kit-kit Yaeep!", accelerating into a sharp dry "kt-kt-kt-kt" and "tt't't't't't". A longer sequence of calls is given, often when birds are chasing each other around n display or dispute, a rapid cyclical 'yickering' such as 'keer'ik'ik keer'ik' k keer'ik'ik keer'ik'ik" or 'iirr'i'i'- iirr'i'i'- iirr'i'i".