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Bird Illustrations

Gull Illustration

Tern in Flight, Watercolor Painting

Tern in Flight

Least Tern (Sternula antillarum), watercolor

About terns:
Terns are seabirds. Least terns have deeply forked tails. The least tern is the smallest tern in the U.S. Terns eat fish, catching them by diving into the water. Terns and gulls are in the same family, Laridae. Terns are different from gulls in that their bodies are slimmer, they have pointed bills, their tails are forked, and they have narrower wings, which are pointed. According to the University of Florida AFAS Extension, "least terns were first reported nexting on gravel-covered roofs in Florida in 1957" and now, in some areas, least terns nesting on roofs outnumber those nesting on the ground.

Taxonomy:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (having a spinal chord)
Class: Aves (birds)
Order: Charadriiformes (waders/shorebirds, gulls, auks)
Suborder: Lari (gulls, terns, skuas, skimmers, waders, snipes, auks)
Family: Sternidae (terns)
Genera: Sternula
Species: S. antillarum

More information about terns:
Alaska Department of Fish and Game: Terns

Also see: tern favicon tern



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