Elegant Tern Bird Interesting facts

Elegant Tern

This elegant tern can be found near bodies of water across North America. With its striking black and white plumage, it’s not hard to spot this bird. The tern is known for its aerial acrobatics, which makes it a popular visitor at birding festivals. Learn more about this graceful creature in today’s blog post.

Elegant Tern scientific name

The Elegant Tern is a beautiful bird with the scientific name of Thalasseus elegans. It’s a seabird that can be found all around the globe near coasts and on islands in warm waters. These terns are all white with a black cap on their head that extends down to their bill. The average size for an Elegant Tern is about 15-17 inches long with a wingspan of about 3 feet. They can live up to 25 years in the wild. Not much is known about the mating rituals of these birds, but it is assumed they mate for life since they are rarely seen alone.

These birds lay their eggs on the ground, usually 2-3 per clutch, and incubate them for about 3 weeks. The young will fledge, or leave the nest, after about 6 weeks but will still be dependent on their parents for food for another few weeks after that. All in all, the Elegant Tern is a fascinating bird worthy of further study. Hopefully, we will learn more about them in the years to come!

Elegant Tern physical appearance

The Elegant Tern is a seabird that can be found all along the coastlines of the Americas. It is a member of the tern family, and it is closely related to the Royal Tern and the Sandwich Tern. The Elegant Tern has a long, tapered bill that is black in color. Its body is white with black markings on the wings and back. The tail is forked, and the legs are yellow. The Elegant Tern can reach a length of 18 inches and a wingspan of 39 inches. It typically weighs between 8 and 12 ounces.

The Elegant Tern is a migratory bird, and it breeds all along the coasts of North and South America. It nests on sandbars or beaches, and it often lays its eggs in colonies with other terns. The Elegant Tern feeds on fish, crabs, and other small marine animals. It typically catches its prey by swooping down from the air and grabbing it with its bill. The Elegant Tern is an elegant bird with a graceful flight. It is a popular bird for birdwatchers, and it is also hunted for its feathers, which are used to make hats and other articles.

Elegant Tern habitat

Elegant Terns are a type of seabird that can be found all around the world. Their habitats vary depending on the region, but they typically nest near coasts or on offshore islands. They typically lay their eggs in May or June and incubate them for about 26-30 days. The chicks fledge (grow their feathers) at around 30-40 days old. Elegant Terns typically eat small fish, crustaceans, and insects. Their nesting habits also vary depending on the region, but they often nest in small colonies. Elegant Terns are a migratory species, meaning they will travel to different areas depending on the season. For example, they may spend the winter in South America and the summer in North America. Overall, Elegant Terns are a fascinating species of bird with a wide range of habitats all around the world.

Elegant Tern diet

Elegant terns are carnivorous birds that feed on a variety of small animals, including fish, invertebrates, and rodents. They hunt primarily by swooping down from the air to snatch their prey from the water or land. Elegant terns have strong beaks and talons that help them to grasp and kill their prey. They also have sharp eyesight that allows them to spot prey from a distance. In addition to hunting alone, elegant terns will sometimes team up with other birds to cooperatively hunt for food. Regardless of how they obtain their meals, elegant terns require a diet that is high in protein in order to support their active lifestyle. As a result, they typically eat all of their prey, including the bones and organs.

Elegant Tern behavior

All terns are elegant in appearance and have long, pointed wings. They are all excellent flyers and can often be seen following ships at sea or flying over beaches. All terns feed on small fish, which they catch by diving into the water. Terns usually mate for life and build their nests on the ground, often on remote islands. The eggs are incubated for about three weeks, and the chicks are born covered in down. Terns are known for their aggressive behavior towards intruders, which they will attack with their sharp beaks. Overall, all terns share similar characteristics and behaviors.

Elegant Tern interesting facts

  1. The elegant tern is a seabird that can be found all along the coastlines of the Americas.
  2. It has a long, slender body and a black cap that extends down to its sharply pointed bill.
  3. The elegant tern gets its name from its beautiful breeding plumage, which includes black, white, and gray feathers.
  4. During the non-breeding season, the elegant tern’s plumage is much more subdued.
  5. These birds are excellent flyers and can often be seen swooping and diving in search of fish.
  6. They typically nest on beaches or rocky islands, where they lay their eggs in a simple scrape in the sand.
  7. The elegant tern is a fascinating bird with a wide range of interesting behaviors and habits.

Elegant Tern reproduction

The elegant tern is a migratory bird that breeds along coasts in the northern hemisphere. Its scientific name, Thalasseus elegans, translates to “noble sea-bird” in reference to its graceful appearance. The tern is all white with a black cap on its head, and it has a long, distinctive tail. These birds are proficient flyers and can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. They primarily feed on small fish, which they capture by swooping down from the air and plucking them from the water with their beaks.

Elegant terns mate for life and typically lay two or three eggs per clutch. The eggs are incubated for about three weeks before hatching. Both parents take part in incubation and care for the young chicks until they are ready to fledge or leave the nest. Fledging typically occurs between 30 and 40 days after hatching. Once the chicks fledge, they are on their own and must fend for themselves. The elegant tern has a lifespan of about 15 years in the wild.

Elegant Tern

Elegant Tern threats 

The elegant tern is a beautiful bird with a long, forked tail and pale grey plumage. It is found all around the world, in coastal areas and on islands. Although it is not currently classed as endangered, its numbers are declining due to various threats and predators. One of the main threats to elegant terns is habitat loss. Their breeding grounds are often on small islands which are being increasingly developed or eroded by rising sea levels. They are also sometimes deliberately killed by fishermen, who see them as a nuisance because they steal fish from their nets. In addition, they are preyed upon by some larger birds, such as gulls, eagles, and owls. Fortunately, there are some conservation efforts in place to help protect elegant terns from extinction, such as creating artificial breeding sites and protecting their natural habitat.


What does an elegant tern look like?

The elegant tern is a sleek seabird with a shaggy black crest, a blush of rose pink to the underside during the breeding season, and a stiletto-like orange bill. These bird species nest only in a few colonies in Mexico and California.


The elegant tern is an interesting bird that can be found in many parts of the world. Its beauty and unique features make it a favorite among bird enthusiasts. If you’re looking to see one of these birds for yourself, be sure to keep your eyes open during your next trip outdoors. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and spot an elegant tern!

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About the Author: Kinsey Locke

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