Common Tern Sterna hirundo


Becker, P.H., Schuhmann, S. and Koepff, C. 1993. Hatching failure in common terns (Sterna-hirundo) in relation to environmental chemicals. Environmental Pollution 79(3): 207-213.

BirdLife International. 2000. The Development of Boundary Selection Criteria for the Extension of Breeding Seabird Special Protection Areas into the Marine Environment. OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic. Vlissingen (Flushing).

BirdLife International. 2015. European Red List of Birds. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.

Blokpoel, H.; Scharf, W. C. 1991. Status and conservation of seabirds nesting in the Great Lakes of North America. In: Croxall. J. P. (ed.), Seabird Status and Conservation: A Supplement, pp. 17-41. International Council for Bird Preservation.

Brazil, M. 2009. Birds of East Asia: eastern China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern Russia. Christopher Helm, London.

Brenninkmeijer, A., Stienen, E.W.M., Klaassen, M. and Kersten, M. 2002. Feeding ecology of wintering terns in Guinea-Bissau. Ibis 144(4): 602-613.

Bried, J., Magalhães, M.C., Bolton, M., Neves, V.C., Bell, E., Pereira, J.C., Aguiar, L., Monteiro, L.R. and Santos, R.S. 2009. Seabird habitat restoration on Praia Islet, Azores Archipelago. Ecological Restoration 27(1): 27-36.

Buckley, P. A.; Buckley, F. G. 1984. Seabirds of the north and middle Atlantic coasts of the United States: their status and conservation. In: Croxall, J.P.; Evans, P.G.H.; Schreiber, R.W. (ed.), Status and conservation of the world's seabirds, pp. 101-133. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Burness, G.P., Morris, R.D. and Bruce, J.P. 1994. Seasonal and annual variation in brood attendance, prey type delivered to chicks, and foraging patterns of male common terns (Sterna-hirundo). Canadian Journal of Zoology 72(7): 1243-1251.

Butcher, G. S.; Niven, D. K. 2007. Combining data from the Christmas bird count and the breeding bird survey to determine the continental status and trends of North American birds.

Butler, C. J. 2003. The disproportionate effect of global warming on the arrival dates of short-distance migratory birds in North America. Ibis 145: 484-495.

Cramp, S. 1985. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic vol IV: terns to woodpeckers. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Donehower, C. E.; Bird, D. M.; Hall, C. S.; Kress, S. W. 2007. Effects of Gull Predation and Predator Control on Tern Nesting Success at Eastern Egg Rock, Maine. Waterbirds 30(1): 29-39.

Duffy, D.C. 1986. Foraging at patches: interactions between common and roseate terns. Ornis Scandinavica 17: 47-52.

Fasola, M.; Canova, L. 1996. Conservation of gull and tern colony sites in north-eastern Italy, an internationally important bird area. Colonial Waterbirds 19: 59-67.

Gochfeld, M., Burger, J., Christie, D.A. and Garcia, E.F.J. 2018. Common Tern (Sterna hirundo). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. and de Juana, E. (eds), Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Guillemette, M.; Brousseau, P. 2001. Does culling predatory gulls enhance the productivity of breeding common terns? Journal of Applied Ecology 38: 1-8.

Hopkins, C.D. and Wiley, R.H. 1972. Food parasitism and competition in two terns. Auk 89: 583-594.

Hyde, D. A. 1997. Special animal abstract for Sterna hirundo (common tern). Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing, MI.

IUCN. 2018. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2018-2. Available at: (Accessed: 15 November 2018).

IUCN. 2019. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2019-3. Available at: (Accessed: 10 December 2019).

Lemmetyinen, R. 1973. Feeding ecology of Sterna paradisea Pontopp. and S. hirundo L. in the Archipelago of Southwest Finland. Annales Zoologici Fennici 10: 507-525.

Newton, S. F.; Crowe, O. 2000. Roseate Terns - The Natural Connection. IWC-BirdWatch Ireland, Monkstown, County Dublin.

Nisbet, I.C.T. 1983. Paralytic shellfish poisoning: effects on breeding terns. Condor 85: 338-345.

Richards, A. 1990. Seabirds of the northern hemisphere. Dragon's World Ltd, Limpsfield, U.K.

Safina, C. 1990. Bluefish mediation of foraging competition between roseate and common terns. Ecology 71: 1804-1809.

Snow, D.W.; Perrins, C.M. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic, Volume 1: Non-Passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Taylor, I. R. 1983. Effect of Wind on the Foraging Behaviour of Common and Sandwich Terns. Ornis Scandinavica 14(2): 90-96.

Uttley, J; Monaghan, P; White, S. 1989. Differential-effects of reduced Sandeel availability on 2 sympatrically breeding species of tern. Ornis Scandinavica 20(4): 273-277.

van Halewyn, R.; Norton, R. L. 1984. The status and conservation of seabirds in the Caribbean. In: Croxall. J. P. (ed.), Seabird Status and Conservation: A Supplement, pp. 169-222. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Wanless, S., Harris, M.P. and Greenstreet, S.P.R. 1998. Summer sandeel consumption by seabirds breeding in the Firth of Forth, south-east Scotland. ICES Journal of Marine Science 55(6): 1141-1151.

Wetlands International. 2015. Waterbird Population Estimates. Available at: (Accessed: 17/09/2015).

Further resources

Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Detailed species account from European Red List of Birds (BirdLife International 2015)

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Macaulay Library

Media resources
Euro Bird Portal

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Sterna hirundo. Downloaded from on 29/09/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/09/2022.