Chlidonias hybrida

Scientific Name:-
Chlidonias hybrida

Common Name:-
White-cheeked Tern

Malayalam Name:-

Sea/Shore birds

Least Concern


Length: Wingspan: 74 – 78 cm. A more slender bird than many other tern species, this fork-tailed, marsh-dwelling bird has two distinct plumages. In breeding or summer plumage, the whiskered tern has a dark grey body, white cheeks and a black crown. In winter, the plumage turns white on the underside and pale grey on the upperparts. The forehead also turns white and the remainder of the crown becomes flecked with white thus appearing grey. The bill and legs of the whiskered tern are red, a striking feature that allows this species to be distinguished from other terns. Juvenile whiskered terns have a white underbelly, with a gingery back speckled with dark black and brown.


Not recorded


The whiskered tern feeds on crustaceans such as shrimps, amphibians such as frogs, small fish, insects and insect larvae. It commonly forages in large mixed species flocks or in small groups, but occasionally it will search for food independently. Reported from Kerala coast by Sashikumar et al. (2011).





BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Chlidonias hybrida. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/02/2015
Sashikumar,C., Praveen, J. Palot, M.J., Nameer, P.O. 2011. Birds of Kerala: status and distribution. DC Books, Kottayam.

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