Bill slender; black, the base reddish: legs orange: tarsus nine lines: tail greatly forked, extending far beyond the wings*.
S. Dougalli, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ii. p. 738. Roseate Tern, Mont. Orn. Diet. Supp. with fig. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. ii. p. 192. Selb. Blust. vol. ii. p. 470. pl. 89. f. 1, & 2.
Entire length fifteen inches six lines: length of the hill (from the forehead) one inch seven lines and a half; of the tarsus nine lines; of the tail seven inches; from the carpus to the end of the wing nine inches three lines.
(Summer plumage). Forehead, crown, and long occipital feathers, deep black; cheeks, throat, neck, and all the under parts, pure white, tinged on the fore part of the neck, breast, and belly, with rose-red: back, scapulars, and wing-coverts, pale ash-gray: first quill with the outer web hoary black; the rest gray: all of them with a deep border of white on their inner webs: tail white, greatly forked; the outer feathers very long and subulate, extending upwards of two inches beyond the wings: bill long and slender, black, passing into orange-red at the base: legs bright orange: claws small and black. (Young). " Bill brownish black; the base orange-yellow: forehead and crown cream-yellow, tinged with gray: region of the eyes, ear-coverts, and nape, grayish black, mixed with yellowish white: throat, sides of the neck, and under parts, white: ridge of the wings blackish gray, margined paler: back and wing-coverts bluish gray, marbled with grayish -black and yellowish white: tail-feathers with the exterior webs gray, the interior and tips white: quills gray, margined with white: legs pale gallstone-yellow." Selb. (Egg). Yellowish stone-colour; spotted and speckled with ash-gray and dark brown: long. diam. one inch nine lines and a half; trans, diam. one inch two lines and a half.
First noticed on the Cumbrey Islands in the Frith of Clyde, by Dr Macdougall, who communicated the species to Montagu. Since observed on other parts of the Scotch coast, and also in the Fern Islands, to which last locality, according to Selby, they resort annually to breed. Eggs two or three in number. Food, small fish.