Range. - Temperate North America, breeding from Manitoba, Mass., and California, south to the Gulf Coast and Texas.
Length about fifteen inches; tail long and deeply forked; crown black, back and wings pearl and under parts white. Bill orange red. This species and the three following are the most graceful of birds in appearance and flight. Their movements can only be likened to those of the Swallows, from which they get the name of "Sea Swallows." Their food consists of fish, which they get by diving, and marine insects. They breed by thousands in the marshes from Manitoba to Texas and along the South Atlantic coast. The eggs are laid in a hollow on the dry grassy portions of the islands or marshes. They generally lay three eggs and rarely four. They are buffy or brownish spotted with dark brown and lilac. Size 1.80 x 1.30. Data. - Cobb's Island, Va., June 8, 1887. Eggs in a hollow on grassy bank. Collector, F. H. Judson.
Forsters Tern. Common Tern.