Bird Gallery Index
Forster's Tern (breeding plumage) image © David McDonald.
Family: (Laridae) Gulls and Terns
Preferred Habitat: Beaches and coastal marshes.
Seasonal Occurrence: Common throughout the year. Nests in our area.
Notes: Forster's Terns are year-round residents on the Upper Texas Coast. About the same size as the Sandwich Tern, Forster's Terns in breeding plumage are recognized by their primarily orange bills. Winter birds have black bills and white caps with prominent black ear patches. Forster's Terns breed in a a variety of habitats. The majority choose marshes close to water, where they build nests on floating vegetation. Sometimes they build nests on top of muskrat houses. They also build nests in the sand or mud. A few nest singly in sites close to either salt or fresh water.
- Susan Billetdeaux
Forster's Tern (winter plumage) image © Joanne Kamo