Bird Families

Sternula antillarum flies


Tern family (Sternidae)

genus of tern (Sterna)
tea-headed tern (S. nilotica)
Caspian tern (S. caspia)
Indian river tern (S. aurantia)
king tern (S. maxima)
elegant tern (S. elegans)
small crested tern (S. bengalensis)
great crested tern (S. bergii)
Chinese crested tern (S. bernsteini)
variegated tern (S. sandvicensis)
pink tern (S. dougallii)
white-fronted tern (S. striata)
light tern (S. sumatrana)
South American tern (S. hirundinacea)
common tern (S. hirundo)
Arctic tern (S. paradisaea)
antarctic tern (S. vittata)
Kerguelen tern (S. virgata)
forster tern (S. forsteri)
snow-headed tern (S. trudeaui)
lesser tern (S. albifrons)
Sanders Tern (S. saundersi)
pygmy tern (S. antillarum)
yellow-billed tern (S. superciliaris)
Peruvian tern (S. lorata)
magic tern (S. nereis)
whale tern (S. balaenarum)
barnacle tern (S. repressa)
black-bellied tern (S. acuticauda)
spectacled tern (S. lunata)
dark tern (S. fuscata)
brown-winged tern (S. anethetus)
Aleutian Tern (S. aleutica)
black-fronted tern (S. albistriata)

Indian river tern (Sterna aurantia)

genus of Inca tern (Larosterna)
Inca tern (L. inca)
genus white terns (Gygis)
white tern (G. alba)
genus gray terns (Procelsterna)
gray tern (P. albivitta)
blue tern (P. cerulea)
genus large-billed terns (Phaetusa)
large-billed tern (P. simplex)

Brown Bowing Tern (Anous stolidus)

genus bowing tern (Anous)
black bowing tern (A. minutus)
brown bowing tern (A. stolidus)
lesser bowing tern (A. tenuirostris)
genus marsh tern (Chlidonias)
baleen tern (C. hybrida)
white-winged tern (C. leucopterus)
black tern (C. niger)


Krachkovy (lat. Sternidae) - a group of birds adapted to life near the water, previously allocated to a family in the order of Charadriiformes. Currently, some taxonomists define it as a clade in the gull family in the rank of a subfamily (Sterninae) or tribe (Sternini). Terns differ from seagulls in slender constitution and short graceful legs. Terns have a long forked tail, thin beak and narrow wings. These are birds that feed on small fish.


Terns are somewhat smaller in size than gulls, ranging in length from 24 to 40 cm. Their tail is noticeably bifurcated, the beak is usually sharp and directed downward during flight. The plumage is most often white or gray. Many species have a black crest.


Most species of terns live on the coast, some species live near reservoirs in the interior of the continents. While flying to wintering grounds, terns cover long distances.


Terns nest on the ground, on floating plants or on rocks, often forming large colonies for this. But some species (white tern) build nests in trees. In typical tern colonies, nests are usually very close to each other and may appear as simple pits in the ground. Terns, living inland, build flat nests, including those on marsh vegetation floating on the surface of the water. Terns themselves rarely swim. During the hunt, they dive from a height into the water to get fish.

Some terns show extraordinary flying qualities. Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) flies from Europe to Antarctica, where he spends the summer and returns back.


The cladogram shows the relationship between different genera of terns, and is based on mitochondrial DNA research. The species currently recognized as part of these genera are listed below:

  • Genus Silly Terns (Anous)
    • Anous albivitta (Bonaparte, 1856)
    • Anous ceruleus (F. D. Bennett, 1840) - Gray stupid tern
    • Anous minutus F. Boie, 1844 - Black bowing tern
    • Anous stolidus (Linnaeus, 1758) - Common silly tern
    • Anous tenuirostris (Temminck, 1823) - Lesser stupid tern
  • Genus White terns (Gygis)
    • White tern (Gygis alba)
  • Genus Onychoprion
    • Onychoprion lunatus
    • Brown-winged tern (Onychoprion anaethetus)
    • Dark tern (Onychoprion fuscatus)
    • Aleutian Tern (Onychoprion aleuticus)
  • Genus Sternula
    • Little tern (Sternula albifrons)
    • Pygmy tern (Sternula antillarum)
    • Whale tern (Sternula balaenarum)
    • Chilean tern (Sternula lorata)
    • Australian tern (Sternula nereis)
    • Mekran Tern (Sternula saundersi)
    • Amazon tern (Sternula superciliaris)
  • Genus Large-billed terns (Phaetusa)
    • Large-billed tern (Phaetusa simplex)
  • The Chegrava family (Hydroprogne)
    • Chegrava (Hydroprogne caspia)
  • Genus Gelochelidon
    • Gull-billed tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)
    • Gelochelidon macrotarsa
  • Clan of the Inca Terns (Larosterna)
    • Inca Tern (Larosterna inca)
  • Genus Marsh Terns (Chlidonias)
    • Chlidonias albostriatus (G. R. Gray, 1845) - Black-fronted tern
    • Chlidonias hybrida Pallas, 1811 - Barnacle marsh tern
    • Chlidonias leucopterus Temminck, 1815 - White-winged marsh tern
    • Chlidonias niger (Linnaeus, 1758) - Black marsh tern
  • Genus Thalasseus
    • Bengal tern (Thalasseus bengalensis)
    • Thalasseus albididorsalis
    • King tern (Thalasseus maximus)
    • Krachka Berga (Thalasseus bergii)
    • Chinese tern (Thalasseus bernsteini)
    • Elegant tern (Thalasseus elegans)
    • Spotted tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
    • Krachka Cabota (Thalasseus acuflavidus)
  • Clan of Krachka (Sterna)
    • Sterna acuticauda J. E. Gray, 1831 - Black-bellied tern
    • Sterna aurantia J. E. Gray, 1831 - Indian Tern
    • Sterna dougallii Montagu, 1813 - Pink Tern
    • Sterna forsteri Nuttall, 1834 - Forster Tern
    • Sterna hirundinacea R. Lesson, 1831 - South American Tern
    • Sterna hirundo Linnaeus, 1758 - Common tern, or river tern
    • Sterna paradisaea Pontoppidan, 1763 - Arctic tern
    • Sterna repressa Hartert, 1916 - Arabian tern
    • Sterna striata J. F. Gmelin, 1789 - White-fronted tern
    • Sterna sumatrana Raffles, 1822 - Light Tern
    • Sterna trudeaui Audubon, 1838 - Trudeau the Tern
    • Sterna virgata Cabanis, 1875 - Kerguelen Tern
    • Sterna vittata J. F. Gmelin, 1789 - Antarctic tern

Usage Information

Photo "Lesser tern Sternula antillarum flies" can be used for personal and commercial purposes according to the conditions of the purchased Royalty-free license. The image is available for download in high resolution quality up to 5616x3744.

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