Roseate Tern: White below with slight, variable pinkish cast visible in good light; pale gray above with black cap, nape and deeply forked tail that projects well beyond wingtips at rest. Bill mostly black with some red at base; legs and feet are red-orange. Graceful, direct flight.
Range and Habitat
Roseate Tern: Offshore Florida Keys, and along New England coast from Long Island to Nova Scotia.
The Roseate Tern is less defensive of its nest and young than other white terns, often relying on Arctic and Common Terns in the surrounding colony to defend them.
Breeding colonies in the Caribbean are vulnerable to egg collectors, who seek the eggs of this species because of supposed aphrodisiac properties.
It sometimes steals fish from other seabirds. This increases their food collecting ability during bad weather when fish swim deeper, out of reach of the terns, but still within reach of the deeper-diving Puffins.
A group of terns are collectively known as a "ternery" or a "U" of terns.