Forster's Tern: Medium tern, pale gray upperparts, black cap, white underparts. Bill is orange, black tip. Wings are pale gray with paler primaries. Tail is pale gray, deeply forked with dark inner edge, white outer edge. Orange legs, feet. Hovers above water before diving for prey.
Range and Habitat
Forster's Tern: Breeds along the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Texas and in interior Alberta and California east to the Great Lakes. Spends winters along the coasts from California and Virginia southward. In the west, prefers freshwater marshes, whereas in the east, prefers salt marshes.
Forster's Tern is the only tern restricted almost entirely to North America throughout the year.
They breed in marshes near Black Terns. Wandering semi-precocial young may account for observations of each species feeding the other's young.
This bird is named after the naturalist Johann Reinhold Forster.
A group of terns are collectively known as a "ternery" or a "U" of terns.