Birds of North America Home Page

Field Guide for all the Birds of North America



Laridae & Chlidonias

Information, images and range maps on over 1,000 birds of North America, including sub-species, vagrants, introduced birds and possibilities

There are at least seventeen types of terns including the native and vagrant species that have been seen in North America. These different types are closely matched, with a portion seen over different areas of the continent and the other seen around the coastlines and out at sea. Almost all species of terns are black and white and in most cases are more white than black. In the tern family there are two types of noddies; the Brown Noddy and the Black Noddy.


With their long pointed wings and long tail feathers, terns fly over water as swallows fly over land. With quick and agile manoeuvring, these birds dart through the air, diving and capturing their prey by piercing them with their pointed bills. The terns are known for the great distances they travel during migration, especially the Arctic Tern which flies to the Antarctic every fall and returns to the Arctic every spring.

References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database This site provides the user with a complete list of bird species, broken down per country, or in the example of the US or Canada, per state and province. Here, bird species names are available in other languages, a great asset to be used as a translation of foreign bird names.

ABA - American Birding Association This site represents an organization that maintains official records of all birds species that have been proven to have been seen inside the perimeters of the North American Continent and the surrounding bodies of water. Regular revised versions are posted to keep the bird list current at all times. This is the list used by all serious birders over their lifetime. You may be aware of the movie called the "Big Year". It was with this list that all the competing birders used in an attempt to set a new record as to how many bird species that could be seen by an individual birder in one calendar year.

I hope you will take advantage of these suggested websites. I have used each of them, in one way or another, throughout the years in my quest to better identify and understand our fine feathered friends.

Classic Collection of North American Birds