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Common Tern
Common Tern
Common Tern sites cared for by the Trust
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Mingulay, Berneray and Pabbay

Mingulay, Berneray & Pabbay

Common Terns can be found at Mingulay, Canna, Iona and Murray's Isles.

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Nests in scattered colonies, often with other terns. Few are to be found on NTS properties.

Distinguished from the very similar Arctic Tern by its shorter, darker wings and black-tipped bill.


Opportunist feeder switching between prey types. Dive to a depth of between 0.2-0.3m. Sand eels, Herring, Pollock, Haddock, Whiting, Cod, Rockling.

Nest site

Flat rock shores, inshore islands or islets, open shingle, beaches, sand or shingle spits and salt marshes where it makes a shallow depression.


May to mid July where mainly 3 eggs are laid.


Down the west coast of Africa, especially off Ghana.


Throughout UK, southern Ireland, west, north and eastern Europe.

Other Information

A few pairs nest on the rocky shores of Mingulay Bay in some years

Other Tern family birds at Trust sites