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Common Tern Sterna hirundo
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass 139 g


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 16,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Decreasing Suspected -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 11.5 - - -
Population justification: The global population is estimated to number c.1,600,000-4,600,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population sizes have been estimated at c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs, c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Trend justification: The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). This species has undergone a large and statistically significant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (-70.4% decline over 40 years, equating to a -26.2% decline per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant Yes      
Albania Native Extant Yes      
Algeria Native Extant        
Angola Native Extant        
Anguilla (to UK) Native Extant        
Antigua and Barbuda Native Extant        
Argentina Native Extant        
Armenia Native Extant Yes      
Aruba (to Netherlands) Native Extant        
Australia Native Extant        
Austria Native Extant Yes      
Azerbaijan Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Bahamas Native Extant        
Bahrain Native Extant     Yes  
Bangladesh Native Extant        
Barbados Native Extant        
Belarus Native Extant Yes      
Belgium Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Belize Native Extant   Yes    
Benin Native Extant        
Bermuda (to UK) Native Extant Yes      
Bhutan Native Extant        
Bolivia Native Extant        
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Native Extant   Yes    
Bosnia and Herzegovina Native Extant Yes      
Brazil Native Extant        
Brunei Native Extant        
Bulgaria Native Extant Yes      
Cambodia Native Extant        
Cameroon Native Extant        
Canada Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Cape Verde Native Extant        
Cayman Islands (to UK) Native Extant        
Chile Native Extant        
China (mainland) Native Extant        
Cocos (Keeling) Islands (to Australia) Vagrant Extant        
Colombia Native Extant        
Comoros Vagrant Extant        
Congo Native Extant        
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant        
Cook Islands Vagrant Extant        
Costa Rica Native Extant   Yes    
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant        
Croatia Native Extant Yes      
Cuba Native Extant        
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Native Extant   Yes    
Cyprus Native Extant       Yes
Czech Republic Native Extant Yes      
Denmark Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Djibouti Native Extant        
Dominica Native Extant        
Dominican Republic Native Extant        
Ecuador Native Extant        
Egypt Native Extant        
El Salvador Native Extant        
Equatorial Guinea Native Extant        
Eritrea Native Extant        
Estonia Native Extant Yes      
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Native Extant        
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Native Extant Yes      
Fiji Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Finland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
France Native Extant     Yes Yes
French Guiana Native Extant        
Gabon Native Extant        
Gambia Native Extant        
Georgia Native Extant Yes      
Germany Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Ghana Native Extant        
Gibraltar (to UK) Native Extant        
Greece Native Extant     Yes Yes
Grenada Native Extant        
Guadeloupe (to France) Native Extant   Yes    
Guam (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Guatemala Native Extant        
Guinea Native Extant        
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant        
Guyana Native Extant        
Haiti Native Extant        
Honduras Native Extant        
Hong Kong (China) Native Extant        
Hungary Native Extant Yes      
Iceland Vagrant Extant        
India Native Extant        
Indonesia Native Extant        
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Iraq Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Ireland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Israel Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Italy Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Jamaica Vagrant Extant        
Japan Native Extant        
Jordan Native Extant     Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Native Extant        
Kuwait Native Extant     Yes  
Kyrgyzstan Native Extant Yes      
Latvia Native Extant Yes      
Lebanon Native Extant     Yes  
Liberia Native Extant        
Libya Native Extant        
Liechtenstein Vagrant Extant        
Lithuania Native Extant Yes      
Luxembourg Native Extant        
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Madagascar Native Extant        
Malawi Vagrant Extant        
Malaysia Native Extant   Yes    
Maldives Vagrant Extant        
Mali Native Extant        
Malta Native Extant        
Marshall Islands Native Extant   Yes    
Martinique (to France) Native Extant        
Mauritania Native Extant Yes      
Mauritius Native Extant        
Mexico Native Extant        
Micronesia, Federated States of Native Extant   Yes    
Moldova Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Mongolia Native Extant Yes      
Montenegro Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Montserrat (to UK) Native Extant        
Morocco Native Extant        
Mozambique Native Extant        
Myanmar Native Extant        
Namibia Native Extant        
Nepal Native Extant        
Netherlands Native Extant Yes      
New Caledonia (to France) Native Extant        
New Zealand Vagrant Extant        
Nicaragua Native Extant        
Nigeria Native Extant        
North Korea Native Extant        
Northern Mariana Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Norway Native Extant Yes      
Oman Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant        
Palau Native Extant   Yes    
Palestinian Authority Territories Native Extant     Yes  
Panama Native Extant        
Papua New Guinea Native Extant        
Paraguay Vagrant Extant     Yes  
Peru Native Extant        
Philippines Native Extant        
Poland Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Portugal Native Extant       Yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) Native Extant        
Qatar Native Extant     Yes  
Réunion (to France) Native Extant        
Romania Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Russia (Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (Central Asian) Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Saudi Arabia Native Extant     Yes  
Senegal Native Extant Yes      
Serbia Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Seychelles Native Extant        
Sierra Leone Native Extant        
Singapore Native Extant        
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) Native Extant   Yes    
Slovakia Native Extant       Yes
Slovenia Native Extant Yes      
Solomon Islands Native Extant        
Somalia Native Extant        
South Africa Native Extant        
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands Native Extant        
South Korea Native Extant        
Spain Native Extant     Yes Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant        
St Kitts and Nevis Native Extant        
St Lucia Native Extant        
St Martin (to France) Native Extant   Yes    
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) Native Extant Yes   Yes  
St Vincent and the Grenadines Native Extant        
Sudan Native Extant     Yes  
Suriname Native Extant        
Sweden Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Switzerland Native Extant Yes      
Syria Native Extant Yes   Yes  
Taiwan (China) Native Extant        
Tajikistan Native Extant Yes      
Tanzania Native Extant        
Thailand Native Extant        
Timor-Leste Native Extant   Yes Yes  
Togo Native Extant        
Trinidad and Tobago Native Extant        
Tunisia Native Extant        
Turkey Native Extant Yes      
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) Native Extant Yes      
Ukraine Native Extant Yes   Yes  
United Arab Emirates Native Extant   Yes Yes  
United Kingdom Native Extant Yes      
Uruguay Native Extant   Yes    
USA Native Extant Yes      
Uzbekistan Native Extant Yes      
Vanuatu Native Extant        
Venezuela Native Extant        
Vietnam Native Extant        
Virgin Islands (to UK) Native Extant   Yes    
Virgin Islands (to USA) Native Extant   Yes    
Western Sahara Native Extant        
Yemen Native Extant     Yes  
Zambia Vagrant Extant        

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Anguilla (to UK) Cove Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Grey Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Long Salt Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) Rendezvous Bay Pond site factsheet
Anguilla (to UK) West End Pond site factsheet
Aruba (to Netherlands) Oranjestad Reef Islands site factsheet
Aruba (to Netherlands) San Nicolas Bay Reef Islands site factsheet
Austria Delta of the Rhine site factsheet
Austria March/Thaya riverine forest site factsheet
Austria Neusiedler See site factsheet
Austria Southern Seewinkel and Zitzmannsdorfer Wiesen site factsheet
Azerbaijan Shahdidi spit site factsheet
Azerbaijan Yashma Island site factsheet
Bahamas Great Inagua site factsheet
Belgium Schorren en Polder van de Beneden-Schelde site factsheet
Belgium Voorhaven Zeebrugge and Baai van Heist site factsheet
Belgium Zwin site factsheet
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Pelkermeer Saltworks, Bonaire site factsheet
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) Washington-Slagbaai National Park, Bonaire site factsheet
Brazil Mangue Seco site factsheet
Brazil Parque Nacional da Lagoa do Peixe site factsheet
Bulgaria Atanasovsko Lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Emine site factsheet
Bulgaria Kalimok Complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Mandra-Poda complex site factsheet
Bulgaria Pomorie Lake site factsheet
Bulgaria Srebarna site factsheet
Canada Baie de Gaspé site factsheet
Canada Banc de Carleton site factsheet
Canada Cascumpec Bay/Alberton Harbour site factsheet
Canada Cayes à Meck site factsheet
Canada Dog Lake site factsheet
Canada Dory's Reef site factsheet
Canada Gull and Sandhill Island site factsheet
Canada Île a Calculot site factsheet
Canada Île Paquet site factsheet
Canada Îles aux Perroquets site factsheet
Canada Îlot C site factsheet
Canada Kaweenakumik Lake site factsheet
Canada Kouchibouguac NP Sand Islands site factsheet
Canada Lagune du Havre aux Basques et plage de l'Ouest site factsheet
Canada Lake St. Martin Islands site factsheet
Canada Leslie Street Spit site factsheet
Canada Limestone Islands site factsheet
Canada Little George Island site factsheet
Canada Long Point Peninsula and Marshes site factsheet
Canada Louis Island and Associated Reefs site factsheet
Canada Machias Seal Island site factsheet
Canada Niagara River Corridor site factsheet
Canada Port Colborne (breakwater and mainland) site factsheet
Canada Riverton Sandy Bar site factsheet
Canada Sable Island, Nova Scotia site factsheet
Canada Tabusintac Lagoon and River Estuary site factsheet
China (mainland) Aksu River basin site factsheet
China (mainland) Bosten Lake site factsheet
China (mainland) Desert and wetland from Northern Urumqi to Dabancheng site factsheet
China (mainland) Oasis, Desert and Wetland at Mosuowan site factsheet
China (mainland) Ulungur Hu and Jili Hu (Fu Hai) site factsheet
Cuba Cayería Centro - Oriental de Villa Clara site factsheet
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Buskabaai, Curaçao site factsheet
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Jan Thiel Lagoon, Curaçao site factsheet
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Malpais-St Michiel site factsheet
Curaçao (to Netherlands) Sint Jorisbaai-Koraal Tabak, Curaçao site factsheet
Czech Republic Ceskobudejovicke rybniky ponds site factsheet
Czech Republic Dehtár pond site factsheet
Czech Republic Nove Mlyny middle reservoir site factsheet
Czech Republic Trebonsko (Trebon region) site factsheet
Denmark Hirsholmene site factsheet
Denmark Roskilde Fjord, Selsø and Kattinge Søerne site factsheet
Estonia Kahtla-Kübassaare site factsheet
Estonia Pärnu bay (NEW) site factsheet
Estonia Siiksaare-Oessaare bays site factsheet
Estonia Väinameri site factsheet
Estonia Vaindloo island site factsheet
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton site factsheet
France Baie des Veys et Marais du Cotentin site factsheet
France Baies de Morlaix et de Carantec site factsheet
France Basse Vallée de la Durance site factsheet
France Basse vallée du Var site factsheet
France Bassée et plaines adjacentes site factsheet
France Camargue site factsheet
France Cap Gris-nez site factsheet
France Cordon lagunaire de Sète à Agde site factsheet
France Estuaire et embouchure de la Seine site factsheet
France Etangs de Vendres, Pissevache et Lespignan site factsheet
France Etangs Montpellierains site factsheet
France Golfe du Morbihan et Etier de Penerf site factsheet
France Iles Chausey site factsheet
France Iles de la Colombière, de la Nellière et des Haches site factsheet
France Ilôts de Trévorc'h site factsheet
France Littoral Augeron site factsheet
France Marais salants de Noirmoutier site factsheet
France Petite Camargue laguno-marine site factsheet
France Salines de l'Etang de Berre site factsheet
France Traicts et marais salants de la Presqu'île Guérandaise site factsheet
France Val d'Allier : Saint-Yorre-Joze site factsheet
France Val d'Allier Bourbonnais site factsheet
France Vallée de la Garonne : Moissac site factsheet
France Vallée de la Loire : de Nantes à Montsoreau site factsheet
France Vallée de la Loire : environs de Blois site factsheet
France Vallée de la Loire : environs de Montlouis-sur-Loire site factsheet
France Vallée de la Loire : La Charité-sur-Loire site factsheet
France Vallée de la Loire : Orléanais site factsheet
France Vallée de la Loire: Pit majeur d'Iguerande à Décize site factsheet
France Vallée du Rhin : Marckolsheim à Strasbourg site factsheet
Ghana Densu Delta Ramsar Site and vicinity site factsheet
Ghana Muni-Pomadze Ramsar Site site factsheet
Ghana Songor Ramsar Site site factsheet
Guyana Shell Beach site factsheet
Hungary Alkaline lakes of Kiskunság site factsheet
Hungary Hortobágy and Tisza-to site factsheet
Hungary Kis-Sárrét site factsheet
Hungary Lake Kis-Balaton site factsheet
Hungary Lower Tisza Valley site factsheet
Ireland Connemara Islands site factsheet
Ireland Cork Harbour site factsheet
Ireland Dublin Bay site factsheet
Ireland Lady's Island Lake site factsheet
Ireland Rockabill site factsheet
Italy Maddalena archipelago and Cape Ferro site factsheet
Italy Punte Alberete and Valle della Canna, Pineta San Vitale and Pialassa della Baiona site factsheet
Italy River Po from Dora Baltea mouth to Scrivia mouth site factsheet
Italy Taro river site factsheet
Italy Valle Bertuzzi and Goro lagoon site factsheet
Italy Valli di Comacchio and Bonifica del Mezzano site factsheet
Italy Venice lagoon site factsheet
Kazakhstan Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve site factsheet
Kazakhstan Lake Alakol Islands site factsheet
Kazakhstan Lesser Aral Sea site factsheet
Kazakhstan Shoshkakol Lakes site factsheet
Latvia Augsdaugava site factsheet
Latvia Engure lake site factsheet
Latvia Kemeri national park site factsheet
Latvia Liepaja lake site factsheet
Latvia Lubans and fish-ponds site factsheet
Lithuania A part of the Vasaknos fish-farm site factsheet
Lithuania Kalviai gravel pit site factsheet
Lithuania Kretuonas Landscape Reserve site factsheet
Lithuania Nemunas delta regional Park site factsheet
Lithuania Unnamed islands at Niedus Lake with surrounding waters site factsheet
Malaysia North-central Selangor coast site factsheet
Malaysia Pulau Bruit National Park site factsheet
Mauritania Banc d'Arguin National Park site factsheet
Mexico Estero Cardonal site factsheet
Mozambique Bazaruto Archipelago site factsheet
Namibia Namib-Naukluft Park site factsheet
Namibia Sandwich Harbour site factsheet
Namibia Walvis Bay site factsheet
Netherlands Balgzand site factsheet
Netherlands Griend site factsheet
Netherlands Haringvliet site factsheet
Netherlands Westerschelde and Saeftinghe site factsheet
Netherlands Workumerwaard site factsheet
Oman Barr al Hikman site factsheet
Philippines Manila Bay site factsheet
Poland Barycz river valley site factsheet
Poland Lower Vistula River Valley site factsheet
Poland Malopolska Wisla river gap site factsheet
Poland Middle Vistula River Valley site factsheet
Poland Nysa reservoir site factsheet
Poland Siemianowka Reseirvoir site factsheet
Poland Skoki Gravel-Pit site factsheet
Poland Swietokrzyskie Vistula River Valley site factsheet
Poland Turek Site site factsheet
Poland Upper Vistula River Valley site factsheet
Poland Vistula river mouth site factsheet
Poland Warta River Mouth site factsheet
Portugal Contendas site factsheet
Portugal Costa das Flores site factsheet
Portugal Costa do Corvo site factsheet
Portugal Ilhéu da Praia site factsheet
Portugal Ilhéu da Vila site factsheet
Portugal Ilhéu do Topo e Costa Adjacente site factsheet
Portugal Ponta de São Lourenço site factsheet
Portugal Porto Santo Oeste site factsheet
Portugal Serra Branca site factsheet
Romania Balta Albă - Amara - Jirlău site factsheet
Romania Balta Mică a Brăilei site factsheet
Romania Black Sea site factsheet
Romania Blahniţa site factsheet
Romania Buhuşu reservoir - Bacău - Tătărăşti site factsheet
Romania Comana site factsheet
Romania Danube Delta site factsheet
Romania Jijiei şi Miletinului fish-ponds site factsheet
Romania Lake Gălăţui site factsheet
Romania Lake Oltina site factsheet
Romania Prut river flood-plain - Vlădeşti - Frumuşiţa site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Nevskoye lake site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Selenga delta site factsheet
Russia (Asian) Ulukhkol' lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Blagoveschenskaya (Kulunda lake and vicinity) site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Dvuob'ye site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Kurtan Lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Ob' site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Man'yass lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Saltosarayskoye lake site factsheet
Russia (Central Asian) Upper streams of Ob' river site factsheet
Russia (European) Beglitskaya sand-spit site factsheet
Russia (European) Delta of the River Don site factsheet
Russia (European) Kamsko-Ikski area site factsheet
Russia (European) Kazachka site factsheet
Russia (European) Khanskoye Lake site factsheet
Russia (European) Kiziltash limans site factsheet
Russia (European) Yeiski salt-lakes site factsheet
Senegal Delta du Saloum site factsheet
Slovakia Dubnica gravel pit site factsheet
Slovakia Horna Orava site factsheet
Slovakia Morava site factsheet
Slovakia River Danube flood-plain site factsheet
Slovakia Slnava site factsheet
Slovenia River Drava site factsheet
Slovenia Sečovlje saltpans site factsheet
Slovenia Škocjan Bay site factsheet
Slovenia Spodnja Sava site factsheet
South Africa Orange River Mouth Wetlands site factsheet
South Africa Richards Bay Game Reserve site factsheet
South Africa West Coast National Park and Saldanha Bay islands site factsheet
Spain Aguas y acantilados del Norte de La Palma site factsheet
Spain Albufera de Valencia marshes site factsheet
Spain Chingudi-Bidasoa estuary site factsheet
Spain Ebro delta site factsheet
Spain El Roque coastal cliffs site factsheet
Spain Plataforma Marina del Delta del Ebro - Columbretes site factsheet
Spain Salmor rocky islets site factsheet
Spain Santa Pola salt-pans site factsheet
Spain South-west coast of La Gomera site factsheet
Spain Tabarca - Cabo de Palos site factsheet
Spain Vallehermoso coast site factsheet
St Barthelemy (to France) Îlets les Petits Saints et Gros Islets site factsheet
Sweden Bay of Kilsviken site factsheet
Sweden Färnebofjärden site factsheet
Sweden Gräsö archipelago site factsheet
Sweden Holmöarna archipelago site factsheet
Sweden Lake Tämnaren site factsheet
Sweden Western part of lake Mälaren site factsheet
Thailand Na Muang Krabi site factsheet
Turkey Gediz Delta site factsheet
Turkmenistan Ogurjaly island site factsheet
Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK) East Caicos and adjacent areas site factsheet
Ukraine Bilosarajs'ka peninsula site factsheet
Ukraine Elanchyk river valley site factsheet
Ukraine Karkinits'ka and Dzharylgats'ka bays site factsheet
Ukraine Kryva peninsula site factsheet
Ukraine Kuyal'nyts'kyj lyman site factsheet
Ukraine Syvash Bay site factsheet
Ukraine Tyligul's'kyj lyman site factsheet
Ukraine Yagorlyts'ka and Tendrivs'ka Bays site factsheet
United Kingdom Alde - Ore Estuary site factsheet
United Kingdom Breydon Water site factsheet
United Kingdom Carlingford Lough site factsheet
United Kingdom Coquet Island site factsheet
United Kingdom Dee Estuary site factsheet
United Kingdom Dungeness To Pett Levels site factsheet
United Kingdom Farne Islands site factsheet
United Kingdom Firth of Forth site factsheet
United Kingdom Firth of Forth Islands site factsheet
United Kingdom Isles of Scilly site factsheet
United Kingdom Larne Lough site factsheet
United Kingdom Lough Neagh and Lough Beg site factsheet
United Kingdom Mid-Essex Coast site factsheet
United Kingdom Moray Basin, Firths and Bays site factsheet
United Kingdom Moray Basin, Firths and Bays site factsheet
United Kingdom North Norfolk Coast site factsheet
United Kingdom Poole Harbour site factsheet
United Kingdom Ribble and Alt Estuaries site factsheet
United Kingdom Solent Marshes and Southampton Water site factsheet
United Kingdom Strangford Lough and islands site factsheet
United Kingdom The Wash site factsheet
United Kingdom The Wash site factsheet
United Kingdom Ynys Feurig, Cemlyn Bay and the Skerries site factsheet
USA Great Gull Island site factsheet
USA Isles of Shoals site factsheet
Venezuela Parque Nacional Archipiélago Los Roques site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands Suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Rocky Shoreline Suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc Suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Shingle and/or Pebble Shoreline and/or Beaches Suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries Suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries Suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp Major breeding
Marine Neritic Macroalgal/Kelp Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic Suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Pelagic Suitable breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) Major breeding
Marine Neritic Seagrass (Submerged) Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Loose Rock/pebble/gravel Major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs Major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy Major breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud Major non-breeding
Marine Neritic Subtidal Sandy-Mud Major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) Suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) Suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) Suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 4000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Food (human) Whole Eggs Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Historical
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Food - human - - - Subsistence, National
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Sterna hirundo. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Laridae (Gulls, Terns, Skimmers)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 16,000,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change
- 2015 European Red List assessment