Caspian Tern

At regular intervals, small groups of Caspian Tern, Hydroprogne caspia, would return to the small lagoon at Cape Point, The Gambia, to hunt for fish.

Caspian Tern skimming the water

The Caspian Tern is the largest species of tern with a wingspan up to 1.45 metres and is found all over the world. Adults have black legs, a long thick reddy-orange bill with a small black tip, a white head with a black cap and white neck, belly and tail. In winter, the black cap changes and shows some white streaking on the forehead.

Caspian Tern
Caspian Tern low over water

They feed mainly on fish but will also occasionally eat large insects, the young and eggs of other birds and even rodents. Salt or freshwater, they will happily search for food in either.

Caspian Tern on the hunt for food
Caspian Tern, The Gambia
Caspian Tern swooping down
Caspian Tern, bill open
Caspian Tern after fish
Caspian Tern in flight