Gull-billed Tern

: A Coastal Bird You Should Know About

The Gull-billed Tern is a unique bird species that fancies the coastal regions and estuaries. This seabird is known for its distinct appearance, behavior, and feeding habits.

Basic Description:

The Gull-billed Tern has a big head with a bright yellow bill that gives it its name. Its wingspan can reach up to 32 inches, and it weighs around 190-250 grams. The adults have black caps on their heads while their undersides are white; during breeding season, they develop dark patches around their eyes.

Where To Find This Bird:

Gull-billed Terns breed in Europe, Africa, Asia as well as North America – primarily along the Gulf of Mexico coastline – where they nest on beaches and barrier islands between Texas and Florida. They prefer shallow water areas such as lagoons or salt marshes near rivers or estuaries.


This bird is highly adaptable when it comes to habitat preference but prefers open habitats like mudflats or sandbars near shorelines—preferably with low vegetation cover nearby. These birds tend to form sizable colonies during nesting season – building nests in the ground or reeds close to the water’s edge.


Gull-billed Terns are opportunistic feeders preying mainly on small fish such as anchovies or sardines found close to coasts during high tide periods; however, they also take insects like dragonflies occasionally. Unlike most birds that dive straight down to catch prey items underwater – this seabird hovers above shallow waters before plunging into fishing grounds from heights of up to 50 feet!

Cool Facts:

Apart from hunting by hovering just over water surfaces instead of diving straightaway like other similar-sized terns – another interesting fact about these birds is that both parents share incubation duties when laying eggs! After hatching – the chicks will leave their nests within two days and begin foraging with parents.

In conclusion, Gull-billed Tern is a fascinating bird species that plays an essential role in coastal habitats. Its unique features make it stand out from other seabirds. They are also easy to spot along the coastline during nesting seasons, making them a must-see for birdwatchers or anyone who loves nature’s beauty!