Facts about the Royal Tern, it is a marine bird in the Thalasseus genus of the tern family Sternidae. The scientific name of this seabird is Thalasseus Maximus and some of its bigger subspecies breed on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of South and North America, whereas it is a slightly smaller subspecies breed on the shoreline of West Africa. The Royal Tern is largely found in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean Islands, and the Americas. The Royal Tern lives on the coastline and is only found close to salt water. The Royal Terns are inclined to feed close to the shore, beach, or in backwater inlets.
The Royal Tern is a larger tern, next to the Caspian Tern, but is improbable to be puzzled with the carrot-billed giant that has wide-ranging dark under wing areas. A mature Royal Tern has a body length that ranges from 18 inches to 20 inches (45 cm to 50 cm), with the wingspan that ranges from 49 inches to 53 inches (125 cm to 135 cm). The Royal Terns have a body mass between 350 grams and 450 grams (12 Oz and 16 Oz).
The Royal Tern has an orange-red color bill, white underparts, and light gray upper parts. The Royal Tern has black color legs and feet. During the winter season, the black cap of the Royal Tern turns into patchy.
Juveniles of the Royal Tern will resemble non-breeding adults. Differences comprise juveniles will boast black marked wings and a yellow color bill.
Usually, the calls of the Royal Tern are dumpy, have apparent shrills, and some of their shrill sounds are similar to Tsirr or Kree. This marine bird has a long and rolling whistle more similar to a Plover, which is more melodious.
In different parts of its collection, the Royal Tern could be puzzled with the Elegant Tern, the Greater Crested Tern and the Lesser Crested Tern. The Royal Tern is paler than the Great Crested Tern and the Lesser Crested Tern.
The breeding range of the Royal Tern in the Americas is on the eastern shoreline, and its breeding season continues from April to July. The southern end of the breeding range of these birds is in Texas. Their wintering range for on the eastern coastline is from the south of North Carolina to the Guianas and Panama, and sometimes in the Caribbean Islands, as well. On the western coastline of the Americas, the Royal Tern spends the breeding period from California to Mexico; they have their winter from the south of California to Peru.
In Africa, these marine birds are found along the western coastline in the islands off the shore of Mauritania during their breeding period. The Royal Terns usually winter from the south of Morocco to Namibia. This marine bird is not generally found in Europe even though it has been seen in Gibraltar and Spain.
American marine birds travel south to Argentina in the winter to flee from the cold weather. African birds migrate both south and north from their breeding colonies and they may reach as far as the north of Spain. The Royal Tern has also migrated to Western Europe as an uncommon vagabond; mostly they are from the American colonies.
Usually, the Royal tern feeds on small fish, like weakfish, anchovies, and croakers. Fish are their major source of food, but they also feed on shrimp, insects, and crabs. The Royal Tern also feeds on petite crabs, like juvenile blue crabs that swim close to the water surface. While feeding on petite crabs, this marine bird does not utilize its usual plunge-dive method, but in its place, it uses small shallow dives in order that they can be hidden from their prey. The bird uses this method while hunting the flying fish.
The average lifespan of the Royal Tern ranges from 27 years to 28 years.