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Sandwich tern

What am I?

The sandwich tern is a relatively large tern, which breeds in colonies on sand and shingle beaches, islands and spits. Sandwich terns feed on fish, such as sandeels, sprats and whiting, which they catch by diving into the water.

How to spot them

The sandwich tern is whitish-grey above and white below, with a large black cap (the forehead becomes white in winter) and a shaggy, black crest. It has short, black legs, and a black bill with a yellow tip. It has a short tail without ‘streamers’ (long feathers extending past the main tail).

Where to see them

Sandwich tern can be found on sandy beaches and islands around our coastline.

Conservation status

The sandwich tern is amber listed in the UK. (Opens in a new window)

Did you know?

Named after Sandwich Bay in Kent, the sandwich tern is one of three birds to be named after Kent – the others are the kentish plover and the dartford warbler.