White-winged Black Tern

Chlidonias leucopterus (Temminck, 1815) WJ WWBTE 6280
Family: Charadriiformes > Laridae

White-winged Black Tern, Tom Cadwallender

Distinctive in breeding plumage, this marsh tern is harder to pick out in its plainer non-breeding plumage. White-winged Black Tern is a scarce visitor to Britain & Ireland, with a handful of records every year, mostly between May and September.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the White-winged Black Tern

4.1k records observations recorded by BTO surveyors
4.1k records



White-winged Black Tern identification is sometimes difficult.

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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.


We have no population estimates for this scarce species.


This species is a rare vagrant and was recorded during Bird Atlas 2007–11 as shown on the map.

White-winged Black Tern breeding distribution 2008-11
Britain and Ireland Breeding Distribution 2008-2011.
More from the Atlas Mapstore.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2


White-winged Black Tern is a rare late-spring/summer overshoot migrant and autumn vagrant.

Weekly occurence of White-winged Black Tern from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.


Lifecycle and body size information about White-winged Black Tern, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.


Sample sizes are too small to report Productivity and Nesting statistics for this species.


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Gaelic: Steàrnag-bhreac
Welsh: Corswennol Adeinwen
Catalan: fumarell alablanc
Czech: rybák belokrídlý
Danish: Hvidvinget Terne
Dutch: Witvleugelstern
Estonian: valgetiib-viires
Finnish: valkosiipitiira
French: Guifette leucoptère
German: Weißflügel-Seeschwalbe
Hungarian: fehérszárnyú szerko
Icelandic: Tígulþerna
Irish: Geabhróg Bháneiteach
Italian: Mignattino alibianche
Latvian: baltsparnu zirinš
Lithuanian: baltasparne žuvedra
Norwegian: Hvitvingesvartterne
Polish: rybitwa bialoskrzydla
Portuguese: trinta-réis-negro-de-asa-branca / gaivina-d'asa-branca
Slovak: corík bielokrídly
Slovenian: beloperuta cigra
Spanish: Fumarel aliblanco
Swedish: vitvingad tärna

Links to more information from ConservationEvidence.com

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