Sterna albigena, Licht.
987bis. :- Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 324; Butler, Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 440.
THE WHITE-CHEEKED TERN.
Length, 12.5 to 14.5 ; expanse, 29.5 ; wing, 9.8 ; tail, 4 to 6.5 ; tarsus, 0.75 ; bill from gape, 2.15.
Bill blackish, tipped whitish-horny; irides brown ; legs and feet Indian-red, tinged dusky.
The lores and point of the forehead white, the latter with a few black speckles ; a patch in front of the eye black, speckled with white ; the anterior half of the crown white, tinged earthy or brownish-grey, and with spots and blotches of brownish-black; feathers immediately above the eye, all the feathers behind it, the sides of the head, occiput and nape, black ; the posterior half of the crown blackish-brown, a little mingled with greyish-white ; an imperfect white band from the lores beneath the eyes, with another imperfect black one below it; the back of the neck is whitish, the feathers suffused with grey towards the tips; the whole of the back, scapulars, wings and tail, a moderately dark French-grey, darker than in S. bengalensis, but not so dark as in some specimens of bergii; the upper tail-coverts slightly paler; the wings more silvery, but the outer web of the first primary and of the exterior elongated tail-feathers much darker ; the inner webs of the primaries darker ; the first primary with a considerable portion of the inner web white to the margin ; the other primaries also with white on their inner web, but with a grey band on their margin ; the second and third tail feathers also a rather darker grey on their outer webs towards the points; the rest of tail feathers, inner and outer webs, pretty well concolorous with the rump and upper tail-coverts; the chin, throat, and sides of neck, almost pure white, with only a few faint dusky grey patches ; the breast and abdomen a dusky bluish-grey, with many large patches of white ; the lower tail-coverts greyish-white ; the wing-lining white.
In breeding plumage, according to Heuglin, the upper surface is a full bluish-grey ; the front and sides of the neck, breast and' abdomen, a somewhat paler and more purplish-grey ; the entire upper surface of the head and nape intensely black ; the chin and upper part of the throat, the lores, and an oblique band below the eyes, conspicuously snowy-white ; the beak coral-red, blackish towards the base of the culmen and tip ; the feet bright coral-red.
The White-cheeked Tern occurs along the Sind and Mekran coasts, and is not uncommon in the Kurrachee Harbour.