Sterna albigena

Sterna albigena, Licht.

987bis. :- Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 324; Butler, Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 440.


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.

Handbook to the Birds of the Bombay Presidency
Barnes, Henry Edwin. Handbook to the birds of the Bombay Presidency, 1885.
Title in Book: 
Sterna albigena
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Barnes, H. Edwin
Page No: 
Common name: 
White Cheeked Tern
White-cheeked Tern
Sterna repressa
Term name: 

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