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Chlidonias leucopterus

Chlidonias leucopterus (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Ordo: Charadriiformes
Subordo: Lari

Familia: Laridae
Subfamilia: Sterninae
Genus: Chlidonias
Species: Chlidonias leucopterus

Chlidonias leucopterus (Temminck, 1815)

Manuel d'ornithologie ed.1 (1814): 483

Vernacular names
беларуская: Крачка белакрылая
български: Белокрила рибарка
brezhoneg: Stêrwennel eskell gwenn
čeština: Rybák bělokřídlý
dansk: Hvidvinget Terne
Deutsch: Weißflügelseeschwalbe
Ελληνικά : Αργυρογλάρονο
English: White-winged Tern
Esperanto: Blankflugila ŝterno
español: Fumarel Aliblanco
eesti: Valgetiib-viires
euskara: Itsas enara hegalzuri
suomi: Valkosiipitiira
føroyskt: Vonghvít svartterna
français: Guifette leucoptère
magyar: Fehérszárnyú szerkő
հայերեն: Ջրածիծեռ սպիտակաթև
italiano: Mignattino alibianche
日本語: ハジロクロハラアジサシ
한국어: 흰죽지제비갈매기
lietuvių: Baltasparnė žuvėdra
Bahasa Melayu: Burung Camar Bahu Putih
Nederlands: Witvleugelstern
norsk: Hvitvingesvartterne
polski: Rybitwa białoskrzydła
پنجابی: چٹ پری ٹرن
português: Gaivina-de-asa-branca
русский: Белокрылая болотная крачка
slovenčina: Rybár bielokrídly
svenska: Vitvingad tärna
Türkçe: Ak kanatlı sumru

The white-winged tern, or white-winged black tern (Chlidonias leucopterus or Chlidonias leucoptera), is a species of tern in the family Laridae. It is a small species generally found in or near bodies of fresh water across much of the world, including Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The genus name is from Ancient Greek khelidonios, "swallow-like", from khelidon, "swallow".

The name 'white-winged tern' is the standard in most English-speaking countries; in the United Kingdom, this name is also the one used by the formal ornithological recording authorities, but the older alternative 'white-winged black tern' is still frequent in popular use.


Adult birds in summer have short red legs and a short black bill (small and stubby, measuring 22–25 mm from the feathers, decidedly shorter than the head), a black neck (often with a pale gray back) and belly, very dark grey back, with a white rump and light grey (almost white) tail, which often looks 'square' in juveniles. The face is tinged yellowish. The wings, as the name implies, are mainly white. The inner wing is grayish with brown-tipped coverts. In non-breeding plumage, most of the black is replaced by white or pale grey, though a few blackish feathers may be retained, admixed with white underparts. A good deal of black shows in the underwing-coverts. The head is black, with a white forehead. The crown is blackish-brown, flecked with white, and the hindcrown is blackish with a certain amount of white flecking. These white markings are pronounced in the winter adult. There is a dark triangular patch forward of the eye. The collar is fairly broad and white. In juveniles and moulting adults, the rump is pale gray, becoming grey in both phases late in the year. The clear white collar and rump isolate the mantle as a dark brown 'saddle'. The mantle feathers have narrow paler brown tips, as have the tertials and scapulars.
Hybridisation with black tern

Hybridisation between this species and black tern has been recorded from Sweden[2] and the Netherlands.[3] Two juvenile birds at Chew Valley Lake, England, in September 1978 and September 1981, were also believed to be hybrids; they showed mixed characters of the two species, specifically a combination of a dark mantle (a feature of white-winged black) with dark patches on the breast-side (a feature of black tern, not shown by white-winged black).[4][5]
Distribution and habitat

Their breeding habitat is freshwater marshes across from southeast Europe to Central Asia and the Russian Far East. They usually nest either on floating vegetation in a marsh or on the ground very close to water, laying 2-4 eggs in a nest built of small reed stems and other vegetation. In winter, they migrate to Africa, southern Asia and Australia. It is a scarce vagrant in North America, mainly on the Atlantic coast, but a few records on the Pacific coast and inland in the Great Lakes area.[6]

Like the other "marsh" terns (Chlidonias), and unlike the "white" (Sterna) terns, these birds do not dive for fish, but fly slowly over the water to surface-pick items and catch insects in flight. They mainly eat insects and small fish. In flight, the wing-beats are shallow and leisurely.

The white-winged tern is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

At Kazinga Channel, Uganda

Egg in Museum Wiesbaden

In Poland


BirdLife International (2016). "Chlidonias leucopterus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22694782A86772583. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22694782A86772583.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
(in Swedish) Alexandersson, H. (1979) En hybridisering mellan vitvingad tärna Childonias leucopterus och svarttärna Childonias niger på Öland 1978 Calidris 8: 151-53
(in Dutch) Van IJzendoorn, E. J. (1980) Broedgeval van Zwarte Childonias niger × Witvleugelstern C. leucopterus Dutch Birding 2: 62-65
Vinicombe, Keith (1980) Tern showing mixed characters of Black Tern and White-winged Black Tern British Birds 73(5): 223-25
Davis, A. H. (1980) Tern showing mixed characters of Black and White-winged Black Tern British Birds 75(12): 579-80
Bergquist, Lee (23 May 2016). "White-winged tern — last seen in Wisconsin in 1873 — spotted in Manitowoc". The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 24 May 2016.

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