Also known as: Carrot-billed
48-58 cm (19-23") Fairly common. Inland along rivers and lakes as well as seacoasts. Our largest tern, crow-sized. Flies and acts much like a gull. White head with a crested, black cap; stout, bright red bill; white underparts; gray mantle; broad wings show dark on underside at tips. Similar Royal Tern does not range inland and has a white forehead in winter.
Winter adult similar, but cap is streaked with gray including forehead.
Song: loud hoarse "kraa".