White-Cheeked Tern has been recorded in western India. It is the darkest of the terns in the genus Sterna. The bill of the bird is dark red at the base, with black color towards the pale tip. The breeding tern can be identified as a bird with black colored crown and dirty grey back, wings, rump, tail and underparts. The cheeks of the bird are usually white. When the bird is not breeding, it assumes white underparts and head. There are black or dark brown areas around each eye and across the nape. The legs and feet are red to dark brownish-red.
River Tern is a resident breeder of the Indian Subcontinent. This tern has dark grey upperparts and white underparts. The bird has yellow colored bill. The bird has long pointed wings. Its tail is forked and has long flexible streamers. The legs of the bird are red in appearance. The breeding tern can be identified as a bird with a black cap, which in winter turns grayish white. The tip of the bill becomes dusky and there is a dark mask running through the eye of the bird.
White-Winged Tern is a widespread winter visitor of India. During breeding, the bird assumes velvety black head, neck, breast and belly. It has almost white tail and rump. The upper wings are pale grey, with a broad and white leading edge. The bill of the bird is red in color and so are the short legs. During the non-breeding phase, the bird assumes white colored head, neck and rump. The bird has a black-and-white streaked cap. The upperparts and tail are mostly grey in color. The legs and feet of the bird remain dark red.
Black-Bellied Tern is a widespread resident of India. This bird has been labeled ‘endangered’. The breeding bird has yellow or orange colored bill and reddish brown iris. It has black colored crown and nape. It has white colored throat. The breast is pale grey in color and the belly is black in appearance. The wings are long, slender and pointed. The tail is deeply forked with sharply pointed tips. The non breeding bird is identified in terms of a bill, which has dark tip and whitish belly.
Other Indian Terns
Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Whiskered Tern and Black Tern are some of the other Indian Terns.