Sterna maxima Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
Royal terns are large, second only to the Caspian tern. Royal terns have a long yellow bill, pale gray upper parts, black legs and a black cap and crest, which become patchy in winter. They are colonial breeders, nesting in dense colonies on beaches and islands in Tampa Bay and the Banana River. Newly hatched young band together into a crèche.
Royal terns feed by plunge diving for fish.
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