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A collective name sometimes applied to the group of terns typified by the Arctic, Common, Antarctic, White-fronted, Roseate. Origin is probably from amalgamation of "common" and "arctic".[1] Or, more specifically; a Common Tern, Sterna hirundo or an Arctic Tern, S. paradisaea, the name being used on those occasions when the observer is uncertain which of these two closely similar species he has seen.[2] White-fronted is the largest of the commic terns.[1]

Arctic Tern.pngCommon Tern.pngAntarctic Tern.png
White-fronted Tern.pngRoseate Tern.png
Top row: Arctic, Common, Antarctic,
Bottom row: White-fronted, and Roseate Terns.


  1. ^ a b Simpson & Day (1999). A Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, 6th Edition. Penguin. ISBN 0-691-04995-5. 
  2. ^ Weaver, Peter (1994). "Topic: Commic Tern". BirdCare. A & T D Poyser Ltd. Retrieved 2017-18-04.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
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