The Gull-billed Tern is common in grassy fields and marshes on Mustang Island.

About the Gull-billed Tern

This is a fairly large and powerful tern, similar in size and general appearance to a Sandwich Tern, but the short thick gull-like bill, broad wings, long legs and robust body are distinctive. The summer adult has grey upperparts, white underparts, a black cap, strong black bill and black legs. In winter, the cap is lost, and there is a dark patch through the eye like a Forster’s Tern.

In addition to the usual tern diet of fish and crustaceans, the Gull-billed tern catches insects in flight or on the ground.

Gull-billed Tern in flight over water