Definition of fairy tern in US English:

fairy tern


  • A small white tropical tern that lays its single egg on a narrow ledge or on the bare branch of a tree. When it flies against a bright sky, the wings appear somewhat translucent, allowing the bone structure to be seen.

    Gygis alba, family Sternidae

    • ‘Other birds on the island include boobies, fairy terns, frigate birds, and a good-sized population of friendly ground doves, a species classed as internationally vulnerable.’
    • ‘Fairy Terns use trees for breeding, although they do not build a nest.’