The Indian river tern or just river tern (Sterna aurantia) is a bird in the tern family . It is a resident breeder along inland rivers from Iran east into the Indian Subcontinent and further to Myanmar to Thailand, where it is uncommon. Unlike most Sterna terns, it is almost exclusively found on freshwater, rarely venturing even to tidal creeks.

This species breeds from March to May in colonies in less accessible areas such as sandbanks in rivers. It nests in a ground scrape, often on bare rock or sand, and lays three greenish-grey to buff eggs, which are blotched and streaked with brown.

This is a medium-sized tern, 38–43 cm long with dark grey upperparts, white underparts, a forked tail with long flexible streamers, and long pointed wings. The bill is yellow and the legs red. It has a black cap in breeding plumage. In the winter the cap is greyish white, flecked and streaked with black, there is a dark mask through the eye, and the tip of the bill becomes dusky.

The sexes are similar but juveniles have a brown head, brown-marked grey upperparts, grey breast sides and white underparts. The bill is yellowish with a dark tip

As with other Sterna terns, the river tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, crustaceans, tadpoles and aquatic insects in rivers, lakes, and tanks. Its numbers are decreasing due to the pollution of their habitat.
River Tern
Date Location Count
2018-12-08 08:00Nyari-1 Dam
2018-12-02 08:00Randarda Lake5
2018-12-10 14:15Thol Bird Sanctuary5
2018-12-06 08:40Pahada lake1
2018-12-08 07:45Madhuvan, vasai east5
2018-12-09 08:32Bhandup Pumping Station, Mumbai5
2018-12-09 07:00Panje, Uran1
2018-12-09 07:30Menar Lake1
2018-12-08 08:58Harike Bird Sanctuary1
2018-12-08 10:30Tamhini, Pune3
2018-11-30 08:00Kasarsai Dam, Pune5
2018-12-01 10:10Pashan Lake, Pune3
2018-12-01 11:50Khadakwasla Dam2
2018-12-09 08:20Riverside road, Anandnagar, Pune2
2018-12-01 09:00Pong Dam--Nagrota Surian30
2018-12-02 09:30Veer Dam, Pune20
2018-11-29 07:30Nakane Lake, Dhule2
2018-12-09 16:12Carambolim- Dhado Wetland Complex- IBA1
2018-12-05 09:31Bhigwan -- Kumbhargaon Bird Sanctuary3
2018-12-04 11:18Dhaur Village, Jhajjar HR/IN1
2018-12-09 11:54Dighal2
2018-12-02 07:00Soorwal Lake
2018-12-01 09:55Mundakhera Flat -- Jhajjar7
2018-12-08 07:00Yamuna Biodiversity Park phase 2 IN-DL1
2018-12-12 09:22Bund Baretha Wildlife Sanctuary2
2018-11-30 06:55Bhutnal Lake, Bijapur4
2018-12-02 06:40Aheri1
2018-12-09 10:00Ganga Barrage Bijnor1
2018-12-04 10:40Magadi Bird Sanctuary4
2018-12-10 15:45Kava Lake, Latur8
2018-12-02 08:20Chhatri Lake, Amravati2
2018-11-29 07:21Madai--Around mudflat (seasonal)1
2018-12-09 09:20Savanga Lake, Amravati1
2018-11-29 16:00Kekatpur Lake
2018-12-02 08:30Kuruva Island2
2018-11-30 05:30Manslapur Lake, Raichur 5
2018-12-02 07:30Kenchanakere, Hunsur6
2018-12-06 13:04Krishnaraja Sagar -confluence of River Kaveri, Hemavathi & Laxmanathirtha, Mandya & Mysore Dts2
2018-12-04 13:12Kole Wetlands--Uppungal2
2018-12-11 14:43Brindavan Garden, KRS, Mandya Dt3
2018-12-01 06:00Sarpanpally Lake3
2018-12-07 07:09Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary3
2018-12-09 07:20Anna Sagar Lake6
2018-12-02 07:00Manjeera Wildlife Sanctuary5
2018-12-08 16:00Kole Wetlands--Manakodi2
2018-12-09 15:00Kole Wetlands--Palakkal3
2018-12-09 08:45Kole Wetlands--Thommana7
2018-12-08 08:45Kadamakkudy4
2018-12-02 10:00ICRISAT Campus4
2018-12-09 09:59Ameenpur Lake, Hyderabad8
2018-12-09 06:47Osman Sagar Lake
2018-12-09 06:15Ameenpur Lake3
2018-12-02 16:15Fox Sagar Lake10
2018-12-09 07:00Khapri lake5
2018-12-12 10:10Hessaraghatta Lake2
2018-12-03 07:30Cauvery WLS--Bheemeshwari Fishing & Nature Camp2
2018-12-09 14:10Harohalli Lake, Bangalore2
2018-12-09 06:30OB Chudanahalli kere5
2018-12-08 07:00Gulakamale Lake2
2018-12-10 07:15Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve1
2018-12-02 08:30Saul Kere6
2018-12-08 06:30Hennagara Lake9
2018-12-09 07:22Muthanallur Lake, Bangalore2
2018-12-06 15:28Gomti Riverfront Park2
2018-12-09 06:25Vellayani - Punchakkari Paddy fields3
2018-12-08 05:30Pakala Lake3
2018-12-02 15:00Kotpad2
2018-12-09 08:30Mundali6
2018-12-09 10:24Naraj5
2018-11-30 13:25Kaziranga NP--Western Range1