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Common Name : Whiskered Tern     -       Scientific Name : Chlidonias hybrid       -       Other Name : Ravul Muhudulihiniya (S)
Aalam Villu

This is a very common migrant found throughout the lowland water bodies and marshlands during the migrant season. Three subspecies have been recognized. C.h. hybrida, the race that visits the island, breeds in warmer parts of Europe and Asia. The darker and smaller-billed C.h.delalandii breeds in east and South Africa. The paler C.h.javanicus is found from Java to Australia. The European birds and the Asian birds winter south to Africa and the Indian Subcontinent.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as Least Concerned (IUCN Red List).

This is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

During the migrant season this species is found on the cost as well as in all the inland low country water bodies and marshlands. The highest altitude at which I have seen it so far has been at Badlkumbura at 382 meters. It is found in the city of Colombo on the coast and at the Beira Lake.

This is a very common species at Wilpattu and a few individuals can be seen at all the water bodies during the season. During midday these birds can often be seen perched on the edge of water at locations such as Borupan Wila, Thimbiri Wila and Kokkare Villu.