This and the black tern are our only two nesting terns, and unfortunately, both have become quite rare as breeders. Common terns are currently listed as endangered by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Recent efforts by the Division to bolster nesting colonies by creating floating nest platforms have been successful in reestablishing breeders along Lake Erie. In migration, common and Forster’s terns often mix in large flocks; then the differences in vocalizations can be heard, as the former is noticeably higher in pitch.
For more info on waterbirds in Ohio, download this field guide – https://ohiodnr.gov/…/pub418%20Waterbirds%20of%20Ohio…. #WildOhio Ohio Department of Education