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Can You Pet a Lesser Tern

  • Pet Care

Lesser Terns – A Delightful Bird to Keep as a Pet

The lesser tern is a species of seabird found across the world. They usually inhabit tropical and sub-tropical areas near large bodies of water. These medium-sized birds are quite a delight to behold with their bright yellow beaks, black crowns, and white bodies. What’s more, they possess a fascinating behavior, allowing them to be kept as pets.

Do you have what it takes to keep a lesser tern as your pet? Well, if you have some free time and the right environment for it, then the answer is yes. Here, we will discuss all the aspects of keeping lesser terns as pets and how to successfully do it.

Lesser Tern as a pet

What is a Lesser Tern?

A lesser tern is a species of seabird that belongs to the family Sternidae. They are known for their distinctive black crown, yellow beak, white body, and black primaries. In adulthood, lesser terns measure between 15-18 inches in length and they weigh between 2.5-3.5 ounces.

Raised lesser terns typically stay within the nest, feeding off their parents while they develop their feathers. When they are ready to leave the nest, they take to the skies – gliding and soaring above the water, searching for fish to feed off. Because of their ideal size and shape, lesser terns are able to navigate through the air with ease and quickly maneuver around obstacles.

The Pros and Cons of Owning a Lesser Tern

Like with any pet, there are both pros and cons to owning a lesser tern. Let’s take a look at some of them.

The Pros:

– They are easy to care for – Their diet consists mainly of fresh water fish, which is easy to find and prepare.

– They are high-energy birds – They love to soar in the sky and explore their surroundings.

– They are social birds – They are very friendly and will happily interact with people and other birds.

The Cons:

– They require a large and spacious cage – A large aviary will suit them best.

– They may still fly away – Despite efforts to keep them in an enclosed space, they may still find ways to escape.

– They can be noisy – When excited or irritated, they can be quite loud.

How to Take Care of a Lesser Tern

Caring for a lesser tern isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Here are some of the things you’ll need to do for your pet tern.


The first and most important thing you’ll need to do is to create a suitable enclosure for your pet. A large aviary is necessary to house a lesser tern. It should be big enough to provide plenty of room for them to fly around and explore. The enclosure should also protect them from potential predators, and be enclosed with a strong fence.


Lesser terns are scavengers and feed mostly on small fish. You can either buy pre-made smaller tern food or prepare it yourself. You’ll need to provide them with a range of fresh fish daily, keeping in mind their sizes and dietary needs.


Proper exercise is important for your pet’s physical and mental health. Just like other birds, lesser terns need to stretch their wings and fly around. You should provide them with space and time for exercise in the form of short flights and foraging for food.


Lesser terns are very social birds so it’s important that you socialize them regularly. You can do this by spending time with them in their enclosure. Socialization can help prevent aggression and other unwanted behaviors.


As you can see, owning a pet lesser tern can be quite rewarding. Not only is it an interesting and unique experience, but it can provide you with a lifetime of entertainment and joy. Just make sure that you are prepared to commit to their care and provide them with the environment they need to thrive.

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