West African Crested Tern
The West African crested tern (Thalasseus albididorsalis) is a bird species in the family Laridae. Until 2020 it was considered a subspecies of the New World royal tern, Thalasseus maximus.
The West African crested tern is among the largest of the crested terns. Its tail is forked and the adult's bill is long and orange. In breeding plumage its underside is white and upper parts pale gray; the top of the head is black with a shaggy crest at the rear. The primary feathers are tipped with black. The adult's legs are black. The non-breeding adult plumage is similar except that the black on the head is confined to the crest. Juveniles have variable plumage. The underside is white and the upper parts streaked and blotched. The bill is smaller and pale yellow; the legs are seldom black but can be green, yellow, or pink.