The Whiskered Tern show similarities in appearance to both the Common Tern and and to the Black Tern.
They are distinctive in breeding plumage, with a black cap, extensive white cheeks, a grey breast and sides with a darker grey patch on the belly, and with white under the tail up to the legs.
In winter, the forehead becomes white, the bill black with a reddish tinge at the base and the body plumage a much paler grey.
The crown is flecked with white in the juvenile and in the wintering adult.
Hortobágy-Halastó, Hortobágy National Park, Hungary, 2 May 2019