The Sandwich tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) was originally named in 1787 by ornithologist John Latham who lived in Sandwich, Kent, England. The current genus name is derived from the Greek Thalassa, "sea", and sandvicensis refers to Sandwich, Kent, Latham's locality. It is a very white tern, with a black cap on its head, a long black bill with a yellow tip and short black legs. It has a shaggy black crest which becomes less extensive in winter with a white crown. The current genus name is derived from Greek Thalassa, "sea", and sandvicensis which refers to Sandwich. It is found in many parts of the world, breeding in select locations in Europe, southwestern Asia, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean.