A sleek seabird with a stiletto-like orange bill, the elegant tern (Thalasseus elegans) breeds on the Pacific coasts of the southern United States and Mexico and winters south to Peru, Ecuador and Chile. A tern in the family Laridae, its genus name is derived from Thalassa – Greek for sea – while the Latin word elegans translates to elegant. In summer, the Elegant Tern has a black cap with a long crest that extends from the top of the bill to the back of the head. In winter, the plumage on the head changes. The forehead is white, the crown grey, and the black nape extends forward to the eyes. It is similar to the Royal Tern, but is smaller and more slender.