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Black-bellied Tern - BirdForum Opus

Photo by vaibhav mishra
Chambal River, Dholpur, Rajasthan, India, February 2011
Sterna acuticauda


Photo by max1
Chambol River , C. India, February 2018

32–35 cm (12½-13¾ in)

  • Orange bill,
  • Black cap and nape
  • Dark grey breast
  • Blackish belly and vent


  • Whitish belly, no tail streamers
  • Dark tip to bill


Asia: found in Pakistan, Nepal and India to south-western China, Myanmar and South East Asia.


This is a monotypic species[1].

Subspecies melanogaster is generally considered to be invalid[2].


Near large rivers; breeds on sandspits, islands and marshes, up to 730 m.



Their diet consists of small fish and insects. They hawk for insects over both land and water and plunge-dive for fish.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. BirdLife International
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2015)

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