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Black-naped Tern - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by SeeToh
Squance Rock, Singapore, May 2016
Sterna sumatrana



  • White face and breast
  • Greyish-white back and wings
  • Black nape band
  • Black spot in front of eye
  • Black bill with yellow tip
  • Black legs and feet
  • Brown iris
  • Long forked tail
Photo © by M Kwan
Eastern Waters, Hong Kong, August 2008

Young birds: mottled brown crown, blackish mottling on nape.
Juvenile: nape and sides of head greyish brown, brownish upperparts with buff and grey scallops, whitish rump, rounded tail, yellow bill and feet.


Pacific and Indian Oceans. Breeds on Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles, Fiji and Samoa.



There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • S. s. sumatrana:
  • S. s. mathewsi:


Sea coasts, mudflats and harbours. It is rarely found inland.



The nest is a ground scrape in the sand or gravel on rocky islets. The clutch consists of 1 or 2 eggs.


Voice: sharp tsii-chee-chi-chip
Alarm call: chit-chit-chitrer


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Forestry.sarawak.gov
  3. Andaman Birdwatching

Recommended Citation

External Links

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