- Onychoprion fuscatus
36–45 cm (14¼-17¾ in)
- Dark grey upperparts
- White underparts
- Long, forked tail
- Long wings
- Black legs and bill
Juveniles have scaly grey plumage
Bridled Tern differs in having upper back contrastingly paler than rear head. Notice that Sooty Tern becomes more Bridled Tern-like in winter.
Tropical (and sometimes subtropical) oceans all around the globe.
Eight subspecies are recognized:
- O. f. fuscatus:
- O. f. nubilosus:
- Southern Red Sea and Indian Ocean to Ryukyu Island and Philippines
- O. f. infuscatus:
- Central Indonesia
- O. f. serratus:
- O. f. kermadeci:
- Kermadec Islands
- O. f. oahuensis:
- Bonin Islands to Hawaii and South Pacific islands
- O. f. crissalis:
- O. f. luctuosus:
- Juan Fernández Islands (off Chile)
Open sea, but they breed in colonies on rocky or coral islands. They are rarely seen on land, apart from when breeding.
The nest is a ground scrape or hole. The clutch consists of 1-3 eggs.
It feeds by picking fish from the sea surface. Their diet consists mainly of fish, squid and crustaceans, with insects and offal taken on occasion.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2017)
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Sooty Tern. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 27 January 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Sooty_Tern