Greater Crested Tern

Thalasseus bergii

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4

Non-AOU

Code 6

THABER

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Greater Crested Tern has a very large range of more than 42 million square kilometers. It occurs in coastal waters and on islands in southern and eastern Africa, the Arabian peninsula, the Indian Ocean, eastern China, southeastern Asia, Indonesia, Australasia, and the south Pacific. The population of this common waterbird is estimated to be anywhere from 150,000 to 1,100,000 individuals. This species has been given a conservation rating of Least Concern on account of its large, stable population.

SUMMARY

Overview

Greater Crested Tern: Large, mostly white, crested tern with gray wings and back, black cap and nape, white front. Long wings with black tips on primaries. Long, sharp, straight yellow bill. Medium length, forked tail. Sexes similar. Non-breeding adult has black and white speckled crown. Juvenile has black and white mottling on upperparts.

 

Range and Habitat

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Greater Crested Tern SONGS AND CALLS

Greater Crested Tern E1

Low-pitched "wep" flight calls given by an adult, higher pitched calls from immature bird.

Greater Crested Tern EE1

Begging calls of a juvenile bird.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"kerrak", "wep"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Greater Crested Tern may also be referred to as Crested Tern or Swift Tern.
  • These birds have red oil droplets in the cone cells of their eyes. These droplets sharpen their distance vision and increase contrast.
  • This species has proven adaptable to humans. They have learned to follow fishing boats in order to collect jettisoned bycatch.
  • A group of terns is collectively known as a "ternery" or a "U" of terns.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP PALAU

About this Palau Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Palau islands.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
PrimariesX
The primaries are the flight feathers specialized for flight. They are attached to the "hand" equivalent part of the wing.
Lower mandibleX
The lower part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X