Black Noddy

Anous minutus




Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White to pale red with a buff tint

Number of Eggs:


Incubation Days:

34 - 39

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

in cacti and bay cedar bushes about 12 feet above the ground

Nest Material:

No nesting material if crevice is used.; otherwise, dead tree branches and seaweed; lined with shells, rock, and bits of coral.





Black Noddy: Medium-sized tern, very dark brown-black with white cap, white (lower) half-eye ring, and long slender bill. The wedge shaped tail has small notch at tip. Black legs and feet. Strong, swift and fluttering flight. Typically flies close to the surface of the ocean. AKA White-capped Noddy.

Range and Habitat

Black Noddy: Worldwide distribution across tropical and subtropical waters; occurs in the western and central Pacific Ocean, with scattered populations in the Caribbean, central and eastern Atlantic and northeast Indian Ocean. Inhabits oceanic and coastal islands, ranging from low, sandy atolls to high, rocky islands. A few immature individuals seen in Dry Tortugas among Brown Noddies.

Breeding and Nesting

Black Noddy: Monogamous. Colonial. No nesting material if crevice is used, otherwise dead tree branches and seaweed; lined with shells, rock, and bits of coral. Built by both sexes. One white to pale red egg, tinted with buff. Incubation lasts 34 to 39 days by both sexes. Young remains in nest 39 to 52 days, and is fed by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Black Noddy: Feeds far out at sea. Often feeds in flocks. Eats small fish and squid picked from the surface; also swims in shallow water and dives beneath surface to catch food.


Black Noddy: "Crick crick crick" or sustained "kehrrrr." Call of first year birds is a high, thin "suwee."

Similar Species

Black Noddy: Brown Noddy lighter and larger, and has a shorter, thicker bill. All similar terns have white or gray on their bodies, not limited to the head.

The area on top of the head of the bird.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X