Family Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Critically Endangered

Chinese Crested Tern (Thalasseus bernsteini)


Taxonomy

French: Sterne d’Orient German: Bernsteinseeschwalbe Spanish: Charrán chino
Taxonomy:

Sterna bernsteini

Schlegel

, 1864,

China

.

Has been considered closely related to T. bengalensis; may be close to T. elegans and T. sandvicensis. May have hybridized with T. bergii. Formerly known as T. zimmermanni. Monotypic.

Distribution:

Poorly known. Only recent breeding records at three sites on E China coast, in Jiushan Is and Zhoushan Wuzhishan Is (Zhejiang) and Matsu Is (off Fujian)#R#R; formerly bred off Shandong, but probably extirpated#R. Non-breeding records in SE China, Thailand, Sarawak, Philippines and N & C Moluccas (Halmahera, Seram).

Descriptive notes

42 cm; 240–320 g. Similar to T. bengalensis, but bill stouter, with more pronounced gonydeal angle, orange-yellow with broad black tip; back paler grey.

Voice

Poorly documented. Calls include a high-pitched rolling “keerrick” and lower-pitched grating calls. read more

Habitat

Exclusively coastal and pelagic.

Food and feeding

During breeding season adults forage within c. 5 km of the breeding islets and feed chicks mainly with small and/or young shoaling fishes.... read more

Breeding

On Jiushan and Wuzhishan archipelagos, Zhejiang province, NE China, six nests confirmed during 2004–2009; breeding season, late May... read more

Movements

Appears to migrate to tropics, where recorded from E China (Fujian, Guangdong), Philippines, NW... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Poorly known and total population is apparently fewer than 100 individuals. For more than a century known only from a few specimens collected up to... read more

Recommended citation

Gochfeld, M., Burger, J., de Juana, E., Sharpe, C.J., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2017). Chinese Crested Tern (Thalasseus bernsteini). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/54017 on 26 April 2017).