French: Gygis blanche German: Feenseeschwalbe Spanish: Charrán blanco común
Other common names:
White Tern, Atoll Tern (when lumped with G. microrhyncha)
Subspecies and Distribution
G. a. alba
(Sparrman, 1786) – S Atlantic islands (Fernando de Noronha, Trindade, Ascension, St Helena).
G. a. candida
(J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – Seychelles and Mascarenes through Indian Ocean to SC & EC Pacific, including Norfolk I and Kermadec Is, Caroline Is, Hawaii, Marquesas Is, and W Mexico (Clipperton I), W Costa Rica (Cocos I) and probably W Colombia (Malpelo).
G. a. leucopes
Holyoak & Thibault, 1976 – Henderson I and Pitcairn I (SE Pacific).
25–30 cm; 87–157 g; wingspan 76–87 cm. Most ethereal of seabirds; entire plumage immaculate white, with black ring around eye and dusky flight-feather... read more
Vocal at nest-sites, giving guttural chattering notes, e.g. “heech, heech...”, “grrich-grrich-... read more
Coral islands, usually with vegetation. Nests in trees and bushes, and on rocky slopes and cliffs;... read more
Food and feeding
Mainly small fish, occasionally squid and crustaceans, and some marine insects (Halobates sea skaters). At Kiritimati (Christmas I... read more
Eggs laid all months with most (86%) in Dec–May (peak Mar) in Hawaii, also all year, but peaking Apr and Aug on Kiritimati, and May... read more
Resident year-round on some islands, seasonal visitor on others, e.g. in NW Hawaiian Is most adults... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). World population unknown, but exceeds 100,000 pairs, of which >10,000 pairs in SW Indian Ocean (probably many more), mostly on... read more
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