French: Sterne naine German: Zwergseeschwalbe Spanish: Charrancito común
Subspecies and Distribution
S. a. albifrons
(Pallas, 1764) –
Europe through W Asia E to (at least) Afghanistan#R, also Atlantic coastal Morocco and the Mediterranean coast of N Africa; winters on coasts from Africa E to W India.
S. a. innominata
(Zarudny & Loudon, 1902) – islands in Persian Gulf.
S. a. guineae
(Bannerman, 1931) – Ghana to Gabon and along R Niger and major tributaries, with marginal population in Mauritania and Senegal.
S. a. pusilla
(Temminck, 1839) – N India and Myanmar, and islands off Sumatra and Java.
S. a. sinensis
(J. F. Gmelin, 1789) –
Sri Lanka; SE Russia, China, Japan, SE Asia and Philippines to N Australia; recent colonist from Micronesia (Saipan)#R E to Hawaii most likely this race#R,#R, and also some birds in New Britain and Solomons (Bougainville and perhaps Santa Isabel); N populations winter mostly in Malaysia.
S. a. placens
Gould, 1871 – E Australia and E Tasmania; some dispersal N to N Australia, possibly also to as far as Indonesia and SW Pacific.
22–28 cm; 47–63 g (average 50 g, Ukraine); wingspan 47–55 cm. Archetypical small tern: small, with white forehead, black cap and lores, grey back and wings... read more
Commonly gives a distinctive, rasping "kriet". Alarm or display call is a rapid chattering "kerre-... read more
Inhabits subtropical to temperate regions, reaching an altitude of 2000 m in Armenia. Continental... read more
Food and feeding
Mainly small fish and crustaceans (3–6 cm), also insects, annelids and molluscs. Fish taken includes sandeels (Ammodytes... read more
Seasonal but extended in some regions. In W Africa, at the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, clutches are laid from mid March to mid July,... read more
Most Paleartcic breeders are migratory and winter south of the breeding range, chiefly in the... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). The global population is not known with any precision since there is no census data for races pusilla and sinensis... read more
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