French: Sterne diamant German: Schwarznacken-Seeschwalbe Spanish: Charrán de Sumatra
Subspecies and Distribution
S. s. mathewsi
Stresemann, 1914 – Seychelles (Aldabra, Farquhar, Alphonse#R, Amirante), Chagos Archipelago and Maldive Is, in W Indian Ocean.
S. s. sumatrana
Raffles, 1822 – Andaman and Nicobar Is E to S Japan and China, and S through Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and New Guinea to NE & E Australia and Pacific islands (Micronesia S to New Caledonia and E to Samoa), with breeding also suspected (at least formerly) in S Myanmar; birds from Japan and China winter to S.
30–35 cm; 97–120 g; wingspan 66 cm. Forehead and crown white; black band from eyes around nape, in side view appearing to sweep sharply down back of neck,... read more
Includes various short, high-pitched, repeated sharp notes; "chit", "chip", "chrrut", "tsip".
Frequents small rocky, coral and sandy offshore islands, reefs, sand spits and rocky cays. Feeds in... read more
Food and feeding
Feeds mainly on small fish, 4–8 cm long: Engraulidae, Exocoetidae, Atherinidae, Clupeidae, and secondarily other families (... read more
Lays May in India and Polynesia, Sept–Nov in Indian Ocean (though season probably more protracted on Chagos archipelago), Jul in... read more
Resident around some colonies and disperses to sea from others. Migration routes, if any, not... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population remains unknown. Thousands nest throughout SW Pacific, which appears to be the stronghold of the species, but most... read more
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