Family Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)

Least Concern

Black Noddy (Anous minutus)


French: Noddi noir German: Weißkopfnoddi Spanish: Tiñosa menuda
Other common names: White-capped Noddy

Anous minutus


, 1844,

Raine Island, north-east Australia


Closely related to A. tenuirostris, with which formerly considered conspecific. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. m. worcesteri (McGregor, 1911) – Cavilli I and Tubbataha Reef (Sulu Sea), also Java Sea, and (perhaps this race) Ashmore Reef (off NW Australia); disperses to E Indian Ocean.
  • A. m. minutus Boie, 1844 – coasts of NE Australia and E New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Is and locally through Melanesia (excluding Vanuatu) and Polynesia to Tuamotu Is.
  • A. m. marcusi (Bryan, 1903) – Marcus I (Minami Tori-shima) and Wake I S through Micronesia to Caroline Is.
  • A. m. melanogenys G. R. Gray, 1846 – Hawaiian Is.
  • A. m. diamesus (Heller & Snodgrass, 1901) – EC Pacific at Clipperton I, Cocos I and Malpelo I.
  • A. m. americanus (Mathews, 1912) – Caribbean islands.
  • A. m. atlanticus (Mathews, 1912) – Atlantic islands: St Paul, Fernando de Noronha and Martim Vaz (off E Brazil), Ascension and St Helena (formerly also Inaccessible) N & E to islands in Gulf of Guinea (W Africa).
  • Descriptive notes

    35–39 cm; 98–144 g; wingspan 66–72 cm. Very dark noddy with pale crown; iris brown, bill black, legs brown. Smaller and slimmer than A. stolidus,... read more


    Distinctive, “tik-tikoree” and a staccato rattle. Nominate race in New Zealand gives rapid harsh... read more


    Oceanic and offshore islands. Breeds on sea cliffs, e.g. at Ascension and Hawaii; also on trees and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Almost exclusively fish, particularly small Atherinidae; lesser quantities of squid, and small amounts of crustaceans. At Ascension... read more


    Mostly follows an annual cycle: Mar–May in Hawaii, May in Venezuela, Jun–Jul at Ascension, Oct–Nov in Australia; but in... read more


    Poorly known. A permanent resident around some islands (e.g. Hawaii, Ascension). Partial dispersal... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Global population ot known precisely but is clearly well in excess of 500,000 pairs; the nominate race alone is estimated at 1,000,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Gochfeld, M., Burger, J., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Black Noddy (Anous minutus). 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 on 21 February 2020).