Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles.
Closely related to S. albifrons, S. saundersi, S. superciliaris and S. lorata. Long considered a race of S. albifrons, but separated mainly on basis of voice; thus, differs in main call being longer and more disyllabic (3); distinctive low-intensity alarm call “zwreep”, “not at all like that of the Little Tern” (verbalized as “wiik”)#R (2); shorter bill and wing (from published data#R effect size for wing −1.076, score 1); rump and tail greyer (1); moreover, each form possesses a call that the other lacks (unscored). Currently accepted polytypic arrangement disputed by findings of morphometric and biochemical analyses. Form athalassos may be genetically undefinable#R; sometimes included in browni. Proposed forms for birds of Pacific coast of Mexico, mexicana (N & C coast) and staebleri (SW Mexico), supported by some authors#R, but both generally considered inseparable from browni#R#R. Three subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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