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, the Mediterranean coast of N Africa and islands in Persian Gulf; winters on coasts from Africa E to W India.
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 (mean 50 g, Ukraine); wingspan 47–55 cm. Typical small tern: small, with white forehead, black cap and lores, grey back and wings, white... 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 2000 m in Armenia. Continental populations are... read more
Food and feeding
Mainly small fish and crustaceans (3–6 cm), also insects, annelids and molluscs. Fish taken include sandeels (Ammodytes),... read more
Seasonal but extended in some regions. In W Africa, at Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania, clutches are laid mid Mar to mid Jul, peaking mid... read more
Most Paleartcic breeders are migratory and winter S of breeding range, chiefly in tropics. Those... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Global population not known with any precision as there are no census data for races pusilla and sinensis, but it... read more
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