French: Sterne de Dougall German: Rosenseeschwalbe Spanish: Charrán rosado
Firth of Clyde, Scotland
Subspecies and Distribution
S. d. dougallii
Montagu, 1813 –
Nova Scotia to New York and Florida, S through Gulf of Honduras and West Indies to islands off N Venezuela. Has bred Mexico#R. Also Azores, NW Europe, and E & S Africa from S Somalia to Tanzania and in Western and Eastern Cape Provinces; American populations may winter mainly in mid-Atlantic, while E Atlantic ones winter on coasts of tropical W Africa.
S. d. gracilis
Gould, 1845 – Seychelles S to Madagascar and E to Rodrigues I; Arabian Sea, W & SE India, Sri Lanka, Andaman Is, Mergui Archipelago (off extreme S Myanmar) and Cocos (Keeling) Is; Ryukyu Is (Japan), coastal China and Taiwan S to Greater Sundas, Moluccas and Australia, and E to S New Guinea, Solomons, New Caledonia and possibly Fiji, E to Tuamotu Is.
33–43 cm; 90–125 g (mean 110 g, New York); wingspan 72–80 cm. Very pale typical tern with very long tail streamers; forehead to nape black; mantle and... read more
Vocal at nesting colony and in feeding flocks. Frequent contact calls include “pink” and “ki-rik”... read more
Exclusively marine. Breeds on sandy, rocky or coral islands, often with dense vegetation in... read more
Food and feeding
Diet much less varied than that of S. hirundo, with which it often nests: almost exclusively small fish, rarely insects and marine... read more
Apr in W Australia, India, Sri Lanka and Madagascar, May–Jun in NE USA and Europe, Jun in Somalia, Jul–Aug in Kenya and... read more
Palearctic birds winter W Africa, mainly between Guinea and Gabon; birds usually remain in tropics... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Global population in 2017 estimated at c. 200,000–220,000 individuals. Distribution is cosmopolitan but species breeds at... read more
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