Black-naped Tern

Scientific Name: Sterna sumatrana

Malay Name: Camar Tengkuk Hitam

Chinese Name: 黑枕燕鸥

Range: Found from the coasts of Indian subcontinent to southern China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Australia and western Pacific

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: mathewsi, sumatrana.

Local Subspecies: sumatrana

Size: 30-35 cm

Identification: Adult has white head, neck, breast and underparts with narrow black band from eyes to hindnape, dark pinkish legs and feet which appeared blackish from far, all black bill and whitish-grey mantle and upperwings. Juvenile resembles adult but has blackish subterminal markings on mantle feathers, scapulars and tertials .

Similar looking species: Gull-billed Tern

Habitat: Sea-coasts and open seas.

Behaviour/Ecology: Nest is a scrape on ground or eggs laid on bare rock.

Local Status: Uncommon resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2018)

Location: Changi, Pasir Ris Park, Pulau Ubin, Straits of Johor and Straits of Singapore.


BirdLife International. (2018). Sterna sumatrana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

To top
%d bloggers like this: