Caspian Tern

Scientific Name: Hydroprogne caspia
Malay Name: Camar Raya
Chinese Name: 红嘴巨鸥

Found from northern Africa to Europe, temperate Asia, Australasia and North America with northern populations wintering along the coasts of Africa, southern Europe, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, southern China, Southeast Asia, West Indies and northern South America.


Size: 48-55 cm

The largest of the tern species. Non-breeding adult has diagnostic thick red bill, mostly black crown, nape and mask with whiter, dark-mottled forecrown and black subterminal marking on bill-tip. Breeding adult has all black forehead to nape and mask. First winter bird resembles non-breeding adult but has darker secondaries, primary upperwing-coverts and tail.

Habitat: Coastal pools, mudflats and sandflats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Forages by hovering over shallow waters and plunge-dives when a fish is spotted.

Local Status: Very rare passage migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Last sighting was at Mandai Mudflat in January 2011.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

BirdLife International. (2019). Hydroprogne caspia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.