Scientific Name: Thalasseus bergii
Malay Name: Camar Berjambul Besar
Chinese Name: 大凤头燕鸥
Alternative Name(s): Swift Tern, Great Crested Tern, Yellow-billed Tern
Range: Found along the coasts of Africa to Arabian Peninsula, Indian Ocean, southern China, southern Japan, Southeast Asia and Australasia.
Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: bergii, thalassinus, velox, cristatus.
Size: 45-49 cm
Identification: Non-breeding adult has distinctive long, thick cold yellow bill, darkish grey upperparts, white face and forecrown, blackish hindcrown with whitish streaks and blackish nape. Breeding adult has bright yellow bill, black crown to nape with shaggy crest and white extreme forehead. Juvenile resembles non-breeding adult but has duller bill and brownish feathers with whitish fringes on mantle and back.
Similar looking species: Lesser Crested Tern
Habitat: Open seas, sea-coasts, mudflats and sandflats.
Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds mostly at sea by plunge diving or by dipping from the surface. Food is usually swallowed in mid-air.
Local Status: Common migrant
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2018)
Location: Straits of Johor, Straits of Singapore, Changi and Pulau Ubin.
- Pelagic Bird Trip at the Singapore Strait – 20 September 2020 (Trip Reports)
- Pelagic Bird Survey at the Singapore Strait – 5 May 2018 (Trip Reports)
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Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
BirdLife International. (2018). Thalasseus bergii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22694571A132561035.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
Bird Society of Singapore. (n.d.). Greater Crested Tern. Retrieved on November 21, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/greater-crested-tern.