Greater Crested Tern

Scientific Name: Thalasseus bergii
Alternative Name: Swift Tern, Great Crested Tern, Yellow-billed Tern
Malay Name: Camar-Berjambul Besar
Chinese Name: 大凤头燕鸥

Found along the coasts of Africa to Arabian Peninsula, Indian Ocean, southern China, southern Japan, Southeast Asia and Australasia.

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: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)

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


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

Craig Robson (2011) A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia