Gull-billed Tern

Scientific Name: Gelochelidon nilotica
Malay Name: Camar Paruh Tebal
Chinese Name: 鸥嘴噪鸥

Found in southern Europe, temperate and eastern Asia, north America, eastern South America and Australia. Northern populations winter south to Africa,  Middle East, Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Caribbean and northern South America.

Polytypic. Subspecies are: nilotica, affinis, aranea, vanrossemi, gronvoldi

Local Subspecies: affinis

Size: 34.5-37.5 cm

Identification: Non-breeding adult resembles Whiskered Tern but much larger and thicker-billed, has white head with blackish ear-coverts, pale silvery-grey rump and shallow forked tail. Breeding adult has black forehead to nape.

Similar looking speciesWhiskered TernCommon TernBlack-naped Tern

Habitat: Open seas and mudflat.

Behaviour/Ecology: Has a broad diet and does not depend on fish like other tern species, feeding on insects, small crabs and other prey snatched from the ground, air, or even bushes.

Local Status: Rare passage migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)

Location: Straits of Singapore, Changi, Pulau Ubin and Mandai Mudflat.


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