Scientific Name: Gelochelidon nilotica
Malay Name: Camar Paruh Tebal Biasa
Chinese Name: 鸥嘴噪鸥
Range: 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.
Taxonomy: 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.
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 visitor
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)
- Pelagic Bird Survey at the Singapore Strait – 5 May 2018 (Trip Reports)
- Checklist Revision for June 2023 (Revisions)
Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):
Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2012 to Jun 2022 (all records)
BirdLife International. (2019). Gelochelidon nilotica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T62026481A153842241.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.). Gull-billed Tern. Retrieved on November 26, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/gull-billed-tern.