Lesser Crested Tern

Scientific Name: Thalasseus bengalensis
Malay Name: Camar Berjambul Kecil
Chinese Name: 小凤头燕鸥

Found along the coasts of Africa to Arabian Peninsula, southern Pakistan to northern Australia. Non-breeding coastal visitor (mostly winter) to Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.

Polytypic. Subspecies are: emigratus, bengalensis, torresii.

Size: 35-40 cm

Non-breeding adult resembles Greater Crested Tern but is smaller and has orange bill. Breeding adult has black crown and nape (including extreme forehead) and brighter orange bill. Juvenile distinguished from juvenile Greater Crested Tern by orange bill.

Similar looking species: Greater Crested Tern

Habitat: Open seas, sea-coasts, mudflats and sandflats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds by plunge-diving for fish.

Local Status: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2018)

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

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Featured reports: Jul 2022, Sep 2022, Oct 2022, Nov 2022

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

BirdLife International. (2018). Thalasseus bengalensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22694561A132560333.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.