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.


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

BirdLife International. (2018). Thalasseus bengalensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018. Downloaded on 2 September 2021
Robson, C. (2008). A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers.