Scientific Name: Thalasseus bengalensis
Malay Name: Camar Berjambul Kecil
Chinese Name: 小凤头燕鸥
Range: 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.
Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: emigratus, bengalensis, torresii.
Size: 35-40 cm
Identification: 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.
- Pelagic Bird Survey at the Singapore Strait – 5 May 2018 (Trip Reports)
- Pelagic Bird Survey to the Horsburgh Lighthouse – 29 April 2017 (Trip Reports)
- A Student’s Big Year (Blog)
Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):
Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
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.
Bird Society of Singapore. (n.d.). Lesser Crested Tern. Retrieved on September 27, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/lesser-crested-tern.