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Inca Tern

Indian Peafowl

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  • Vestiaria coccinea
  • Finches

About the Inca Tern

The Inca Tern is a striking species of tern that is found along coastal Peru and Chile. Adult birds are easily recognized by their long white mustachial feathers extending from either side of the beak. Males and females look alike.

Inca Terns breed along rocky coastal cliffs. They nest in depressions on the ground or in burrows, including nest sites previously used by Humboldt Penguins.

As of July 2013, the Inca Tern has a conservation status of Near Threatened. Although they are relatively flexible with regard to nesting locations, loss of suitable habitat is a major factor in the decline of the Inca Tern. Disturbance to habitat from guano harvesting is a possible issue. Commercial fishing may also contribute to a decrease in the population of this piscivorous species.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 13 August 2013
Scientific Name Larosterna inca
  • Charadriiformes
  • Sternidae
  • Larosterna
  • L. inca
Birdorable Family Terns & Gulls
Conservation Status Near Threatened
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 27 September 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
15.7 to 16.5 inches
23.6 inches
7.8 ounces


From IUCN Red List:
The Inca Tern is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species is listed as Near Threatened because its population has apparently experienced a moderately rapid decline.

International Names

  • 印加燕鸥 (Chinese)
  • rybák inka (Czech)
  • Inkaterne (Danish)
  • Incastern (Dutch)
  • inkatiira (Finnish)
  • Sterne inca (French)
  • Inkaseeschwalbe (German)
  • Sterna inca (Italian)
  • インカアジサシ [inkaajisashi] (Japanese)
  • Inkaterne (Norwegian)
  • rybitwa wasata (Polish)
  • Крачка инков (Russian)
  • Charrán Inca (Spanish)
  • Inkatärna (Swedish)

Related articles

The Inca Tern's fishy lifestyle

The Inca Tern's fishy lifestyle

Today we have added the Inca Tern to Birdorable. Inca Terns have a mostly dark grey plumage, with the tail being darker. The wings are tipped in white. Males and females look ... more