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Sooty Tern

Southern Cassowary
Sooty Oystercatcher

About the Sooty Tern

Also known as: Wideawake Tern, Wideawake

The Sooty Tern is a bird of the tropical oceans, breeding on islands close to the equator. Sooty Terns are migratory and dispersive, wintering more widely through the tropical oceans. Sooty Terns breed in colonies on rocky or coral islands. It feeds by picking fish from the surface in marine environments, often in large flocks, and rarely comes to land except to breed, and can stay out at sea for between three to ten years!

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 20 July 2007
Scientific Name Onychoprion fuscata
  • Charadriiformes
  • Sternidae
  • Onychoprion
  • O. fuscatus
Birdorable Family Terns & Gulls
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • 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 15 March 2017)
Measurements
Units: Imperial Metric
13 to 14 inches
32 to 37 inches
Range West Asia East Asia Southeast Asia South Asia West Africa Central Africa East Africa South Africa North America Central America Caribbean South America United States (East) Australia and New Zealand Oceania

International Names

  • Trinta-réis-das-rocas (Brazilian)
  • 乌燕鸥 (Chinese)
  • Rybák černohřbetý (Czech)
  • Sodfarvet Terne (Danish)
  • Bonte Stern (Dutch)
  • Nokitiira (Finnish)
  • Sterne Fuligineuse (French)
  • Rußseeschwalbe (German)
  • Rondine di Mare Oscura (Italian)
  • セグロアジサシ (Seguroajisashi) (Japanese)
  • 검은등제비갈매기 (Geomeundeungjebigalmaegi) (Korean)
  • Sotterne (Norwegian)
  • Rybitwa Czarnogrzbieta (Polish)
  • Темная крачка (Russian)
  • Charrán Sombrío (Spanish)
  • Sottärna (Swedish)

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The Sooty Tern is a seabird that breeds on equatorial islands. Outside of breeding, they rarely are seen on land. The Sooty Tern has two nicknames related to its loud and somewhat ... more