Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)

Order: Charadriiformes | Family: Laridae | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult, basic | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Huacarpay, Cusco

Age: Adult, basic | Sex: Unknown | Loc. North America

Age: Adult, basic | Sex: Unknown | Loc. North America

Age: Adult, alternate| Sex: Unknown | Loc. North America

Identification & Behavior: ~23.5 cm (99.2 in). The Black Tern in basic plumage is white below and gray above. It has a white forehead and blackish gray crown and nape area. The alternate plumage is mostly black with gray upperparts. In basic plumage, it has a similar head pattern as other terns in basic plumage but is distinguished by having darker gray upperparts and sides of the breast. During the molt, it shows black blotches on the underparts. Also, see Common Tern.

Status: The Black Tern is a rare Boreal migrant mostly to pelagic waters of Peru during the months of October through April. It seldom forages on coastal bodies of water and appears to be a vagrant in the Andes. It also occurs in Co, Ec, Br, and Ch.

Name in Spanish: Gaviotín Negro.

Sub-species: Black Tern (Chlidonias niger surinamensis), J. F. Gmelin 1789.

Meaning of Name: Chlidonias: Gr. khelidön, khelidonios= swallow, like a swallow. niger: Gr. black.

See more of the Family Laridae   peru aves

Distribution Map
black ternVoice


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 01/01/2015.