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10

Lesser Crested Tern

(Sterna [Thalasseus] bengalensis)
Size: 37-42 cm; wing span ca. 90 cm

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Lesser Crested Tern at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Additional photos were taken by us in Oman.

Race "torresii"

ADULT

BREEDING

View of a Lesser Crested Tern in breeding plumage seen banking in-flight, thereby giving a good view of its upperwing pattern (photo courtesy of H. Mouritsen)
[One Tree Island, Capricornia Cays NP, QLD, January 2011]

NON-BREEDING

Near-lateral view of a Lesser Crested Tern in non-breeding plumage, left, with two Crested Terns, also in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Lee Point beach, Darwin, NT, August 2013]

Lateral view of Lesser Crested Terns in non-breeding plumage, front, with a Crested Tern, also in non-breeding plumage, visible in the background
[Lee Point beach, Darwin, NT, August 2014]

Lesser Crested Tern in non-breeding plumage (orange bill), flanked by Crested Terns (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Nightcliff, NT, March 2013]

Two Lesser Crested Terns in non-breeding plumage, front, with orange bills, together with one juvenile (speckled plumage, partly hidden) and two adult Crested Terns; also visible in this shot is an Eastern Curlew (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Lee Point beach, Darwin, NT, August 2013]

Lesser Crested Tern in non-breeding plumage seen in-flight from underneath, thereby giving a good view of its underwing pattern (photo courtesy of H. Mouritsen)
[One Tree Island, Capricornia Cays NP, QLD, January 2011]

Race "bengalensis"

Lesser Crested Terns, race "bengalensis", were photographed by us in Oman.

Food, Diet

Like all terns, Lesser Crested Terns feed on fish, which they catch with their bills just under the water surface in a steep high-speed dive from considerable height.

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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