Aust birds    Bird names   News   1-26    Habitats    Key plants    Glossary    Plumage    Nests    Tips    Thumbnails    Gen. info    Sponsors    Photos for sale   
NON-PASSERINES     1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10     11     12     13     14 15     16     17     18     19     20     21     22     23     24     25     26     PASSERINES
Common names sorted alphabetically: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   W   Y  
Have birds left a mess around your place? We recommend to try a professional cleaning service.

10

Bridled Tern

(Onychoprion anaethetus)
Alternate name(s): "Brown-winged Tern", "Dog Tern"
Size: 30-32 cm; wing span ca. 75-80 cm
Weight: 95-150 g

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 Bridled Tern at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "anaethetus"

ADULT

Close-up lateral portrait of a Bridled Tern; note that, characteristically, the upperparts (wings/back) are a lighter shade of grey than the cap (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Penguin Island, near Rockingham, WA, in March 2016]

Close-up lateral view of a Bridled Tern (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Penguin Island, near Rockingham, WA, in March 2016]

Close-up lateral view of a Bridled Tern (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliot Island, near Agnes Water, QLD, January 2016]

Lateral view of a Bridled Tern (photo courtesy of H. Mouritsen)
[One Tree Island, Capricornia Cays NP, QLD, January 2011]

A flock of Bridled Terns have declared this jetty their roost (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Penguin Island, near Rockingham, WA, in March 2016]

Lateral view of a Bridled Tern in flight (photo courtesy of H. Mouritsen)
[One Tree Island, Capricornia Cays NP, QLD, January 2011]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of an adult Bridled Tern (left) with a juvenile in tow (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliott Island, QLD, January 2006]

Lateral view of a juvenile Bridled Tern (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliott Island, QLD, January 2006]

Bridled Tern with chick (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliot Island, near Agnes Water, QLD, January 2016]

Bridled Tern chick (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliot Island, near Agnes Water, QLD, January 2016]

Race "antarcticus"

Photos of race "antarcticus" were taken by us in Oman.

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Dec Eggs: 1 - 3 Incubation period: 28 - 30 days Fledging age: ca. 15 days

The breeding period listed above applied to most locations. In the Kimberley region they also breed during a second breeding season, from about April to June. In principle, Bridled Terns can breed any time of the year. They usually have 2 eggs.

Nest building: ? Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Scrape Material: Sand, stones Height above ground: N/A

Bridled Terns lay their eggs near the high-tide line, often near shrubs or other disguising/sheltering objects.

Bridled Tern nest with a single dark-morphology egg in it (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliott Island, QLD, January 2006]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 56 x 32 mm Colour: Brownish, with darker streaks/speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Bridled Terns can also have lighter, more creamy-coloured, eggs with mid- to dark-brown speckles.

Bridled Tern nest with a single dark-morphology egg in it (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliott Island, QLD, January 2006]

Behaviour

Bridled Terns have a very elaborate courtship ritual, during which the birds dance, click bills and pass food.

Bridled Terns performing their courtship dance (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliot Island, near Agnes Water, QLD, January 2016]

Bridled Terns performing their courtship dance (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Lady Elliot Island, near Agnes Water, QLD, January 2016]

Lateral view of two Bridled Terns squaring up to each other (photo courtesy of H. Mouritsen)
[One Tree Island, Capricornia Cays NP, QLD, January 2011]

Food, Diet

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

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

bridtrn_jg_20160306.mp3 anaethetus
(SW WA)
? © JG
bridtrn_jg_20160306_2.mp3 anaethetus
(SW WA)
? © JG

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.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.