White-fronted Tern (species: Sterna striata) in Sydney Marine Life (Gaia Guide)
Sterna striata
White-fronted Tern

©Tom Tarrant: White-fronted Tern (Sterna striata)

©David Burgess: White-fronted Tern (Sterna striata)

©Steve Shattuck: White-fronted Tern (Sterna striata)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Laridae
Genus Sterna
Species Sterna striata
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

Distinguishing features still need to be specified.


  • Up to 41 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

It is the most common tern of New Zealand. Breeding is between October and January in large colonies on rocky cliffs and offshore islands. Originally this occurred only in New Zealand, but since 1979 they have also bred on islands in Bass Strait, north of Tasmania. Many of the birds winter in south-eastern Australia, especially juveniles. (Wikipedia)

Local abundance

  • Australia: Many of these birds winter in south-eastern Australia, especially juveniles. Since 1979 they have also been breeding on some islands in Bass Strait. (Wikipedia)
  • Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand: abundant


They feed in large flocks by plunge diving on shoals of smelt and pilchards which have been driven to the surface by larger fish and are easily caught. Like all terns they fly with their heads and bills pointing down to see their prey. (Wikipedia)

Web resources


  • Simpson, K., N. Day and P. Trusler (2004). Field Guide to Birds of Australia: 7th Edition Penguin Group (Australia), Camberwell, Victoria.