Bridled Tern (species: Onychoprion anaethetus) in Birds of Honduras (Gaia Guide)
Onychoprion anaethetus
Bridled Tern

©Tom Tarrant: Adult on Lady Elliot Island, SE Queensland, Australia

©Charlie: Bridled Terns Kimberley Coast

©L. Shyamal: Non-breeding plumage, 100 km West of Malpe, India.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Laridae
Genus Onychoprion
Species Onychoprion anaethetus



Distinguishing features

The wings and deeply forked tail are long, and it has dark grey upperparts and white underparts. The forehead and eyebrows are white, as is a striking collar on the hindneck. It has black legs and bill. Juveniles are scaly grey above and pale below. (Wikipedia)


  • From 30 cm to 32 cm (Length of specimen)


  • From 77 cm to 81 cm


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution: Bridled Tern (Onychoprion anaethetus)

Distribution and habitat preferences

This bird is migratory and dispersive, wintering more widely through the tropical oceans. It has markedly marine habits compared to most terns. The Atlantic subspecies melanopters breeds in Mexico, the Caribbean and west Africa; other races occur around the Arabia and in Southeast Asia and Australasia, but the exact number of valid subspecies is disputed. It is a rare vagrant to western Europe. (Wikipedia)


It feeds by plunge-diving for fish in marine environments, but will also pick from the surface. (Wikipedia)

Web resources


  • Simpson, K., N. Day and P. Trusler (2004). Field Guide to Birds of Australia: 7th Edition Penguin Group (Australia), Camberwell, Victoria.
  • Smith, G.C. (1985). An analysis of prey remnants from osprey Pandion haliaetus and white-bellied sea-eagle Haliaetus leucogaster feeding roosts, Emu, 85: 198-200. LIRS catalog number 173.