Black-naped Tern (species: Sterna sumatrana) in Birds of Flores (Gaia Guide)
Sterna sumatrana
Black-naped Tern

©Tom Tarrant: Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana)

©Lip Kee Yap: Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Laridae
Genus Sterna
Species Sterna sumatrana
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

Their beaks and legs are black, but the tips of their bills are yellow. They have long forked tails. It has a white face and breast with a grayish-white back and wings. The first couple of their primary feathers are gray. (Wikipedia)


  • Up to 32 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Up to 52 cm



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

It is an oceanic tern mostly found in tropical and subtropical areas of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is rarely found inland. (Wikipedia)

Audio recordings


pair calling on coral beach

© Simon Elliott

Web resources


  • Hulsman, K. and G.C. Smith (1988). Biology and growth of the black naped tern Sterna sumatrana: an hypothesis to explain the relative growth rates of inshore, offshore and pelagic feeders, Emu, 88: 234-242. LIRS catalog number 353.
  • Simpson, K., N. Day and P. Trusler (1996). Field Guide to the Birds of Australia: Fifth Edition Penguin Books, Australia.
  • Simpson, K., N. Day and P. Trusler (2004). Field Guide to Birds of Australia: 7th Edition Penguin Group (Australia), Camberwell, Victoria.
  • View all references