Lesser Crested Tern (species: Thalasseus bengalensis) in Birds of Flores (Gaia Guide)
Thalasseus bengalensis
Lesser Crested Tern

©J.J. Harrison: Lesser crested tern

©Jerry Oldenettel: Lesser Crested Tern (Thalasseus bengalensis)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Laridae
Genus Thalasseus
Species Thalasseus bengalensis
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

They are white below and around back of neck, grey above, a have a bright orange bill. The head has a black cap with a short shaggy crest at the nape. The upperwings, rump and central tail feathers are grey and the underparts white. The primary flight feathers darken during the summer. In winter, the forehead becomes white. �(Wikipedia)


  • From 37 cm to 42 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution: Lesser Crested Tern (Thalasseus bengalensis)

Distribution and habitat preferences

It breeds in subtropical coastal parts of the world mainly from the Red Sea across the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific, and Australia, with a significant population on the southern coast of the Mediterranean on two islands off the Libyan coast. The Australian birds are probably sedentary, but other populations are migratory, wintering south to South Africa. (Wikipedia)

Audio recordings



© Thijs Fijen


It feeds by plunge-diving for fish, usually from saline environments. It usually dives directly, and not from the "stepped-hover" favoured by Arctic Tern. (Wikipedia)

Web resources


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