Species Index

Thalasseus bergii
(Lichtenstein, 1823)

Common Name: Crested Tern

Distribution: Coastal mainland Australia and Tasmania.

Ecological Notes: Occupies islands, coastal bays and inlets, open beaches, lakes and large rivers. The Crested Tern feeds mainly on small surface fish that are between 5 to 8 cm long; these make up nearly 90% of prey.  Other prey items include including insects, crustaceans and cephalopods.

Additional Notes: Upon sighting prey from the air, an individual will plunge downward into the water and grab the fish behind the head. Crested Terns form small to large flocks, often with other species. The breed on off-shore islands in large noisy colonies.

References: eBird Australia at Crested Tern Accessed 14 August 2023.

The complete guide to Australian Birds. George Adams. Penguin Random House Australia 2018. p 198.

Atlas of Living Australia at Crested Tern Accessed 29 July 2020.