Yellow-billed Tern (Sterna superciliaris)

Yellow-billed Tern

[order] CHARADRIIFORMES | [family] Laridae | [latin] Sterna superciliaris | [UK] Yellow-billed Tern | [FR] Sterne argentee | [DE] | [ES] Charrancito amazonico | [NL] Amazonestern


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Small tern with a greenish bill, in breeding plamage dark grey above and white below. Forehead white with a black streak from bill to eyes. Lores, crown, nape and outer primaries black. tail grey, short and slightly forked. In non-breeders the crown is streaked with white. Favors broad rivers with sndy beaches or lake side baches.

Listen to the sound of Yellow-billed Tern

[audio: Tern.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: cm wingspan max.: cm
size min.: 24 cm size max.: 26 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


South America : widespread


Habitat includes marshes, swamps, freshwater lakes (>8 ha), Wetlands (inland) Rivers, streams and creeks.


Hardly any information. Brrees on broad sandshores during dry season alon rivers and lakes. Settles in small colonies of about 10 nests. Clutch size 2-3 eggs, most eggs are lost due to sudden flooding.

Feeding habits

Feeds plunch diving in water catching small fish. Also feeds on insects and crustaceans.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 11,000,000 km2. It has a large global population estimated to be 25,000-100,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Yellow-billed Tern status Least Concern


Unknown. Main movement is apparently along river valleys to coasts, where non-breeders congregate.

Distribution map

Yellow-billed Tern distribution range map

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