Tropical oceans. Tuamotu, Gambier, Marquesas and Society where there are huge colonies.
Pelagic and gregarious in flight and on the ground, terns are able to hunt at sea (up to 1100 km away from the shore). They return on land to nest, usually on uninhabited coral or volcanic islands. The colonies are established on large platforms or on narrow terraces of vertical cliffs.
« ker-wak-wak », emitted generally in flight. Various alarm calls are transmitted over the colonies to signnal predators or human visitors.
To listen the Sooty Tern:
Crustaceans, small fishes and cephalopods from 2 to 8 cm.
In colonies. According to the regions, the species breeds throughout the year or only at certain times that are poorly defined and may vary in French Polynesia. Reproduction is studied outside French Polynesia. Nestting on the ground, the female lays a white-pink egg mottled with purple and brown (53 x 36 mm). Incubation lasts for 29 days. Young flies of the nest after 70 days. The latter returns often at night in the colonies.
Original text by Caroline BLANVILLAIN – Supplements and update by various members of the SOP Manu.
Scientific Name: Onychoprion fuscatus (Linnaeus, 1766)
Kaveka (Society, Marquesas, Tuamotu), tara (Mangareva, Ua Pou), taraka (Ua Pou), ta’a, tara (Hiva Oa et Tahuata)
This is probably the most abundant bird in the Southeast Polynesia.
The species is classified as « Least Concern » (LC) on the IUCN Red List.