Damara Tern


Name
Damara Tern

Latin Name
Sterna balaenarum

Family
Rynchopidae

Length
23 cm

Habitat
Small groups on Atlantic coast, feeding offshore and in bays and estuaries.

Bird Call
Voice a high pitched 'tsit-tit' repeated several times. Also 'tit-tit'.

Breeding
Breed on the Namibian coast and near Table Bay, newly discovered, beyond Rocky Point, right up to the Cunene. Nests in dune-slacks and gravel plains up to 1 - 5 kms from the sea. Eggs 1 or 2, tern-like.

Immature Description
Immature has brownish markings on wing-coverts.

Adult Description
Small size and all-black cap diagnostic of breeding plumage; at other times differs from Little Tern in longer, slightly downturned bill and paler grey back, the body shape dumpier; at long range appears almost white. Non-breeding birds have white forehead and crown.

Status
Uncommon resident.

Distribution
Confined to the coasts of South West Africa and Cape. Leaves our shores in July.

Kruger National Park - South African Safari
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