• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Black-bellied Tern - BirdForum Opus

Photo by vaibhav mishra
Chambal River, Dholpur, Rajasthan, India, February 2011
Sterna acuticauda


Photo by max1
Chambol River , C. India, February 2018

32–35 cm (12½-13¾ in)

  • Orange bill,
  • Black cap and nape
  • Dark grey breast
  • Blackish belly and vent


  • Whitish belly, no tail streamers
  • Dark tip to bill


Asia: found in Pakistan, Nepal and India to south-western China, Myanmar and South East Asia.


This is a monotypic species[1].

Subspecies melanogaster is generally considered to be invalid[2].


Near large rivers; breeds on sandspits, islands and marshes, up to 730 m.



Their diet consists of small fish and insects. They hawk for insects over both land and water and plunge-dive for fish.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. BirdLife International
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2015)

Recommended Citation

External Links

Search the Gallery using the scientific name:

Search the Gallery Using the common name:

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.