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Black-fronted Tern - BirdForum Opus

Black-fronted Tern in eclipse plumage
Photo by winmark
Hooker River, Canterbury, South Island of New Zealand, February 2006
Chlidonias albostriatus



  • Blue grey body
  • White rump
  • Short shallow–forked tail
  • Black cap
  • Bright orange bill and legs

Juveniles lack the black cap.


South Island; disperses to Stewart Island and North Island (New Zealand)


Classified as Endangered in the 2007 IUCN Red List).[2]


This is a monotypic species[1].


Breeds in small colonies on gravel riverbeds of South Island, disperses to coasts.



Colonial breeders (up to 50 pairs), mostly inland but some may be found near the coast. The nest is a shallow scrape, with a few short bits of twigs around it. The clutch consists of 1-2 eggs.


The diet includes nymphs, mayflies, stoneflies, fish, insects, worms and grass grub larvae.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. BirdLife International
  3. New Zealand Birds

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