The Black Noddy or White-capped Noddy (Anous minutus) is a seabird from the tern family. It resembles the closely related Brown or Common Noddy (A. stolidus), but is smaller with darker plumage, a whiter cap, a longer, straighter beak and shorter tail. It was long - and sometimes still is - included within the Brown Noddy.
The nests of these birds consist on a level platform, often created in the branches of trees by a series of dried leaves covered with bird droppings. One egg is laid each season, and nests are re-used in subsequent years.
The Black Noddy has a worldwide distribution in tropical and subtropical seas, with colonies widespread in the Pacific Ocean and more scattered across the Caribbean, central Atlantic and in the northeast Indian Ocean. At sea it is usually seen close to its breeding colonies within 80 km of shore. Birds return to colonies, or other islands, in order to roost at night.
Nesting in Tubbataha Reef National Park, Philippines
Common Noddy head - note stouter beak, greyer cap
- Guager, V.H. (1999) Black Noddy Anous minutus, in The Birds of North America, No412 (Poole, A. and Gill, F. eds) The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and The American Ornithologists’ Union, Washington, D.C.