Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Chinese (Simplified) (5) (learn more)

Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

In Britain and Ireland, the diet consists mainly of small fish, especially sand eels (5), which are caught by plunge-diving (2) or are stolen from other tern species (5).The roseate tern arrives back in Britain later than other terns and soon starts to lay eggs (5). One brood containing between 1 and 3 pale eggs is produced between the end of May and early June, but a replacement brood can be produced if this clutch is lost. Juveniles reach maturity at 3 years of age (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

The roseate tern was first identified in 1812 by Dr MacDougall of Glasgow, hence the specific name dougallii (2). Males and females are similar in appearance; during the breeding season they have a black forehead, crown and nape (2) and pale plumage with a rosy tinge to the breast, (3) which gives the species its common name (4). The grey tail is deeply forked with white long outer feathers called 'streamers' (3). In winter the forehead becomes white (3). A particularly vocal species on the breeding grounds, calls of the roseate tern include a 'chew-ik' and a 'kraak' when alarmed (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Comprehensive Description

Very pale typical tern with very long tail streamers. Males and females are similar in appearance; during the breeding season they have a black forehead, crown and napeand pale plumage with a rosy tinge to the breast,which gives the species its common name The grey tail is deeply forked with white long outer feathers called 'streamers' (In winter the forehead becomes white. A particularly vocal species on the breeding grounds, Changes in bill colour chages geographicly. Calls of the roseate tern include a 'chew-ik' and a 'kraak' when alarmed.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Breeding

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Widespread in Atlantic, Indian, and southwestern Pacific oceans. BREEDING: locally along Atlantic coast of North America, mainly from Quebec to New York; also Dry Tortugas, Florida Keys, Bahamas (Sprunt 1984), and other islands of West Indies, islands off Venezuela, and islands off the northern coast of Honduras and Belize (Spendelow and Patton 1988). In northeastern North America, over 90% of the breeding population is concentrated into a few colonies between Cape Cod and Long Island. Also widespread in Old World. NON-BREEDING: in Americas, primarily in northern coastal South America.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Caribbean; North America; Nova Scotia and into the Gulf of Maine; colonies very local
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range Description

Sterna dougallii breeds in widely but sparsely distributed colonies along the east coast and offshore islands of Canada, USA, from Honduras to Venezuela, possibly to Brazil, the Caribbean (including the Bahamas, Greater and Lesser Antilles and the West Indies), UK, France, Ireland, Portugal (Azores, Salvages and perhaps Madeira), Spain (Canary Islands), South Africa, Kenya, Somalia, Madagascar, Oman, Seychelles, St Brandon and the Mascarene Islands (Mauritius), Maldives, Chagos (British Indian Ocean Territory), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (India), Sri Lanka, Ryukyu Islands (Japan), Indonesia, Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Guinea (Papua New Guinea), New Caledonia (to France) and Australia (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km2. It has a large global population estimated to be 78,000-82,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). The population in North America underwent a significant decline in 40 years, decreasing from 8,500 pairs in the early 1930s to 2,500 in 1978 (Brown and Nettleship 1984). Numbers, however, appear to have stabilised at 3,000 pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1996). In Nova Scotia, the decline was from 200 to 32 pairs (Brown and Nettleship 1984). Between 1969 and 1992, the UK population declined from 1,018 pairs to 57, and pairs in Ireland dropped from 1,435 to 454 (Sprunt 1984). In 1995, however, over 1,700 pairs bred in Europe. The French population is 100-110 pairs which may be a decline from c.500 in 1973. The large Azores population has fluctuated between 550 and 1,028 pairs from 1989/90 to 1995 (Snow and Perrins 1998). The tropical Indian Ocean may be the most secure region for this species (Feare 1984). The species is threatened by a number of agents of which hunting in the wintering quarters may be the most significant (Buckley and Buckley 1984, Cooper et al. 1984, Avery et al. 1995). Trapping of tern species is still prevalent in Ghana, which has the highest number of wintering S. dougalli of the western African countries (Avery et al. 1995). At the northern European breeding grounds it is not clear which threats are having the most impact. Disturbance and egg-collecting have been stopped in most areas by the use of wardens, but the former still threatens some major colonies in the Azores. Predation by rats, ferrets, red foxes and Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus occurs locally, and can have significant effects, including complete breeding failure at some Azores colonies (Avery et al. 1995). Natural predators can often take a great toll on localised colonies, particularly when terns are disturbed from the nest by other birds and humans (Buckley and Buckley 1984, Cooper et al. 1984). Habitat loss in northern Europe is not a major problem but has caused the local extinction of some colonies, as have extreme weather events (Avery et al. 1995). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

North America: Nova Scotia to Central America along Atlantic coast. Caribbean and Brazil. England and Ireland. West and South Africa. Indian Ocean. North Australia and Philippines.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Gulf of Maine - CoML

Source: Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range

The roseate tern is widespread around the world, but its range is highly fragmented (5). In Britain, it breeds in Northumberland, the Firth of Forth and Anglesey and migrates to West Africa, especially Ghana for the winter (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Subspecies and Distribution:


    * dougallii Montagu, 1813 - Nova Scotia to New York and Florida, S through Gulf of Honduras and West Indies to islands off N Venezuela, and also Azores, NW Europe, and E & S Africa from S Somalia to Tanzania and in S Cape Province; American populations may winter mainly in mid-Atlantic, E Atlantic birds winter on coasts of tropical W Africa. * arideensis Mathews, 1912 - Seychelles S to Madagascar and E to Rodrigues I. * korustes (Hume, 1874) - Sri Lanka, Andaman Is and Mergui Archipelago (SW Myanmar). * bangsi Mathews, 1912 - Arabian Sea, Ryukyu Is, coastal China and Taiwan S to Greater Sundas and E to S New Guinea, Solomons, New Caledonia and possibly Fiji; presumably this race on Cocos (Keeling) Is. * gracilis Gould, 1845 - Moluccas and Australia.


Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Size

Length: 39 cm

Weight: 110 grams

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Length: 35-43 cm Wingspan: 76-79 cm
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Gulf of Maine - CoML

Source: Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

33-43 cm, 90-125 g, wingspan 72-80 cm

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Diagnostic Description

Differs from common, arctic, and Forster's terns in being paler overall; wings are shorter than in common and arctic terns (hence tail extends farther beyond wing tips when perched). Bill color is not always a good character for distinguishing roseate tern from common tern (Raffaele 1983).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Description

Length: 33-40 cm. Plumage: above tail very pale grey rump white, back and wings very pale grey, hindneck collar white; cap black; below entirely white tinged rosey in breeding plumage; tail with long outer tail feathers which extend beyond wing in resting bird; outer primaries and associated coverts dark grey. Immature mottled ashy brown above with dark band on upper wing coverts. Bare parts: iris dark brown; bill black, red base in breeding bird; feet and legs bright red. Habitat: sea coast and offshore islands. Resident. <389><391><393>
  • Urban, E.K., C.H. Fry & S. Keith (1986). The Birds of Africa, Volume II. Academic Press, London.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© WoRMS for SMEBD

Source: World Register of Marine Species

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Very pale typical tern with very long tail streamers. Males and females are similar in appearance; during the breeding season they have a black forehead, crown and napeand pale plumage with a rosy tinge to the breast,which gives the species its common name The grey tail is deeply forked with white long outer feathers called 'streamers' (In winter the forehead becomes white. A particularly vocal species on the breeding grounds, Changes in bill colour chages geographicly. Calls of the roseate tern include a 'chew-ik' and a 'kraak' when alarmed.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Seacoasts, bays, estuaries. In North America, forages offshore and roosts in flocks near tidal inlets late July to mid-September (Nisbet 1992). Nests on islands on sandy beaches, open bare ground, grassy areas; on Atlantic coast of North America, usually under or adjacent to objects that provide cover or shelter (including artificial sites such as tires placed on shores); primarily on small islands, often (exclusively in the northeastern U.S.) with common tern. In Puerto Rico, in more open areas (Burger and Gochfeld 1988), even on gravel roofs in the Florida Keys. In the Azores, nesting occurred in areas of high relief and/or tall vegetation (Ramos and del Nevo 1995). Has attempted, with little success, to nest in salt marshes (Matthews and Moseley 1990). See Spendelow and Patton (1988) for further details on nesting.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Behaviour The Roseate Tern is a migratory coastal seabird that feeds by plunge diving. It dives from a greater height than other terns. The species breeds in large, dense single- or mixed-species colonies that may contain several thousands of pairs (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It remains gregarious throughout the year, roosting in large groups (Urban et al. 1986, Snow and Perrins 1998) and feeding singly, in small loose groups (Snow and Perrins 1998) or in flocks of many hundreds of individuals (Urban et al. 1986, Snow and Perrins 1998). It is regularly found in mixed species flocks with Lesser Noddy (Anous tenuirostris) and White Tern (Gygis alba) (Ramos 2000). When mixing with the former in conjunction with predatory fish, breeding success was markedly better (Ramos 2000). Large, dense foraging flocks are associated with higher rates of chick feeding (Ramos 2000). Habitat The species nests on sand-dunes, sand-spits, shingle beaches, reefs (Snow and Perrins 1998), saltmarshes and rocky, sandy or coral islands (del Hoyo et al. 1996), showing a preference for densely vegetated sites in temperate regions but sparsely vegetated sites in the tropics (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It also shows a preference for nest sites close to clear, shallow, sandy fishing grounds (Snow and Perrins 1998) in tidal bays and sheltered inshore waters (Snow and Perrins 1998). Throughout the year the species often rests and forages in sheltered estuaries, creeks (Urban et al. 1986), inshore waters and up to several kilometres offshore (del Hoyo et al. 1996), moving to warm tropical coasts after breeding (Snow and Perrins 1998). Diet This species is a specialist forager, and takes a small prey spectrum compared to Common Tern at the same sites (Birdlife International 2000). Its diet consists predominantly of small pelagic fish (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), particularly sandeel (Birdlife International 2000, Newton and Crowe 2000) and sprat (Birdlife International 2000) and sometimes clupeids (Birdlife International 2000, Newton and Crowe 2000)and gadoids (Newton and Crowe 2000), although it will also take insects and marine invertebrates (del Hoyo et al. 1996) such as crustaceans (Urban et al. 1986). Sandeel are particularly important during chick rearing (Newton and Crowe 2000). In Puerto Rico, adult Roseate Terns fed primarily on dwarf herrings (Jenkinsia lamprotaenia) and anchovies (Anchoa spp.), and chicks were mostly fed dwarf herrings and sardines (Harengula and Opisthonema spp.); few anchovies were fed to chicks (Shealer 1998). Breeding site The nest is a bare scrape in sand, shingle or coral rubble (del Hoyo et al. 1996), preferably in sites surrounded by walls and rocks (Newton and Crowe 2000) or in the shelter of vegetation (in temperate regions) (Richards 1990, Snow and Perrins 1998), also in crevices between and under rocks, or in the entrances to rabbit or Puffin burrows (Snow and Perrins 1998). Foraging range At various colonies in New York, USA, birds were observed to forage at sites up to 30 km away from their breeding colony, although at most sites, most birds foraged within 10 km (Birdlife International 2000). Similarly, in Massachusetts, USA, birds foraged at up to 30 km from the breeding colony (Shealer 1996). However, in Puerto Rico birds fed within 2 km of the colony (Shealer 1998). In Ireland, birds at Lady's Island Lake tended to forage about 5 km from the colony at a site 3 km offshore (Newton and Crowe 2000). At Rockabill, Ireland, during chick rearing, birds fed within 10 km of the colony in offshore, relatively deep water (20 - 30 m), but during incubation and post-fledging they appeared to be travelling tens of kilometres to feed over sandbanks to the south (Newton and Crowe 2000). The species may be either coastal or more pelagic in nature, depending on the colony location (Newton and Crowe 2000). Throughout their range they forage in habitats where prey availability is high. Temperate populations feed over tide rips (Birdlife International 2000), shoals (Birdlife International 2000, Environment Canada 2006), inlets (Birdlife International 2000), upwelling areas, and predatory fish that force prey to the surface (Ramos 2000). In Puerto Rico, Roseate Terns feed primarily in deep, open water, and rely heavily on predatory fish to drive prey fish to the surface (Shealer 1998). In the Caribbean, they feed primarily over shoals of predatory fish or along reef margins (Birdlife International 2000). In North American parts of the north-west Atlantic, Roseate Terns appear to use one of two strategies: either foraging over tide-rips, sand shoals and sandbars (Safina 1990, Shealer 1996, Gochfeld et al. 1998), in some cases up to 20-30 km from the colony, or more pelagically in deeper water over schools of predatory fish which flush prey fish species to the surface (Shealer 1996, Gochfeld et al. 1998). Where predatory fish are not relied upon, the birds forage over sandy substrates (Sheer and Kress 1994) in water under 10 m deep (Safina 1990, Sheer and Kress 1994). On Aride Island, Seychelles, birds concentrated their foraging along the coastline exposed to prevailing winds (Ramos 2000).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Depth range based on 43 specimens in 2 taxa.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 26 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): 9.208 - 21.498
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.748 - 7.362
  Salinity (PPS): 32.282 - 34.471
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.180 - 6.764
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.241 - 0.626
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.668 - 4.454

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): 9.208 - 21.498

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.748 - 7.362

Salinity (PPS): 32.282 - 34.471

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.180 - 6.764

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.241 - 0.626

Silicate (umol/l): 1.668 - 4.454
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Coastal habitats; bays and estuaries, and oceanic.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Gulf of Maine - CoML

Source: Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

In Britain the roseate tern forms colonies with common and Arctic terns, usually on offshore islands. Nest sites are sheltered by overhanging rock or vegetation (2).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Forms colonies with common and Arctic terns, usually on offshore islands. Nest sites are sheltered by overhanging rock or vegetation. Feeds along tide-rips, in estuaries and several kilomtres offshore.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Arrives in the northeastern U.S. late April-early May. Large numbers congregate at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (Massachusetts) in August-early September; most have left the northeastern U.S. by mid-September (migrate in September-October through the West Indies to northern South America). Caribbean birds also are migratory, arriving in late April and departing between September and November (Nisbet 1992). One-year-olds (and some two-year-olds) summer in the south (do not migrate).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

North American population travels south to Caribbean for winter. Non-breeders may not migrate.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Gulf of Maine - CoML

Source: Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Comments: Feeds on small (usually 7-15 cm long) schooling marine fishes obtained by plunging into water while flying. Sand lance is primary food in many areas in northeastern U.S. (Buckley and Buckley 1984). Usually feeds over open water, often in tidal channels, tide rips, drift lines, or over shoals/sandbars. Some Massachusetts birds regularly feed up to 20 km from breeding colony. May gather where large fishes force smaller fishes to the surface, but in the vicinity of Long Island (New York and Connecticut), foraging success and foraging activities were depressed by the presence and foraging activities of bluefish (Safina 1990).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Mainly small fish. Also eats mollusks, crustaceans, and insects.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Gulf of Maine - CoML

Source: Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

In Britain and Ireland, the diet consists mainly of small fish (almost exclusivelly), especially sand eels, which are caught by plunge-divingor are stolen from other tern species.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Abundance

10,000 - 100,000 individuals

Comments: 34,000-40,000 pairs worldwide, concentrated in a few large colonies. Subspecies DOUGALLII: Breeding population in northeastern North America was estimated at 6200-6600 birds in the early 1980s. In 1989, the northeastern population was stable, with 3188 pairs at 18 sites (84% of the pairs at 2 sites) (USFWS 1990); in 1991, there were 3611 pairs in 18 colonies in the northeastern U.S., mostly in New York (Great Gull Island) and Massachusetts (Bird Island in Buzzards Bay), with 185 pairs in Connecticut and 128 pairs in Maine. In 1992, estimated number of breeding pairs in the Northeast was 2898 (End. Sp. Tech. Bull. 18:14). Breeding population in Florida in the early 1980s was not greater than a few hundred; about 2500 pairs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 1000-2000 pairs in small colonies in the Bahamas. Ehrlich et al. (1992) stated that the combined U.S. and Canadian population was 6650 birds, with another 6000 birds in the Caribbean. Total breeding population in Canada was 100-125 pairs in the mid-1980s (Kirkham and Nettleship, 1986 COSEWIC report).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

General Ecology

Predation does not appear to be major factor limiting productivity in the northeastern U.S. but apparently has resulted in concentration of breeding colonies in the few remaining predator-free sites available (Northeast Roseate Tern Recovery Team 1988). In Connecticut, minimum annual survival rate of breeding adults was about 0.75; this is relatively low among marine birds (Spendelow and Nichols 1989). Significant predators on eggs and chicks include land crabs in Puerto Rico (Burger and Gochfeld 1988; Condor 94:712-719).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 25.7 years (wild) Observations: In the wild, these animals can live up to 25.7 years (http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/homepage/longvrec.htm).
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Eggs are laid mostly in May-June in the northern part of the range, Florida, and the Bahamas; youngest breeders may lay into July. Clutch size usually is 1-2. Incubation, by both sexes (mainly female), lasts 21-26 days. Young are tended by both parents, fly at 22-29 days, dependent for at least 6-8 weeks after fledging. First breeds at 2-4 years. In a two-year New York study, fish abundance affected reproductive performance (Safina et al. 1988).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

First breeds at 3 years old. Nests in colonies, sometimes with Common Terns. Nests are built under shelter by both sexes. 1-2 eggs, incubated by both partners for 21-26 days. Young fed by parents. Capable of flight around 27-30 days, but stay with parents longer.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Gulf of Maine - CoML

Source: Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sterna dougallii

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N1B - Critically Imperiled

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N2N,N3B : N2N: Imperiled - Nonbreeding, N3B: Vulnerable - Breeding

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

Reasons: Nests along coasts nearly worldwide; rarely abundant; nesting populations in North America and the Caribbean are very small and localized; threats include habitat loss and disturbance, predation, egg collection (locally), and competition from expanding gull populations.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Status in Egypt

Accidental visitor?

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Source: Bibliotheca Alexandrina - EOL Ar

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Endangered Species in North America.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Gulf of Maine - CoML

Source: Gulf of Maine Area Census of Marine Life

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Status

Listed on the Birds of Conservation Concern Red List, Annex 1 of the EC Birds Directive, Appendix II of the Bern Convention, and Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species (Bonn Convention). Protected in the UK under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (1).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Not Threatened.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© New Guinea Birds

Source: Birds of Papua New Guinea

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
The global population is estimated to number c.70,000-82,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population estimates include: c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in China; c.100-100,000 breeding pairs and c.50-10,000 individuals on migration in Taiwan and c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in Japan (Brazil 2009).

Population Trend
Unknown
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Degree of Threat: B : Moderately threatened throughout its range, communities provide natural resources that when exploited alter the composition and structure of the community over the long-term, but are apparently recoverable

Comments: Initially decimated by plume hunters; subsequent declines occurred primarily as a result of loss of nesting habitat to development, competition with and predation by gulls (which became more common on nesting islands after lighthouses were automated), disturbance by humans (especially in the Caribbean), and depleted fish populations. Egg collection, tourists, and rat predation are threats to the Caribbean population (van Halewyn and Norton 1984).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Major Threats
The species is threatened by a number of agents, of which hunting in the wintering quarters may be the most significant (Brown and Nettleship 1984, Buckley and Buckley 1984, Cooper et al. 1984, Avery et al. 1995) (e.g. hunting for food and sport in South America and West Africa) (Avery et al. 1995, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Snow and Perrins 1998). Trapping of tern species is still prevalent in Ghana, which has the highest number of wintering S. dougalli of the western African countries (Avery et al. 1995). At the northern European breeding grounds, the most significant threats are human disturbance (e.g. from habitat development, off-road vehicles and recreation (Buckley and Buckley 1984, van Halewyn and Norton 1984)) and predation from both natural and introduced avian and ground predators (Brown and Nettleship 1984, Buckley and Buckley 1984, Cooper et al. 1984, van Halewyn and Norton 1984, Avery et al. 1995, Snow and Perrins 1998). Disturbance and egg-collecting have been stopped in most areas by the use of wardens, but disturbance still threatens some major colonies in the Azores, whilst egg collecting occurs at some colonies (e.g. in East Africa and the Caribbean) (van Halewyn and Norton 1984, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Predation by rats, ferrets, red foxes and Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) occurs locally, and can have significant effects, including complete breeding failure at some Azores colonies (Avery et al. 1995). Natural predators can often take a great toll on localised colonies, particularly when terns are disturbed from the nest by other birds and humans (Buckley and Buckley 1984, Cooper et al. 1984). Habitat loss in northern Europe is not a major problem but has caused the local extinction of some colonies, as have extreme weather events (Avery et al. 1995). The species is also vulnerable to pollution and disease (Brown and Nettleship 1984, Avery et al. 1995, Environment Canada 2000).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

The roseate tern is one of the rarest breeding seabirds in the UK; in 1996 only 64 pairs were recorded over 5 main sites. The UK population has decreased from 1000 pairs in 1969 to 210 pairs in 1989, but this is largely due to the relocation of many birds to a colony in the Republic of Ireland (6). Threats to this species include predation by foxes, brown rats and peregrines. It is likely that predation prevents the species from establishing colonies on the mainland, where predation pressures would be greater (2). Human disturbance and egg collecting may have taken a toll on the species, but this has largely been prevented in the UK by wardening schemes. Factors operating in the wintering range or during migration, such as trapping and a reduction in roost sites, will have affected adult and juvenile mortality (2). At some UK sites, flooding of the nests has been a problem and competition for nesting sites with other species of tern and even gulls may occur (6).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Management Requirements: A high priority is to increase the number of favorable breeding sites such that the population is less concentrated that at present; this involves habitat management and control of gulls and other predators; programs are underway in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York (Nisbet 1992). Gull control has been beneficial in Maine (Buckley and Buckley 1984) and Massachusetts. See Northeast Roseate Tern Recovery Team (1988) for gull control information and recovery plan. See also Buckley and Buckley (1984) and USFWS (1987) for a discussion of conservation needs. See Minsky (1981) for a discussion of tern management on Cape Cod.

Readily uses artificially created nest sites (half-buried baskets, buckets, tires, or propped-up driftwood, boards, or rocks), often with good reproductive success (Spendelow and Patton 1988).

Biological Research Needs: Information on winter ecology/mortality is needed, as is research on the potential for captive propagation.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Protection: Unknown whether any occurrences are appropriately protected and managed

Comments: Northeastern U.S. and adjacent Canadian populations are listed as endangered species (F.R. 11/2/87).

Needs: Declare breeding sites as "Critical Habitat"; post and fence in breeding areas.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Conservation Actions Underway
Breeding pairs are known to be attracted to coastal locations where artificial nesting sites have been constructed (e.g. beaches of bare shingle and islands or rafts covered with sparse vegetation) (Burgess and Hirons 1992) and nesting-boxes provided (chicks may also use nest-boxes as shelters if adults do not nest in them directly) (Avery et al. 1995, Casey et al. 1995, Newton and Crowe 2000, Environment Canada 2000). Increased breeding successes can also be gained through nest-site vegetation management (Newton and Crowe 2000, Casey et al. 1995), landscaping (e.g. creating terraces or infilling flooded hollows), flood prevention (Newton and Crowe 2000), and continuous wardening to minimise unauthorised disturbance (Newton and Crowe 2000, Casey et al. 1995). Non-lethal predator control (e.g. destroying eggs and nests of gull species attempting to nest on islands) can also be successful in increasing the overall breeding success of the species (Environment Canada 2000, Leonard et al. 2004, Casey et al. 1995).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

All roseate tern colonies in the UK are located within reserves and have been designated as Special Protection Areas (SPAs), a European designation (2). Artificial nesting boxes have been provided at some sites. It is hoped that this will reduce the incidence of predation and disturbance. Between 1985 and 1994 the RSPB and Birdlife International funded an education programme in Ghana, which aimed to reduce trapping of the roseate tern during winter. The roseate tern is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species. The Species Action Plan aims to increase the UK population to 200 pairs by 2008 (6).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© Wildscreen

Source: ARKive

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Comments: Has been trapped for sale in food markets in northern South America; extent of trapping apparently limited at present time (Trull 1988).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Roseate Tern

The roseate tern (Sterna dougallii) is a seabird of the tern family Sternidae.

Description[edit]

This is a small-medium tern, 33–36 cm long with a 67–76 cm wingspan, which can be confused with the common tern, Arctic tern, and the larger, but similarly plumaged, Sandwich tern.

Roseate tern's thin sharp bill is black, with a red base which develops through the breeding season, and is more extensive in the tropical and southern hemisphere races. It is shorter-winged and has faster wing beats than common or Arctic tern. The upper wings are pale grey and its under parts white, and this tern looks very pale in flight, like a small Sandwich tern, although the outermost primary flight feathers darken during the summer. The adults have very long, flexible tail streamers and orange-red legs. In summer, the underparts of adults take on the pinkish tinge which gives this bird its name.

Taxonomy[edit]

This species has a number of geographical races, differing mainly in bill colour and minor plumage details.

S. d. dougallii breeds on the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America, and winters south to the Caribbean and west Africa. Both the European and North American populations have been in long term decline, though active conservation measures have reversed the decline in the last few years at some colonies.

The tropical forms S. d. korustes and S. d. bangsi are resident breeders from east Africa across the Indian Ocean to Japan. They have more red on the bill. The long-billed and short-winged S. d. gracilis breeds in Australia and New Caledonia. The north-western Indian Ocean holds populations of S. d. arideensis. Some authors suggest that only three races arideensis, gracilis and nominate dougallii should be retained.[2][3]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

Food and feeding[edit]

Roseate tern profile

As with other Sterna terns, roseate tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, almost invariably from the sea; it is much more marine than allied terns, only rarely visiting freshwater lagoons on the coast to bathe and not fishing in fresh water. It usually dives directly, and not from the "stepped-hover" favoured by Arctic tern. The offering of fish by the male to the female is part of the courtship display.

Unusual for a tern, the roseate tern shows some kleptoparasitic behaviour, stealing fish from other seabirds, at British colonies most often from puffins. This habit greatly increases their food-collecting ability during bad weather when fish swim deeper, out of reach of plunge-diving terns, but still within reach of the deeper-diving Puffins.

In winter, the forehead becomes white and the bill black. Juvenile roseate terns have a scaly appearance like juvenile Sandwich Terns, but a fuller black cap than that species.

Breeding[edit]

This species breeds in colonies on coasts and islands. It nests in a ground scrape, often in a hollow or under dense vegetation, and lays one or two (rarely three) eggs. It is less defensive of its nest and young than other white terns, often relying on Arctic and common terns in the surrounding colony to defend them. In smaller colonies, they may rarely mate with these other tern species.

Vocalisations[edit]

The call of the roseate tern is a very characteristic chuwit, similar to that of the spotted redshank, quite distinct from other terns.

Conservation status[edit]

Lady Elliot Island, Qld, Australia

In the late 19th century, these birds were hunted for their plumes which were used to decorate hats. More recently, their numbers have decreased in some regions due to increased competition and predation by large gulls, whose numbers have increased in recent times.

With their favouring partly hidden nest sites, the provision of nestboxes has proven a dramatic conservation success, with the birds taking to them very readily. This results in greatly increased breeding productivity with the protection given to the young from predatory birds like herring gulls. At one colony on Coquet Island, Northumberland, the population rose from 25 pairs (1997) to 92 pairs (2005) after nestboxes were provided. Similar measures have been undertaken at the Anglesey tern colonies along with clearance of vegetation, in particular Tree Mallow.

In the UK the roseate tern has been designated for protection under the official government's national Biodiversity Action Plan. One of the main reasons given in the UK plan for threat to the species is global warming, creating an alteration of vertical profile distribution for its food source fishes. The roseate tern is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

The Canadian Wildlife Service lists the roseate tern as Threatened. The U.S. Department of Interior lists the northeastern population as Endangered and the Caribbean population as Threatened.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Sterna dougallii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Gochfeld, M. & Burger, J. 1996. Family Sternidae (terns). In: Del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A A. & Sargatal, J. (Eds). Handbook of birds of the world, Vol. 3. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 624–667.
  3. ^ Tree, AJ (2005) The known history and movements of the Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii in South Africa and the western Indian Ocean. Marine Ornithology 33:41-47 PDF
  4. ^ Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2009-09-04). "Birds of North America Online: Roseate Tern". 

References[edit]

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Very rarely hybridizes with S. hirundo (Zingo et al. 1994, Gochfeld et al. 1998).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!