Sterna acuticauda   Gray,  1832 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: pbase

Size: 33 cm.

Voice: Clear piping peuo.

Habits: Gregarious, occurs in flocks flying up and down on tranquil stretches of rivers, or resting on shoals and sanbanks, feeds by swiftly plunging vertically from air and submerging in water, or by scooping the prey from water or land.

Adult: Sexes alike. Non-breeding (winter): Head white streaked with black, a black patch behind eye, bill dull yellow with dusky tip, upper plumage greyish, under plumage white with grey tinge on foreneck and breast, tail deeply forked, legs orange-red. Breeding (summer): Forehead, crown down below to eyes and nape glossy black, lores, cheeks, chin and throat pure white, upper plumage ashy-grey, remaining under plumage black. Juvenile: Upperparts buff-grey, feathers with pale buff-white edges and blackish subedges.

Synonym (s)
Sterna melanogaster Temminck, 1827

Common Name (s)
• Black-bellied Tern (English)
• Blackbellied Tern (English)
• Karivayaran ala (Malayalam)
• Ramadasu (Telugu)
• Kalapetni dhomdi, Kalapeth vabagali (Gujrati)
Economic Importance and Threats
(Destruction of breeding habitat (islands and sandspits in larger rivers are increasingly cultivated), the collection of eggs for food, and natural or dam-determined flooding of nests.)

Habitat:  Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Carnivorous (fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects).


• Goa INDIA (Record: 07/09/1988)
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 75.96) INDIA
• Goa, Mandovi estuary INDIA
• Orissa, Dhamra Port INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Birds of India Available at -
  • Nameer, PO (2005) Wetlands and waterfowl conservation in kerala with special reference to Ramsar sites kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 97-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Borges, SD and Shanbhag, AB (2008) Food resource partitioning among waterbirds wintering on the Diwar wetland in the Mandove estuary of Goa, India Proceedings of Taal2007:The 12th World Lake conference 124-130 Available at -
  • Dutta, SK (2007) Biodiversity assessment of Dhamra port site and surrounding areas, Orissa Greenpeace India 4-38 Available at -
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Gopi GV and Pandav B (2007) Avifauna of Bhitarkanika Mangroves, India Zoo's print journal 22(10) 2839-2847pp Available at -
  • Rao VV, Anjaneyulu M, Nagulu V, Srinivasulu C and Satyanarayana D (2004) Water fowl Status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh EPTRI - ENVIS Newsletter 10(4) 7-12pp Available at -,%20No.4,%202004.pdf
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at -
  • PBase Available at -

Page last updated on:2013-02-12

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