Sooty Tern

This large, black-backed tern is found throughout the world’s tropical seas and is the most abundant seabird  in Seychelles.  However, because it nests on the ground in dense colonies, it is vulnerable to disturbance and predation during the breeding season.

sooty tern
Sooty Tern © Peter Chadwick

Several fromer colonies in Seychelles have been lost.  For many years, the eggs have been collected fr food locally and for export.  Today, egg-collecting is controlled by the Ministry of Environment and populations are monitored by scientists.  If eggs are collected early in breeding season, females can lay a second.  New research indicates that birds may move between colonies in Seychelles


Scientific name: Sterna fuscata
Creole name: Golet
Wingspan: 82 – 94 cm
Population in the Seychelles: At least 3 million PAIRS in the granitics, 2 million on outer islands
World distribution: Worldwide in warmer oceans
Distribution in Seychelles: Breeds on Aride, Bird Island, Cousine,  Recif and other small islands.  Also several coral islands to the South (African Banks, Cosmoledo,  Desnoeufs)
Nest: Nests on the ground in large colonies.  One egg laid.
Diet: Small fish, squid
Identification: A large tern, black above and pure white below.

See more

Species Fact Sheet at BirdLife Data Zone

Our History

Since 1998.

Seychelles Nature, Green HealthClimate Change, Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability Organisation

@CousinIsland Manager


Roche Caiman, Mahe


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Centre for Environment & Education

Roche Caiman,

P.O. Box 1310, Mahe, Seychelles

Tel:+ 248 2519090