Antarctic Terns

The Antarctic Tern (Sterna vittata) is a typical tern.

Distribution / Range

It ranges throughout the southern oceans. The total global population of this bird is around 140000 individuals.

Antarctic Terns


Size: The antarctic tern is a pretty small bird at 12-15 inches long.

Adults: The bill is usually a darkish color but can sometimes be red.T his bird is white with a black spot on its forehead. The tips of this terns wings are also a greyish black.

Juveniles: The plumage of juveniles is white on the belly, foreneck, forehead, and breast.The back is gray and the bill is black

Similar Birds: It is very similar in appearance to the closely related Arctic Tern. The main difference is the fact that it is in breeding plumage in the southern summer, and that the wingtips are grey instead of blackish in flight.

Flying Antarctic Tern

Antarctic Tern Nest with Egg

Breeding / Nesting

Breeding takes place from mid-November to early December.

Chicks hatch from December to February.

Skuas and Jaegers are the primary predators of this bird.

Other Related Web Link: Terns

Antarctic Tern
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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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