Little Terns

Subject: Little Terns
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Sun, 02 Dec 2001 12:30:01 +0800
At 16:58 01/12/2001 +1100, jilldening wrote:
The northern Australian population, whose breeding stronghold is the Gulf of Carpentaria and eastern Cape York, Qld. This population breeds during autumn-winter, and its dispersal behaviour, if at all, is not understood. I guess that's because of its remoteness. There needs to be some colour flagging done at the nests.

The northern hemisphere population, which breeds in places like Japan and China during the Australian winter (northern hemisphere summer), and which migrates to Australia for the Australian summer. In Aust they can be spread all along the east and south-east coast, as well as west into north Western Australia. They arrive here around Sept/October and leave in April/May. They gather in flocks of up to several thousand in some places, Caloundra being one of their many favoured locations. The Japanese laugh at our concern about the Little Tern, because it is so abundant in Japan.

Little Tern does breed along the Kimberley coast and islands of WA. I don't think that they were found breeding until a few years ago, but with more people visiting this area more records are being found. George Swann from Broome knows a lot about this.

Frank O'Connor      Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694             Email : 

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