Re: Little Terns.

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Re: Little Terns.
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2000 10:54:01 +0800
Jill Denning <> wrote :
As I understand it, there are three populations of sterna albifrons in

   South-East Australian breeding population which is threatened, and which
   breeds SEAustralia in the Australian summer.
   Northern hemisphere population which breeds in the northern hemisphere
   June/July and spends the northern winter in Australia (our summer).
   Northern Australia population, which breeds in areas around the Gulf of
   Carpentaria (and I think as far north as the Philippines) during the
   Australian autumn.

The northern Australian population extends across to Broome where it has
been recorded breeding.  The breeding records in the Kimberley of WA have
only relatively recently been discovered, but this does not mean that this
has just started but rather that little was previously known.  I have seen
a flock of more than 1,000 Little Terns on the Lacepede Islands so they are
not uncommon.  I don't know if any of the Little Terns in the Kimberley are

These timing differences and different races of terns is fascinating.  I
know of at least two different populations of Roseate Terns that visit
Western Australia to breed, and there is discussion of a third.  Similarly,
there is a resident race of Gull-billed Tern and a much smaller summer
migrant race to the Kimberley (and I presume Northern Australia).

For Night Parrot's information, this is an area where the banding of birds
is essential to discover this information.  This leads to knowledge of the
areas that need to be protected to protect the species as a whole.

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