Whiskered Tern ( Chlidonias hybrida, family: Laridae)

whiskered tern kruger national park birds The Whiskered Tern (Latin name Chlidonias hybrida) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 338 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 468 also a picture of the Whiskered Tern on page 432. The Whiskered Tern belongs to the family of birds classified as Laridae.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Whiskered Tern is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Whiskered Tern in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Whiskered Tern : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Whiskered Tern is a bird about the same size as a starling. The height of the Whiskered Tern is about 25 cms and its weight is about 100 gms

You will find that the male Whiskered Tern plumage and colours are different to that of the female Whiskered Tern

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is yellow.
  • Bill is red.
  • Throat is grey.
  • Back is grey.
  • Legs are crimson.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Whiskered Tern feeds on the ground and in or around water mainly


Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Whiskered Tern is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Chlidonias hybrida will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Whiskered Tern is to create the nest on water. The bird lays eggs which are green in colour and number between 1 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Whiskered Tern are: wetlands

You will normally see the Whiskered Tern in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Witbaardsterretjie

German ... Weibart-Seeschwalbe

Portuguese ... Gaivina-de-faces-brancas

French ... Guifette moustac

Dutch ... Witwangstern

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 338

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za