Sooty Tern ( Sterna fuscata, family: Laridae)

The Sooty Tern (Latin name Sterna fuscata) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 332 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 467 also a picture of the Sooty Tern on page 417. The Sooty 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 Sooty Tern is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

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

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Sooty Tern is a bird about the size of a Francolin now called Spurfowl. The height of the Sooty Tern is about 42 cms and its weight is about 180 gms

The male and female Sooty Tern have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is black.
  • Back is brown, black.
  • Legs are blue.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Sooty Tern feeds on the ground mainly

Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Sooty Tern takes on more than a single mate (it is bigamous).

The nesting habit of Sooty Tern is extra limital

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Sooty Tern are: mountainous regions

You will normally see the Sooty Tern in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Roetsterretjie

German ... Ruseeschwalbe

Portuguese ... Gaivina-de-dorso-preto

French ... Sterne fuligineuse

Dutch ... Bonte Stern

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 332

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 ,