Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Charadriiformes > Laridae > Chlidonias > Chlidonias niger

Chlidonias niger (Black Tern)

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Wikipedia Abstract

The black tern (Chlidonias niger or Chlidonias nigra) is a small tern generally found in or near inland water in Europe and North America. As its name suggests, it has predominantly dark plumage. In some lights it can appear blue in the breeding season, hence the old English name "blue darr". The genus name is from Ancient Greek khelidonios, "swallow-like", from khelidon, "swallow". The species name is from Latin niger "shining black".
View Wikipedia Record: Chlidonias niger


EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 3.94396
EDGE Score: 1.59817


Clutch Size [4]  3
Clutches / Year [7]  1
Fledging [6]  22 days
Global Population (2017 est.) [3]  850,000
Incubation [4]  21 days
Mating Display [8]  Non-acrobatic aerial display
Mating System [8]  Monogamy
Maximum Longevity [4]  21 years
Migration [1]  Intercontinental
Speed [9]  21.251 MPH (9.5 m/s)
Water Biome [1]  Lakes and Ponds, Rivers and Streams
Wing Span [9]  21 inches (.539 m)
Adult Weight [2]  60 grams
Birth Weight [4]  7 grams
Breeding Habitat [3]  Freshwater marshes
Wintering Geography [3]  Pacific Ocean
Wintering Habitat [3]  Pelagic, Coastal marine
Diet [5]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Ectothermic [5]  30 %
Diet - Fish [5]  30 %
Diet - Invertibrates [5]  40 %
Forages - Water Surface [5]  90 %
Forages - Underwater [5]  10 %
Female Maturity [4]  2 years
Male Maturity [4]  2 years


Protected Areas

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Important Bird Areas

Biodiversity Hotspots

Prey / Diet

Clupea harengus (Yawling)[10]
Clupea pallasii (Pacific herring)[10]
Sardina pilchardus (European pilchard)[10]
Sardinops sagax (Australian pilchard)[10]
Sprattus sprattus (Whitebait)[10]


Range Map

External References

NatureServe Explorer


Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Storchová, Lenka; Hořák, David (2018), Data from: Life-history characteristics of European birds, Dryad, Dataset,
3Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
4de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
5Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
6Nathan P. Myhrvold, Elita Baldridge, Benjamin Chan, Dhileep Sivam, Daniel L. Freeman, and S. K. Morgan Ernest. 2015. An amniote life-history database to perform comparative analyses with birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecology 96:3109
7del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
8Terje Lislevand, Jordi Figuerola, and Tamás Székely. 2007. Avian body sizes in relation to fecundity, mating system, display behavior, and resource sharing. Ecology 88:1605
9Flight Speeds and Energetics of Seven Bird Species, Rebecca Ann Kolotylo, Masters Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1989
10Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
11Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 Wildfinder Database
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2022). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2023-06-13; License: CC BY 4.0