Great Crested Tern

This large tern does not breed around the granitic islands but can be seen here at all times of the year, flying along beaches alone to roosting on sandbanks in small groups.

greater tern
Greater Crested Tern © Dao Nguyen

Greater Terns on Aldabra, Cosmoledo and a few other outer islands, and some birds can be seen around these breeding sites all year round.  When feeding birds dive from the air into water to catch fish, squid and other prey.  They also pick turtle hatchings from the surface of the water.

Outside of the breeding season, many more birds are seen in Seychelles that can be accounted for by the known breeding populations here. We do not know where the extra birds come from.


Scientific name: Sterna bergii
Creole name: Dyanman Sardin
Wingspan: 125 – 130 cm
Population in the Seychelles: 300 – 700 breeding pairs in the Seychelles, all on the southern coral islands
World distribution: Indian Ocean, Pacific, Red Sea and Persian Gulf
Distribution in Seychelles: Breeds on Aldabra and Amirantes, outside breeding season, occurs throughout the Seychelles
Nest: On the ground, on bare earth on small islets. One or two eggs laid
Diet: Fish, squid, turtle hatchings
Identification: A large tern, grey above and white below with a forked white tail, heavy greenish –yellow beak and shaggy black crest

See more:

Species Fact Sheet at BirdLife Data Zone

Our History

Since 1998.

Seychelles Nature, Green HealthClimate Change, Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainability Organisation

@CousinIsland Manager


Roche Caiman, Mahe


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