Brown or Common Noddy

The Brown (or Common) Noddy is a medium sized brown seabird with a pale white-grey
Forehead.  It is larger than the Lesser Noddy and has a relatively short, stout beak.
Brown Noddies breed from April to September.

Brown or Common Noddy pair © Martin Harvey

Often building nests from sticks or seaweed in the tops of coconut palms.  On predator-free islands, some birds breed on the ground, laying an egg directly onto rock ledges without building a nest.  The adult birds feed in flocks, picking small fish or squid from near the surface of the water.

The Brown Noddy will sometimes wet its feathers in the sea before sitting on its egg, to keep it cool.


Scientific name: Anous stolidus
Creole name: Makwa
Wingspan: 75 – 86 cm
Population in the Seychelles: At least 15,000 PAIRS in the granitic islands, another 7 – 15,000 PAIRS on outer islands
World distribution: Tropical Atlantic and Indian Ocean
Distribution in Seychelles: Breed on predator-free granite islands and all coral islands; seen throughout Seychelles
Nest: In coconut palms (where it builds a nest) or on the ground (no nest) One egg laid
Diet: Small fish, squid
Identification: A brown tern, larger than lesser Noddy and with less white on head

See more:

Species Fact Sheet at BirdLife Data Zone

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Since 1998.

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

@CousinIsland Manager


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