Galapagos Common Noddy Facts

  • Scientific Name:
    Anous stolidus
  • Family:
    Sternidae
  • Length:
    38 - 45 cm (15 - 17.7 in)
  • Wingspan:
    75 - 86 cm (30 - 33.8 in)
Common Noody

The Common Noddy is a common resident of Galapagos; endemic subspecies galapagensis. Population estimated to be a few thousand pairs. Breeds throughout the archipelago in small colonies on sea cliffs just above the tideline.

Identification:

The Common Noddy is the only entirely dark tern, with typical pointed wings, and wedge-shaped tail. It is smaller and more elegant than the Lava Gull. ADULT: Dark brown overall, except for whitish-grey forehead and crown, and white eyelids. In flight shows pale wing bar on upper wing and dusky-gray centre to under wing. JUVENILE: Similar to adult, but lacks contrasting cap.

Voice:

Usually silent, but occasionally emits a low guttural growl.

Behavior:

Common Noddy's hover above the sea, often in large groups, sometimes accompanying Brown pelicans, which may be used as a perch! Generally flies low over the sea, picking food from the surface; does not plunge dive.

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