Galapagos Common Noddy Facts

  • Scientific Name:
    Anous stolidus
  • Family:
  • 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.


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.


Usually silent, but occasionally emits a low guttural growl.


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.

how we help protect
the galapagos islands- WITH OUR T SHIRTS -

We have partnered up with Free World United, a cause-driven clothing brand, based in the U.S.A., to bring you unique Galapagos apparel that donate $10 to non-profits that protect and preserve the Galapagos Islands. Buy one today or learn how to become a Galapagos Ambassador!