Skip to main content

Inca Tern

The Inca Tern is one of my all time favorite birds. Why? It has a mustache! Their mustache and unique patterning make them special among seabirds, which is why they are the only member of genus Larosterna. Overall though, they are one of several dozen members of the Tern family, Sternidae. Inca Terns are seabirds that live on the rocky cliffs and islands off the west coast of South America, in the area of the Humboldt Current.

Unlike their far flying relatives the Arctic Terns, Inca Terns are non-migratory. They spend their lives living in their cliff areas, where they also breed and raise young. They are monogamous birds and lay clutches twice a year, usually around April/May and October. Nests are formed in natural burrows, and both parents assist in rearing the chicks, who remain in the nest for 7 weeks.

Because they are seabirds, Inca Terns feed on fish. They actually share a predatory range with Humboldt Penguins, but there is little competition over food as the penguins are able to retrieve their meals from much deeper ocean depths. Inca Terns obtain their food by flying over the water, spotting fish, and then diving beak fish into the waves.

Inca Terns are a near threatened species, with their wild populations on the decline. The birds survival is quite understandably tied to their food supply, which has been negatively affected by El Nino events in the past. It is estimated that the total population numbers around 150,000.


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

10 Years?!

My goodness! It's been 6 years since I went on hiatus, and now more than 10 years since AaD was born, and what a world we've moved in to! Animal a Day is coming back- but in the meantime, check us out on Facebook, for your daily dose of #BIRDNEWS