Seabird information

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White-fronted tern

Tara | Sterna striata

Has a white body and forehead with a black cap, and a long forked tail

Often seen in flocks diving into the sea

Feeds on fish and sometimes insects

Breeds around the New Zealand coast and on offshore islands, from October to January

Migrates to Australia in winter (mainly juveniles)

NZ Conservation Status Declining

This is the most common tern in New Zealand. Terns fly with their heads and bills pointed down, to spot prey in the water. Flocks of white-fronted tern dive for small fish, especially when kahawai chase schools of them to the surface.

Although white-fronted terns have webbed feet, they spend more time on land than swimming in the water.

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White-fronted tern

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Tara | Sterna striata

Has a white body and forehead with a black cap, and a long forked tail

Often seen in flocks diving into the sea

Feeds on fish and sometimes insects

Breeds around the New Zealand coast and on offshore islands, from October to January

Migrates to Australia in winter (mainly juveniles)

NZ Conservation Status Declining

This is the most common tern in New Zealand. Terns fly with their heads and bills pointed down, to spot prey in the water. Flocks of white-fronted tern dive for small fish, especially when kahawai chase schools of them to the surface.

Although white-fronted terns have webbed feet, they spend more time on land than swimming in the water.