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Swift Tern

Afrikaans name: Geelbeksterretjie

Swift Tern

Swift Tern

Photo © Steven Herbert

Sterna bergii

The Swift Tern is a common species along South African shorelines. They are also known as Greater Crested Terns in some areas of the world.

These terns are quite large and have a yellow bill and are black at the back of the head. Mala and female look alike.

Swift Terns are found along the coast and in estuaries. They feed mainly on fish which they catch by diving into the sea or scooping fish out from near the surface of the water.

They breed in most months of the year except for summer. Their nest is a simple scrape in the ground that is lined with dry grass. They nest on islands or near estuaries or pans. Either one or two eggs are laid.



List of South African Birds

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