Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Charadriiformes > Laridae > Thalasseus > Thalasseus elegans

Thalasseus elegans (Elegant Tern)

Synonyms: Sterna elegans
Language: Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The elegant tern (Thalasseus elegans, syn. Sterna elegans - see Bridge et al., 2005) is a seabird of the tern family, Sternidae. It breeds on the Pacific coasts of the southern United States and Mexico and winters south to Peru, Ecuador and Chile. The elegant tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish, almost invariably from the sea, like most Thalasseus terns. It usually dives directly, and not from the "stepped-hover" favoured by the Arctic tern. The offering of fish by the male to the female is part of the courtship display.
View Wikipedia Record: Thalasseus elegans

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 2.73112
EDGE Score: 2.00986


Adult Weight [1]  251 grams
Birth Weight [1]  26 grams
Breeding Habitat [2]  Beaches and estuaries, Coastal marine
Wintering Geography [2]  Pacific Coast
Wintering Habitat [2]  Beaches and estuaries, Coastal marine
Diet [3]  Piscivore
Diet - Fish [3]  100 %
Forages - Underwater [3]  100 %
Female Maturity [1]  3 years
Male Maturity [1]  3 years
Clutch Size [1]  1
Clutches / Year [1]  1
Global Population (2017 est.) [2]  180,000
Incubation [1]  26 days
Maximum Longevity [1]  16 years
Migration [4]  Intercontinental
Wing Span [5]  31 inches (.78 m)


Protected Areas


Important Bird Areas

Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Laguna de Ite Peru A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4iii
Lagunas de Ecuasal-Salinas Ecuador A1, A2, A4i, A4iii
Reserva Nacional de Paracas Peru A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4ii
San Diego Bay USA A1, A4i
Terminal Island Tern Colony USA A1, A4i

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
California Floristic Province Mexico, United States No
Chilean Winter Rainfall-Valdivian Forests Chile No
Mesoamerica Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama No
Tumbes-Choco-Magdalena Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru No

Prey / Diet


Larus livens (Yellow-footed Gull)[5]


Parasitized by 
Galactosomum humbargari[7]

Range Map


North America;

External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
2Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
3Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
4Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
5del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
6Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Ecological Informatics 29(1): 45-56. Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE (2015) Data from: Forage species in predator diets: synthesis of data from the California Current. Dryad Digital Repository.
7Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License