Chicks hatching in deep holes are given protection for longer from predators, whereas nests that are further from cliffs are more accessible to raptors and large seabirds. This striking bird occupies part of the same habitat ruled by the ancient Inca Empire in South America. Inca terns in the wild live up to 14 years and in captivity up to 20 years. 2014. This information is used to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Despite webbing, the tern's feet are too small to be effective for swimming. Pairs choose a nest site in cliff hollows or fissures—sometimes even in the old nest burrow of a Humboldt Penguin. Like Least Terns, Inca Terns feed by plunge diving and surface dipping. This species breeds twice a year, firstly between April and July, secondly between October and December. Populations decline during such severe storms, though they fairly quickly become stable again. Since Humboldt penguins feed at greater depths than terns, the two species co-exist. Inca terns nest on rocky cliffs, laying their eggs in natural holes and burrows. Production of guano can also reduce the number of nesting sites available, and cats and rats may eat eggs and chicks. Population size: Population trend: Decreasing Extent of occurrence (breeding/resident): 1,650,000 km 2 Country endemic: No Currently this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) and their numbers today are decreasing. The large bill and legs are dark red. This bird is easily recognizable with its dark gray body, and red-orange beak and claws, and its lovely white moustache. Nests are on guano islands or sandy beaches and they choose deep rock crevices where there are many cavities and cliffs that offer good protection. Description. According to the IUCN Red List, the total Inca tern population size is more than 150,000 individuals. Inca terns feed by plunge-diving from a height, after a brief flight above their prey, or by surface-dipping, whereby they swim or sit on the water and pick up prey from the surface. Immature birds are purple-brown, and gradually develop the facial plumes. 2. They often return to the same nest site for several years in a row, and both parents incubate and care for the chicks. Inca terns are unique and beautiful birds—slender with white-tipped gray feathers, a … In tern …distinct type of tern, the Inca tern (Larosterna inca), of Peru and northern Chile, bears distinctive white plumes on the side of the head. Interesting Fact 1. It is endemic to the area of the Humboldt Current. It can be identified by its dark grey body, white moustache on the both sides of its head, and red-orange beak and feet. BIRD OF THE WEEK: 7/18/2014 SCIENTIFIC NAME: Larosterna inca POPULATION: 150,000 TREND: Decreasing HABITAT: Pacific coast from Peru to Chile; breeds on inshore islands and coastal cliffs. Inca Tern This uniquely-plumaged bird breeds on the coasts of Peru and Chile, and is restricted to the Humboldt current. Sign up for ABC's eNews to learn how you can help protect birds. Moustache-like tufts of white feathers on each side of their beak signal maturity in males and females. When sea lions catch fish and then haul out onto rocks in order to eat them, large flocks of Inca terns may hover above them and then plunge down and steal the chewed-up food out from between the teeth of the sea lions. The red beak, red legs and characteristic white moustache of an Inca tern do not develop until they … The Inca Tern has been recorded attending a commercial trawler (Weichler et al. Read More Inspire your inbox – Sign up for daily fun facts about this day in history, updates, and special offers. The large bill and legs are dark red. Declining fish stocks are one of the reasons for this species' population decline. Criteria: A2cde+3cde+4cde Click here for more information about the Red List categories and criteria Justification of Red List category This species is listed as Near Threatened because its population has apparently experienced a moderately rapid decline.
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