Inca Tern

The Inca Tern (Larosterna inca) is a seabird in the family Sternidae and the only member of the genus Larosterna.

This unique bird breeds on the coasts of Peru and Chile, and is restricted to the Humboldt Current.

The Inca Tern breeds on rocky cliffs, nesting in a hollow or burrow or sometimes the old nest of a Humboldt Penguin. The female lays one or two eggs which are incubated for about 4 weeks. Chicks leave the nest after approximately 7 weeks.

This is a large tern, 41cm long and the sexes are similar; the adult is mostly slate-grey with white restricted to the facial plumes and the trailing edges of the wings. The large bill and legs are dark red. Juvenile birds are purple-brown, and gradually develop the facial plumes.

The Inca Tern feeds by plunge diving for fish like a Sterna tern. Its call is a cat-like mew.