Inca Tern

Inca Tern

Found along the coasts of Peru and Chile around rocky cliff tops.

Wild Diet

Feeds on small fish such as anchovies. Inca terns are plunge-divers, hovering over water at around 15cm before diving on prey and emerging almost immediately. They are thought of as scavenger birds as they are reported to steal scraps of food from the mouths of seals.


They have a loud cackling call. The Inca tern is not great at swimming as they have large wings and small feet but they are excellent fliers.


Nests are built in sheltered places on rocky cliffs such as holes and crevices. They will sometimes use old nests of Humboldt penguins. They lay 1 - 2 eggs which are incubated for around 4 weeks. Chicks fledge after 7 weeks. Courtship is noisy and includes pairs bowing to each other while cackling and aerial displays by the male with gifts.


Main threats include guano harvesting and lack of nesting substrate.


Listed as Near threatened

Inca Tern Inca Tern


  • Latin Name: Larosterna inca
  • Conservation Status: Near Threatened
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