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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

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.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 136

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 185

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 185

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 108

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 35

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 98

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 142

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 56

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 56

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 121

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 206

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 215

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 284

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 280

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 204

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 212

Seabirds - Author: Peter Harrison - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 383

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 134

The Coastal Guide of South Africa - Author: Jacana Media - Year Published: 2007 - Page: 98

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 98

List of South African Birds

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