FANDOM


Sterna fuscata

Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus on Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals.

The sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus) (formerly Sterna fuscata), is a seabird of the tern family, (Sternidae). The genus name is from Ancient Greek onux, "claw", and "prion", nail. The specific fuscatus is Latin for "dark".

It is a bird of the tropical oceans, breeding on islands throughout the equatorial zone. Colloquially, it is known as the wideawake tern or just wideawake. This refers to the incessant calls produced by a colony of these birds, as does the Hawaiian name ʻewa ʻewa which roughly means "cacophony". In most of Polynesia its name is manutara or similar however – literally "tern-bird", though it might be better rendered in English as "the tern" or "common tern". This refers to the fact that wherever Polynesian seafarers went on their long voyages, they usually would find these birds in astounding numbers. It is also known as kaveka in the Marquesas Islands, where dishes using its eggs are a delicacy.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.