Sooty Tern, Onychoprion fuscata
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Aequorlitornithes
Order: Charadriiformes
Suborder: Lari
Family: Laridae
Subfamily: Sterninae
Genus: Onychoprion
Wagler, 1832

Onychoprion, the "brown-backed terns", is a genus of seabirds in the tern family. Although the genus was first described in 1832 by Johann Georg Wagler the four species in the genus were until recently retained in the larger genus Sterna, the genus that most terns are in (Bridge et al., 2005).

Three of the four species are tropical, and one has a sub-polar breeding range. The Sooty Tern has a pan-tropical distribution; the Bridled Tern also breeds across the Tropical Atlantic and Indian Ocean but in the central Pacific it is replaced by the Spectacled Tern. The Aleutian Tern breeds around Alaska and Siberia but winters in the tropics around South East Asia.

Manutara is the Rapa Nui language name for Spectacled and Sooty Terns. Both arrive at Easter Island and hatch their eggs on the island called Motu Nui, an event that was used for an annual rite called Tangata manu.


Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
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