New migration records for the Damara Tern <i>Sterna balaenarum</i>


  • J Braby


The Damara Tern Sterna balaenarum is Africa's smallest breeding tern and is a near-endemic breeder to Namibia (Simmons 2005). It is globally Near-threatened (IUCN 2009) and breeds on the coastal mainland where the cold Benguela Current meets the Namib Desert. All but a small fraction leave south-western Africa for non-breeding grounds on the west African coast (Simmons 2005). Birds leave their respective breeding grounds at the end of the austral summer, latest April, and move northward along the Namibian coast where they coalesce with other post-breeding Damara Terns into larger flocks before migration (Braby et al. 1992). Groups then migrate northward to over-winter in countries such as coastal Gabon, Congo, and even as far as Nigeria (Bourdillon 1944, Elgood et al. 1973, Wallace 1973), Liberia (Borrow and Demey 2001) and Senegal (Brown 1979).




How to Cite

Braby, J. (2010). New migration records for the Damara Tern <i>Sterna balaenarum</i>. Biodiversity Observations, 38–41. Retrieved from




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