List of birds of Tristan da Cunha facts for kids
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Tristan da Cunha. The avifauna of Tristan da Cunha include a total of eighty-eight species, of which twelve are endemic or breeding endemic, and one is extinct.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.
The following tags have been used to categorise some species:
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Tristan da Cunha
- (E) Endemic - a species endemic to Tristan da Cunha
- (Ex) Extinct - a species that no longer exists
- Ducks, geese, and swans
- Cuckoos and anis
- Rails, gallinules, and coots
- Storm petrels
- Petrels and shearwaters
- Herons, egrets, and bitterns
- Plovers and lapwings
- Sandpipers and allies
- Skuas and jaegers
- Gulls, terns, and skimmers
Ducks, geese, and swans
Includes all but four species of Anseriformes. They are excellent at an aquatic life thanks to an oily covering on their feathers. One species has been recorded in Tristan da Cunha.
- Yellow-billed teal, Anas flavirostris (A)
Cuckoos and anis
Cuckoos are found almost worldwide. They are highly variable in size, shape, colour, and habits.
- Yellow-billed cuckoo, Coccyzus americanus (A)
Order Caprimulgiformes Family Caprimulgidae
Nighthawks belong to the same family as nightjars but are found only in the Americas. They have mottled or striped plumage for camouflage.
- Common nighthawk, Chordeiles minor (A)
Rails, gallinules, and coots
Rails are usually secretive birds. Many island species are flightless and many of those have gone extinct in the last five centuries. Gallinules are less secretive, and are usually found near or on water.
- Inaccessible Island rail, Atlantisia rogersi (E)
- Paint-billed crake, Neocrex erythrops (A)
- Purple gallinule, Porphyrio martinicus (A)
- Tristan moorhen, Gallinula nesiotis (Ex)
- Gough moorhen, Gallinula comeri (E)
- Red-gartered coot, Fulica armillata (A)
Penguins are southern ocean birds with only one species north of the equator. Small to large in size and mostly black and white in colour. Five species have been recorded in Tristan da Cunha.
- King penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus (A)
- Gentoo penguin, Pygoscelis papua (A)
- Chinstrap penguin, Pygoscelis antarcticus (A)
- Macaroni penguin, Eudyptes chrysolophus (A)
- Northern rockhopper penguin, Eudyptes moseleyi
Order Phaethontiformes Family Phaethontidae Tropicbirds are seabirds once thought to be closely related to pelicans but now known to belong in a clade known as Metaves. Three species have been record in Tristan da Cunha.
- Red-billed tropicbird, Phaethon aethereus (A)
- White-tailed tropicbird, Phaethon lepturus (A)
- Red-tailed tropicbird, Phaethon rubricauda (A)
Order Procellariiformes Family Hydrobatidae Storm petrels are small marine birds mostly black and white. Seven species have been recorded in Tristan da Cunha.
- Wilson's storm-petrel, Oceanites oceanicus
- Grey-backed storm-petrel, Garrodia nereis (A)
- White-faced storm-petrel, Pelagodroma marina (A)
- White-bellied storm-petrel, Fregetta grallaria (A)
- Black-bellied storm-petrel, Fregetta tropica (A)
- Band-rumped storm petrel, Oceanodroma castro (A)
- Leach's storm petrel, Oceanodroma leucorhoa
Petrels and shearwaters
Order Procellariiformes Family Procellariidae Petrels and shearwaters are known collectively as tubenoses for the tubes on their beaks which they use for excreting salt. There are 22 species in Tristan da Cunha.
- Southern giant petrel, Macronectes giganteus
- Northern giant petrel, Macronectes halli
- Southern fulmar, Fulmarus glacialoides
- Cape petrel, Daption capensis
- Broad-billed prion, Pachyptila vittata
- Antarctic prion, Pachyptila desolata
- Kerguelen petrel, Aphrodroma brevirostris
- Juan Fernandez petrel, Pterodroma externa
- Soft-plumaged petrel, Pterodroma mollis
- Atlantic petrel, Pterodroma incerta
- White-headed petrel, Pterodroma lessonii
- Great-winged petrel, Pterodroma macroptera
- Grey petrel, Procellaria cinerea
- White-chinned petrel, Procellaria aequinoctialis
- Spectacled petrel, Procellaria conspicillata (E)
- Sooty shearwater, Ardenna grisea
- Great shearwater, Ardenna gravis
- Scopoli's shearwater, Calonectris diomedea (A)
- Cory's shearwater, Calonectris borealis (A)
- Little shearwater, Puffinus assimilis
- Common diving petrel, Pelecanoides urinatrix
Albatrosses are large tubenoses with wingspans of more than a meter. Most are southern ocean species but some are found in the north Pacific Ocean. There are seven species in Tristan da Cunha.
- Wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans
- Sooty albatross, Phoebetria fusca
- Light-mantled albatross, Phoebetria palpebrata
- Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, Thalassarche chlororhynchos
- Grey-headed albatross, Thalassarche chrysostoma
- Black-browed albatross, Thalassarche melanophris
- White-capped albatross, Thalassarche cauta
Herons, egrets, and bitterns
- Striated heron, Butorides striata (A)
- Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis (A)
- Cocoi heron, Ardea cocoi (A)
- Great egret, Ardea alba (A)
- Little blue heron, Egretta caerulea (A)
- Snowy egret, Egretta thula (A)
Order Charadriiformes Family Chionidae Sheathbills are scavenging ground-dwelling birds native to Antarctica.
- Snowy sheathbill, Chionis albus (A)
Plovers and lapwings
Order Charadriiformes Family Charadriidae
Plovers are small to medium-sized wading birds found worldwide, which live both on coasts and inland. Two species have been recorded in Tristan da Cunha.
- Common ringed plover, Charadrius hiaticula (A)
- Rufous-chested dotterel, Charadrius modestus (A)
Sandpipers and allies
Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil.
- Upland sandpiper, Bartramia longicauda(A)
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus(A)
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres(A)
- Sharp-tailed sandpiper, Calidris acuminata
- Sanderling, Calidris alba(A)
- White-rumped sandpiper, Calidris fuscicollis(A)
- Pectoral sandpiper, Calidris melanotos(A)
- Spotted sandpiper, Actitis macularius(A)
- Solitary sandpiper, Tringa solitaria(A)
- Lesser yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes(A)
- Common greenshank, Tringa nebularia(A)
- Grey phalarope, Phalaropus fulicarius(A)
Skuas and jaegers
The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants.
- Brown skua, Stercorarius antarctica
- Pomarine jaeger, Stercorarius pomarinus (A)
- Chilean skua, Stercorarius chilensis (A)
- Long-tailed jaeger, Stercorarius longicaudus (A)
Gulls, terns, and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years.
- Brown noddy, Anous stolidus
- Kelp gull, Larus dominicanus (A)
- Franklin's gull, Leucophaeus pipixcan (A)
- Arctic tern, Sterna paradisaea (A)
- Antarctic tern, Sterna vittata
Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked, wading birds with long, stout bills. Storks are mute, but bill-clattering is an important mode of communication at the nest. Their nests can be large and may be reused for many years. Many species are migratory. Only one species is a visitor to Tristan da Cunha.
- White stork, Ciconia ciconia (A)
Falconidae is a family of diurnal birds of prey. They differ from hawks, eagles and kites in that they kill with their beaks instead of their talons. One species has been recorded in Tristan da Cunha.
- Amur falcon, Falco amurensis (A)
The family Hirundinidae is adapted to aerial feeding. They have a slender streamlined body, long pointed wings and a short bill with a wide gape. The feet are adapted to perching rather than walking, and the front toes are partially joined at the base.
- Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica (A)
Order: Passeriformes Family: Thraupidae This large family includes the true tanagers, as well as a number of other species often referred to simply as "finches", although they are not members of the true finch family.
- Nightingale Island finch, Neospiza acunhae (E)
- Wilkins's finch, Nesospiza wilkinsi (E)
- Inaccessible Island finch, Nesospiza acunhae (E)
- Gough Island finch, Rowettia goughensis (E)
Order: Passeriformes Family: Phylloscopidae This widespread family consists of small, insectivorous birds that forage mainly in trees.
- Willow warbler, Phylloscopus trochilus (A)
The thrushes are a group of passerine birds that occur mainly but not exclusively in the Old World. They are plump, soft plumaged, small to medium-sized insectivores or sometimes omnivores, often feeding on the ground. Many have attractive songs.
- Tristan thrush, Turdus eremita (E)
List of birds of Tristan da Cunha Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.