Black Noddy

Black Noddy, Heron Isl., Aus.

Black Noddy, Heron Isl., Aus.

Here’s a bird you only see in tropical climates and, being a seabird, you rarely see them on land.  We saw thousands of these noddies on Heron Island amidst the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.


This bird is a member of the tern family.  Also known as the white-capped noddy, Anous minutus feed on fish and squid; and nest in trees on sea islands, often returning to the same nest.  They are about 15 inches long (37 cm).  More noddy info here.


Black Noddy nest, Heron Isl., Aus.

Black Noddy nest, Heron Isl., in Pisonia tree

Sleek and elegant with their black plumage and white crown, there are over 70,000  pairs nesting on Heron Island during their breeding season (Oct.-April).  They line their nests, however, with their droppings and oh, try to imagine the smell of 70,000 fecal-covered nests tucked into a small forest on a very hot tropical island.


Still, they are lovely.

Photo credit:  Athena Alexander

Heron Island, Aus.

Heron Island, Aus.


34 thoughts on “Black Noddy

    • The noddies were thus named for their way of constantly dipping their heads during breeding display. Very glad you liked today’s post and appreciate your visit, Alastair. 😀

  1. Running out to get nose plugs at the thought of a hot small island and 70,000 nests! You have left me with quite the vision Jet. As you say they are beautiful despite the aroma. Wishing you both a great weekend!

    • Your comment made me smile, pc, thanks so much. It was a lovely, albeit odorous, bird. So happy you enjoyed the post, I imagine you are on the road enjoying the wild, wild west. Have fun! 😀

  2. over 70,000 pairs nesting on the Island, I can’t imagine… They are beautiful of this special bird. Have an enjoyable weekend, Jet. 🙂

    • Fortunately we don’t live there and could just move on…one of the things I like so much about travel. I always appreciate your frequent posts and comments, Janet. And you, too, have a great weekend! 😀

  3. These reminded me of the Inca Terns somehow. Interesting birds, I haven’t seen them in person yet. Thanks for the post Jet! 🙂

    • I had not seen them ever before or ever since. They live out at sea, so they’re a rare sight. And yes, there was a reminiscence to the Inca Tern, so sleek and elegant. Glad you liked the post today, dear HJ. Have a great weekend! 😀

    • It’s my pleasure introducing you to this bird, Indah. Thank YOU for introducing me to so many wonderful creatures of the sea. Having a terrific weekend, hope you are too…. 😀

  4. That’s a new type of tern for me. I can only imagine how the Heron island with thousands of nests would look and smell like. But it’s great they have a safe place like that where they come to nest year after year.

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