Tiñosa Negra/Black Noddy/Anous minutus

Foto: Mateo Perrot-Bohringer Cabrera

Nombre en español: Tiñosa Negra

Nombre en inglés: Black Noddy

Nombre científico: Anous minutus

Familia: Laridae

Categorías: Errática

Canto: David M


Anida en plataformas en las ramas de los árboles, creadas con hojas secas y revestidas de excrementos de aves, los que son reutilizados en temporadas posteriores.​ Ponen un huevo por temporada, su plumaje es oscuro en todo el cuerpo, excepto una mancha de plumas blancas, que parte del pico y sobrepasa el nivel de los ojos. ​Habita en los mares tropicales, se mueven hasta los 80 kilómetros de la costa, regresando por la noche a su nido.

Black noddy

The black noddy or white-capped noddy (Anous minutus) is a seabird from the family Laridae. It is a medium-sized species of tern with black plumage and a white cap. It closely resembles the lesser noddy (Anous tenuirostris) with which it was at one time considered conspecific. The black noddy has slightly darker plumage and dark rather than pale lores.


The black noddy was first formally described by German naturalist and lawyer Friedrich Boie in 1844 under its current binomial name.[2] The genus name Anous is ancient Greek for «stupid» or «foolish». The specific name minutus is the Latin for «small».

There are seven subspecies:

  • A. m. worcesteri (McGregor, 1911) – Cavilli Island & Tubbataha Reef (Sulu Sea)
  • A. m. minutus Boie 1844 – northeast Australia & New Guinea to Tuamotu Archipelago
  • A. m. marcusi (Bryan, 1903) – Marcus & Wake Islands through Micronesia to the Caroline Islands
  • A. m. melanogenys Gray, 1846 – Hawaiian Islands
  • A. m. diamesus (Heller & Snodgrass, 1901) – Clipperton Island (off western Mexico) & Cocos Island (off western Costa Rica)
  • A. m. americanus (Mathews, 1912) – islands in the Caribbean Sea
  • A. m. atlanticus (Mathews, 1912) – tropical islands in the Atlantic


The black noddy has a length of 35–37 cm (14–15 in), a wingspan of 66–72 cm (26–28 in) and a weight of 98–144 g (3.5–5.1 oz). It has dark plumage and a pale crown. There is a small white crescent under each eye and a white spot above. It has long tapering wings and a truncated tail. The sharply pointed bill is black. The feet are fully webbed and are black in most subspecies but orange in melanogenys.


These birds may have become known as «noddies» because of the behaviour of both sexes as they constantly dip their heads during their breeding display. They are very tolerant of humans even to the extent that they can be picked up off the nest. They feed on fish and squid which they gather by flying low over the surface of the sea and picking them up. They may associate with other seabirds in areas where predatory fish are driving small fish to the surface.

The nests of these birds consist of a level platform, often created in the branches of trees by a series of dried leaves covered with bird droppings. One egg is laid each season, and nests are re-used in subsequent years. The trees used for this purpose are various but the Pisonia is most often used, and in large trees, there are often several nests. The guano produced by these birds adds large quantities of nutrients to the soil which is of great importance to the plant communities on coral islands.


The black noddy has a worldwide distribution in tropical and subtropical seas, with colonies widespread in the Pacific Ocean and more scattered across the Caribbean, central Atlantic and in the northeast Indian Ocean. At sea it is usually seen close to its breeding colonies within 80 km of shore. Birds return to their colonies, or to other islands, to roost at night.

Cultural significance

This is one of landfinding birds whose daily foraging flights were traditionally employed by Pacific navigators to locate unseen atolls.

Noddies are peculiar terns; first of all they look like a negative image of a tern. Instead of a white bird with a black cap, we have a dark bird with a white cap. The Black Noddy, as compared to the slightly larger Brown Noddy (Anous stolidus) is blacker, with a more cleanly set off white cap and a longer and thinner bill. Second of all they have a peculiar name which derives from one of their breeding displays in which the members of the pair nod at each other. Noddies are tropical terns, nesting in colonies on islands, sometimes well offshore. In the Americas they nest in the Caribbean, tropical Atlantic and Pacific oceans where they broadly overlap with the Brown Noddy. Black Noddies depend on large predatory fish, such as tunas, to drive bait fish to the surface where they become accessible to the birds. Unlike most terns, noddies do not dive in the water, they pick food off the water’s surface, or they may plunge into the water without fully submersing. Genetic data shows that the noddies are the oldest branch in the tern family tree, explaining why some behaviors, plumage and even morphology is so different from more typical terns.

Fuentes: Wikipedia/eBird/xeno-canto/Neotropical Birds

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