Onychoprion lunatus | gray-backed tern | pākalakala


Other Names: pakalakala, spectacled tern, grey backed tern

The pākalakala, also known as the gray-backed tern or spectacled tern, is endemic to the central Pacific and breeds on small and remote islands and atolls. Adults are mostly slate gray above and white below with a black crown and nape. The forehead has a narrow white patch that is continuous along a white eye-brow that extends above and past the eye and is completely bordered with black. The pākalakala often forages with ‘ewa‘ewa (sooty tern) and ‘ua‘u kani (wedge-tailed shearwater) and feed mainly by plunge diving or by dipping the surface while hovering.

Hotspots for gray-backed tern