Terns (Sternidae)

Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus) - HBW 3, p. 647

French: Sterne royale German: Königsseeschwalbe Spanish: Charrán Real

Taxonomy: Sterna maxima Boddaert, 1783, Cayenne.
Genus often merged with Sterna. Sometimes considered to form superspecies with T. bergii. Racial variation questionable. Two subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • albididorsalis (Hartert, 1921) - Mauritania to Guinea, occasionally further S; winters S to Namibia.
  • maximus (Boddaert, 1783) - S California to Sinaloa, and Maryland (rarely New Jersey) to Texas, and through West Indies to the Guianas and possibly Brazil, with disjunct breeding populations on Yucatán, and in S Brazil, Uruguay and N Patagonia; winters S to Peru and to Uruguay and Argentina.