sooty tern


: a widely distributed tern (Sterna fuscata) of tropical oceans that is blackish above and white below

called also wideawake

Examples of sooty tern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Bush Key closes every year from February to September so that sooty terns and brown noddies can breed there undisturbed. 10., The Mercury News, 26 Feb. 2024 As part of the annual rite, men would climb down the volcano’s 1,000-foot cliffs and swim into the sea to a nearby islet, racing to be the first to return to the village with an egg of a migratory bird, the sooty tern. Mark Johanson, Travel + Leisure, 19 Jan. 2024 From March through September, almost 80,000 sooty terns and roughly 5,000 brown noddies reside on the smaller islands, building their nests and tending to their newly hatched young. Latria Graham, Travel + Leisure, 19 Jan. 2024 Now, Mann and her colleagues are left with an entirely different challenge: how to bring back the seabirds that have long since abandoned Lehua Island, including the ʻuaʻu (Hawaiian petrel), ‘ewa‘ewa (sooty tern) and hinaokū (blue-gray noddy). Tim Lydon, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Apr. 2023 Bush Key closes every year from February to September so that sooty terns and brown noddies can breed there undisturbed. 10. Marnie Hunter, CNN, 5 Mar. 2023 The 16-acre Bush Key is an undeveloped island where up to 80,000 sooty terns and 4,500 brown noddies take up residence during the breeding season (February to September). Skye Sherman, Travel + Leisure, 20 Feb. 2023 On Bush Key, the park protects a rookery of up to 80,000 nesting sooty terns; this is the only significant nesting ground for the tropical species in the continental U.S. National Geographic, 30 Jan. 2018 The bird reserve is home to four species of pelagic seabirds—the greater crested tern, lesser crested tern, sooty tern, and the brown noddy. K A Shaji, Quartz India, 5 May 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sooty tern.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1785, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sooty tern was in 1785

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Cite this Entry

“Sooty tern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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