Black Noddy

Anous minutus
Black Noddy Nest 512x280

Black noddies’ forehead and crown are grayish white, extending back on the head. Their forked tail is slightly grey and the remaining plumage is brown with black legs and feet. They appear blacker than the brown noddy and have a longer, thinner bill and whiter cap with straighter demarcation at lores than the brown noddy.

Courtship consists of head nodding and fish transfers. Extensive nests are built in trees with grasses, leaves, and twigs. Old nests are sometimes renovated and reused. Black noddies were estimated to have 2,000 nests in the casuarina trees around Wake Atoll in 2007. Wilkes Island has also been known to provide nesting habitat for black noddies.

One speckled egg is laid and incubation lasts approximately 36 days. Shifts average about one half day. Chicks are brooded for several days after hatching with feedings approximately once every 11 hours. After about three weeks adults spend little time with chicks, except for feeding. Chicks are fed regurgitated fish or whole fish as they get older. Fledging occurs approximately 36 days after hatching. Post-fledging feeding continues for several weeks.

Facts About Black Noddy

Inshore surface feeders. Feed on small fish brought to the surface by predatory fish such as tuna and jacks.
Life Span
16-18 years
Length: 35-39 cm (14-15 in); wingspan: 66-72 cm (26-28 in)