Inca Terns are best known for their white “mustaches,” found on both male and female birds. Unfortunately, Inca Tern numbers are decreasing in South America, largely as a result of declining fish populations. Nesting on rocky cliffs in the wild, the El Paso Zoo’s Inca Terns show the same behavior in the rock work upon entering the Aviary.
- The Inca tern feeds primarily on small fish, such as anchovies.
- The Inca tern breeds on rocky cliffs. It nests in a hollow or burrow or sometimes the old nest of a Humboldt penguin, and lays one or two eggs.
- Inca Tern young don’t grow their iconic “mustaches” until they are around two years old.
- They get their name from the ancient Inca empire.
- Scientists have found that the longer an Inca Tern’s “mustache” is, the healthier they are.
Species: L. Inca
You can find Inca Terns along rocky coasts and at harbors and piers where they feed over the waters.