Estimated Wild Population
Inca terns have a dark gray body and a red beak and legs. Moustache-like tufts of white feathers on each side of their beak signal maturity in males and females. They feed primarily on small fish, such as anchovies, and catch their prey by diving into the water with their pointed beak. Inca terns nest on rocky cliffs, laying their eggs in natural holes and burrows.
Interesting Fact 1
Inca terns are native to the same region of South America as the ancient Inca Empire—hence their name.
Interesting Fact 2
Their population decline is likely due to overfishing and ocean pollution.
Interesting Fact 3
The length of their moustache can be a signal of reproductive health and performance.
Commitment to Care
Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.
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Animals Depend On People Too
When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.
The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.
Take Action With Us
Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.