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Lord Howe Island - Noddies 1.JPG
Brown noddy and black noddy together, Lord Howe Island
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Sternidae
Genus: Anous
Stephens, 1826
  • A. stolidus
  • A. minutus
  • A. tenuirostris

Anous is a genus of birds in the tern family. The genus as presently described consists of three species (or two):

  • Brown noddy or common noddy (Anous stolidus)
  • Black noddy (Anous minutus)
  • Lesser noddy (Anous tenuirostris). Lesser noddy is sometimes considered a subspecies of black noddy.

This genus forms part of the Lari group (gulls, terns, auks, and relatives).[1]

These birds are dark-plumaged terns that inhabit tropical oceans. Noddies are tropical seabirds with worldwide distribution, ranging from Hawaii to the Tuamotu Archipelago and Australia in the Pacific Ocean, from the Red Sea to the Seychelles and Australia in the Indian Ocean and in the Caribbean to Tristan da Cunha in the Atlantic Ocean.[1] They nest in colonies on cliffs or in short trees or shrubs, seldom on the ground.

The female lays one egg in each breeding season.[1]

These birds feed on small fish, which they catch by plunge diving.


Anous is Greek for "stupid" or "unmindful";[2] see also nous; stolidus means "impassive" in Latin.[3] These birds are often unwary and were well known to sailors for their apparent indifference to hunters or predators. They find safety in enormous numbers.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Anous, TOLWEB
  2. ^ Peter Harrison, Seabirds, an Identification Guide (1983) ISBN 0-7470-1410-8
  3. ^ a b Brown Noddy or Common Noddy, Avian Web