List of birds of Tokelau
This is a list of the bird species recorded in Tokelau. The avifauna of Tokelau include a total of 29 species, of which one has been introduced by humans and five are rare or accidental. Two species are globally threatened.
This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced and accidental species are included in the total counts for Tokelau.
The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. Not all species fall into one of these categories. Those that do not are commonly occurring native species.
- (A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Tokelau
- (I) Introduced - a species introduced to Tokelau as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
|Table of contents|
Non-passerines: Shearwaters and petrels • Tropicbirds • Boobies and gannets • Frigatebirds • Bitterns, herons and egrets • Pheasants and partridges • Plovers and lapwings • Sandpipers and allies • Gulls, terns, and skimmers • Pigeons and doves • Cuckoos and anis • Barn owls
Shearwaters and petrels
The procellariids are the main group of medium-sized "true petrels", characterised by united nostrils with medium septum and a long outer functional primary.
Tropicbirds are slender white birds of tropical oceans, with exceptionally long central tail feathers. Their heads and long wings have black markings.
Boobies and gannets
Frigatebirds are large seabirds usually found over tropical oceans. They are large, black and white or completely black, with long wings and deeply forked tails. The males have coloured inflatable throat pouches. They do not swim or walk and cannot take off from a flat surface. Having the largest wingspan-to-body-weight ratio of any bird, they are essentially aerial, able to stay aloft for more than a week..
Bitterns, herons and egrets
The family Ardeidae contains the bitterns, herons and egrets. Herons and egrets are medium to large wading birds with long necks and legs. Bitterns tend to be shorter necked and more wary. Members of Ardeidae fly with their necks retracted, unlike other long-necked birds such as storks, ibises and spoonbills.
- Pacific reef-heron, Egretta sacra
Pheasants and partridges
The Phasianidae are a family of terrestrial birds which consists of quails, partridges, snowcocks, francolins, spurfowls, tragopans, monals, pheasants, peafowls and jungle fowls. In general, they are plump (although they vary in size) and have broad, relatively short wings.
- Red junglefowl, Gallus gallus (I)
Plovers and lapwings
The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short, thick necks and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water.
- Pacific golden plover, Pluvialis fulva
Sandpipers and allies
Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.
- Bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica
- Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus (A)
- Bristle-thighed curlew, Numenius tahitiensis
- Wandering tattler, Tringa incana
- Ruddy turnstone, Arenaria interpres
- Sanderling, Calidris alba
Gulls, terns, and skimmers
Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds, the gulls, terns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years.
- Greater crested tern, Thalasseus bergii
- Black-naped tern, Sterna sumatrana
- Spectacled tern, Onychoprion lunatus
- Sooty tern, Onychoprion fuscatus
- Black noddy, Anous minutus
- Brown noddy, Anous stolidus
- Blue noddy, Procelsterna cerulea (A)
- White tern, Gygis alba
Pigeons and doves
- Pacific imperial pigeon, Ducula pacifica
Cuckoos and anis
- Long-tailed koel, Eudynamys taitensis
Barn owls are medium to large owls with large heads and characteristic heart-shaped faces. They have long strong legs with powerful talons.
- Australian masked owl, Tyto novaehollandiae