Sooty Tern, Sterna fuscata, is a seabird of the tern family Sternidae. It is a bird of the tropical oceans, breeding on islands throughout the equatorial zone. This bird is migratory and dispersive, wintering more widely through the tropical oceans. It has very marine habits compared to most terns. This species is an extremely rare vagrant to western Europe.
This species breeds in colonies on rocky or coral islands. It nests in a ground scrape or hole and lays one to three eggs. It feeds by picking items from the surface in marine environments, often in large flock, and rarely comes to land except to breed.
This is a large tern, similar to Sandwich Tern in size. The wings and deeply forked tail are long, and it has dark grey upperparts and white underparts. It has black legs and bill. Juvenile Sooty Terns are scaly grey above and below.
This species is unlikely to be confused with any tern apart from the similarly dark-backed but smaller Bridled Tern. It is darker-backed than that species, and has a broader white forehead and no pale neck collar.