Black noddies are found in the marine tropics and subtropics. They have a circum-equatorial distribution, being found in tropical and subtropical areas of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans and the Caribbean Sea. Throughout their range black noddies are primarily found near breeding islands, where they are resident throughout the year, although some long-distance movements of individuals occurs. They are most common within about 80 km of breeding islands. In the Americas they are found on islands off the coasts of Central and South America. In the Atlantic and Indian Oceans they are found on Ascension, St. Helena, and Gulf of Guinea Islands, as well as Ashmore reef off the northwest coast of Australia. In the Pacific Ocean they are found mainly in the southwest and central Pacific, including the Hawaiian archipelago, Johnston Atoll, Marcus and Wake Islands, islands off the coast of the Philippines, New Guinea, and northeastern Australia, Lord Howe, Norfolk, Philip, and Kermadec Islands, the Mariana Islands, Palau, Caroline Islands, Marshall Islands, Bismarck Archipelago, New Caledonia, Nauru, Gilbert Islands, Tuvalu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands, Tokelau, Phoenix Islands, Line Islands, Austral Islands, Society Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago, and the Marquesas Islands.
Biogeographic Regions: neotropical (Native ); australian (Native ); oceanic islands (Native ); indian ocean (Native ); atlantic ocean (Native ); pacific ocean (Native )