Black noddies are found on tropical and subtropical oceanic islands, from sandy atolls to rocky islands. Black noddies are the only marine terns (Sterninae) that build large nests and one of the only tree or shrub-nesting tern species. They nest and roost mainly in vegetation, although nests on coastal cliffs and in caves are common in the Hawaiian Islands, Clipperton Island, and in islands in their Atlantic range. A wide variety of vegetation types are used for nesting and roosting. Nests are usually constructed in forests dominated by Pisonia grandis trees, ironwood (Casuarina equisetifolia), mangroves (Avicennia and Rhizophora), and coastal shrubs (naupaka Scaevola sericea, tree heliotrope Tournefortia argentea). Black noddies forage in nearshore, warm-water areas during breeding and non-breeding seasons. During long distance movements or migrations they fly over large expanses of open water. Closely related brown noddies (Anous stolidus) are often found one the same islands in similar habitats, but nest mainly on the ground.
Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial ; saltwater or marine
Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; forest ; scrub forest
Aquatic Biomes: coastal