Very common summer visitor. Breeds on Kuwait’s offshore islets. On Kubbar 2200 pairs recorded in mid May 2003, forming one of Kuwait’s most remarkable bird spectacles. Sadly this and other colonies have been frequently disturbed by people who visit the islets during summer.
Where in Kuwait
Occasionally seen near the coastline in the south of Kuwait at Khiran, but is mostly encountered far out at sea as well as on the off-shore islands during summer breeding where it nests under the salt bushes. It breeds with other 3 other tern species on Kubbar Island each summer.
In the world
It has a large range with an uncertain population trend and is a bird of the tropical oceans. Most populations are migratory and dispersive and abandon their breeding sites at the end of the breeding season to overwinter at sea. Its detailed migratory movements are largely unknown however and some populations in the Indian Ocean are entirely sedentary or only partially migratory. The specific name of this species, anathetus, is derived from the Greek for senseless or stupid, a reference to the ease with which hungry sailors captured this relatively docile seabird.
Marine oil spills and pollution. Continuous human disturbance during the breeding season on the off-shore islands in summer which can lead to nest desertion. It has also been known to abandon breeding colonies when subject to severe human disturbance.