White-cheeked Tern (Breeding plumage)
White-cheeked Tern (With fledgling)
Scientific Name 
Sterna repressa
Arabic Name 
الخرشنة بيضاء الخد
Kuwaiti name 
75.0 cm
33.0 cm
Least Concern


Very common summer visitor. Breeds on Warba, Bubiyan, Auha, Um Al-Maradim and Kubbar. Up to 2000 pairs at Kubbar in mid May 2003. Similar, but slightly smaller than the Common Tern and much more widespread in marine areas.
Where in Kuwait 
It is seen along the coastline, often in mixed flocks of other terns, but also out to sea and of course on the off-shore islands where it breeds and nests during the summer in scattered colonies which are usually situated in barren or sparsely vegetated areas on islands. It co-habits Kubbar Island along with 3 other Tern species. This species is the darkest of the terns in the genus Sterna.
In the world 
It has a large range with a decreasing population and most of this species is migratory although individuals breeding in East African may remain in their breeding range throughout the year. It breeds with other tern species in well-dispersed colonies and is found along tropical coasts where it mainly forages over coral reefs within three kilometres of land.
Local threats 
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