|Habitats||Coastal Islats, Salt Ponds, Wetlands with Shallow Banks|
|Presence In Israel||Summer Breeder, Migrant|
|Nesting In Israel||Breeder|
|Migration Types||Long Range|
|Landscape Formations||Salt Ponds, Coastal Islats, Wetlands, Freshwater Bodies, Mud Plain|
|Body Sizes||Small (up to 500g)|
|Threat Factors||Wetland Drainage & Pollution|
The Common Tern is the typical and most common representative of the terns in Israel, and the only one that breeds here in significant numbers. A relatively small slender tern, with a pale grey back and a white belly. In summer plumage, legs are red and it has a red, black-tipped bill. It has long, narrow pointed wings, and a long, forked tail. When foraging it flies in circles or hovers in place and then dives into the water.
A common passage migrant in both migration seasons. It is a summer breeder in a number of colonies, the largest of which are on the Carmel Coast and the others on the islands opposite Rosh HaNikra and in the Hula Valley. The breeding population comprises about 1,000 pairs.
The Common Tern is a colonial breeder on seashores or in inland lakes and ponds. The colonies are located on rocky islands, mud and sand bars or on undisturbed beaches. The nest is a shallow depression in the ground, or slightly raised on a pile of gravel or pebbles (particularly when nesting in shallow water). Lone pairs or several pairs occasionally use rafts, buoys, pipes and the like to nest, in inland water bodies such as fishponds or reservoirs.
Direct human disturbance, e.g. people in off-road vehicles and on foot (on shores and reservoirs), boating and fishing activity around islands in the sea.
In artificial water bodies, they are affected by rapid water level fluctuation that inundate nests or expose them to predators.
Increased predation by invasive and eruptive species, e.g. jackals, mongooses, foxes and crows.
During recent years, all Common Tern breeding sites are regularly monitored. The largest breeding colony is in the Atlit saltpans, where the nesting island was expanded and fenced to prevent nest inundation and predator invasion of the colony. At a number of other sites, e.g. the Hula Nature Reserve, artificial nesting islands have been built.
- הצופה, א. ומירוז, א. 2009. קינון שחפיות בישראל - תמונת מצב והמלצות לממשק. מסמך פנימי של רשות הטבע והגנים והחברה להגנת הטבע.
- פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
- ריבק, א., כיאט, י., גולדשטיין, ע., והצופה, א. 2017. קינון שחפיות בחוף הכרמל - סיכום עונת 2017.
- Shirihai, H., 1996. The Birds of Israel. Academic Press, London.
- Symes, A. 2013. Species generation lengths. Unpublished, BirdLife International.
- Species page at Birdlife International
Current Occupancy Map
The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading
Relative Abundance 2010-2020
Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.
Relative Abundance 1980-1990
Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).
Occupancy difference 1990-2020
A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.
Relative abundance difference 1990-2020
A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.