WatchList Species Account for Bridled Tern (Sterna anaethetus) |
the list as a Declining Yellow List Species
|Photo: Glen Tepke
The Bridled Tern ranges virtually throughout
the tropical and subtropical seas. In the New World it breeds
in the Bahamas, off Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, in the
Virgin Islands and Lesser Antilles, locally on both coasts
of Mexico and Central America, and along the Atlantic Coast
of South America. It also breeds on Pelican Shoal, off Boca
Chica Key in the Florida Keys, where there are one to three
nests every year within a Roseate Tern colony.
Nesting habitat is usually vegetated coral
cays, exposed reefs, granitic islands, and volcanic stacks.
In the West Indies, most nests are far back under large rocks,
deep within overhanging ledges, or in rock crevices. Most
colonies are at the periphery of islands
and less commonly on coasts.
Brridled Terns feed primarily
on small fishes but also crustaceans and aquatic and terrestrial
insects. Mongooses, feral dogs and cats have eliminated the
bird from many Caribbean islands.
In the West Indies the total population
is estimated as 7,000 breeding pairs. Egg collecting in the
Bahamas and West Indies is a threat and wardens are needed
at the most important colonies, as regulations prohibiting
the practice are generally ignored. In winter it is uncommon
to fairly common off the southeast coast of the U.S. but in
general the winter range is poorly known.