Sunday, 16 January 2011

Help us find some lesser crested terns

Libyan lesser crested tern are ringed which helps find their wintering grounds.

Abdulmoula Hamsa is carrying out a PhD at Hull University UK on the habits of Libyan lesser crested tern and ringing information is helping him build up a complete picture of the bird's habits.

As I understand it, ring information and other sightings indicate that birds from two Libyan colonies mostly go along the coast westward (and then south) towards west Africa for winter (eg Senegal) but data on birds from the easternmost colony is lacking.

We need your help to find where they go. Abdulmoula has produced an appeal note which I have reproduced below. Where are Elba's birds?
Photo by Abdulmoula Hamsa  

Call for information on wintering sites of lesser crested terns tahalsseus bengalensis (from Abdulmoula Hamsa)

The western African population of lesser crested terns is breeding mainly at three sites off the Libyan coast; these are the only sites in the whole Mediterranean where the species breeds. Ringing of the species chicks started in 2006 till 2010 using metal rings from Birdlife Malta and color rings of Italian scheme (ISPRA), as Libya doesn’t have a national ringing scheme yet.

Wintering areas are poorly known, so identifying these sites and sites along the flyway are crucial for long-term conservation of  the species.

Currently after years of field work in Libya, I am studying the breeding ecology and migration of lesser crested terns that breeds in Libya, and would appreciate providing information on any sightings of these terns in north and west Africa or the Red Sea region, as terns from Elba colony near Egyptian-Libyan border have never been sighted and there is some evidence that some terns may cross to the Red Sea region.

Information on ring types used in different years and contact email can be found at cr-rings website under terns

Central Contact is Nicola Baccetti,
INFS, via Ca' Fornacetta 9, 40064 Ozzano Emilia BO -Italy.
fax: +39-51-79.66.28.



  1. Dear Rob

    Thanks a lot for your support

    All the best


  2. Rob/Abdul, si there any recent information on the numbers breeding on Geziret al Elbe? When I was there in 1993 there were less than 30 nests (late July). Any increase?

    regards, Pim