The defense behavior of adult Least terns when an intruder enters the nesting area, has earned them the name of “little striker.” They will dive bomb and defecate on intruders. This species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. These birds are serially monogamous, pairs staying together for the entirety of the breeding season. 1981), likely to cause a loss of reproductive success through late-nesting birds experiencing lower hatching success due to predation (Mendillo 2009). Populations of this bird are endangered in many regions due to human impact on nesting areas, particularly competition for the use of beaches. Distribution of the Tern. 2. We now think the tern should be listed as "threatened." Description. Information on least tern habitat, population distribution and status was collected from scientific literature, least tern management plans and New Hampshire Fish and Game data. On May 28, 1985, we published a final rule in the Federal Register (50 FR 21784) listing the Interior least tern as endangered, due to the low numbers and scattered distribution of the tern and to threats to the bird's breeding habitat. The least tern has a nearly worldwide distribution. The color of the Least tern’s bill, when it is ready to breed, is yellow and has a black tip, changing to a dull yellow-orange or a dusky gray or blackish at other times. Maine’s beaches are used by tens of thousands of visitors annually during the least tern nesting … Survey of California least tern nesting sites. Information based on reports from birders in Least Terns are common summer residents along the coast and rare to locally uncommon at scattered locations inland (Lockwood and Freeman 2004). The listed population included only those least terns that breed and nest within the boundary of the continental United States on interior rivers and other water bodies. They favor open habitat and are typically found near any bodies of water, such as sea coasts, gravel and shell and beaches, islands, bays, lakes, lagoons, estuaries, unobstructed river channels, and salt flats that are associated with reservoirs and rivers. Florida Field Nat. It is a small tern, 22–24 cm long, with a wingspan of 50 cm, and weighing 39–52 g. The upper parts are a fairly uniform pale gray, and the underparts white. Migrants mainly occur on Long Island's outer coast and rarely on the lower Hudson River. Today Interior Least Terns nest along portions of the Missouri, Platte, Niobrara, Loup, and Elkhorn Rivers. Doubleday/Natural History Press, Garden City, New York. Conference, UNL web framework and quality assurance provided by the, Nebraska Non-game & Endangered Species Conservation Act, Management, Conservation and Recovery on the Lower Platte River. Winter Range: Not a lot is known about Least Terns' winter range, but they are known to winter primarily in marine coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Atlantic Ocean. Terns are seabirds in the family Laridae that have a worldwide distribution and are normally found near the sea, rivers, or wetlands. Although preferring sandy beaches for their nests, they will occasionally use a flat, gravel-covered rooftop instead. On October 19, 1990, we released a recovery plan for the Interior population of the least tern (Service 1990). Information on habitat protection and management was obtained from NHFG Piping Plover monitoring data. That would mean we are concerned about it, but we don't think it is about to go extinct. They also plunge-dive, as do other terns, hovering above their prey and then suddenly dropping into the sea. Breeding Range: Interior Least Terns' breeding range stretches across the interior of the United States along the Mississippi, Missouri, and Rio Grande Rivers and their tributaries. Nesting habitat includes sparsely vegetated river sandbars, sandpits, and reservoir beaches. data; Kushlan and White 1985) and suggests that the Least Tern breeding population along the mainline Keys has remained relatively stable during the past 10-15 years. Least terns prefer a sandy beach for nesting, but will use a building’s flat gravel roof. desired spots for recreation and development, resulting. Over 2/3 of Maine’s 30 miles of beaches have been lost as nesting habitat for least terns because of construction of jetties, seawalls, and high-density housing. The California Least Tern (Sterna antillarum browni), federally listed as endangered since 1970, breeds along the Pacific coast from central California to southern Baja California. Interior Least Tern: Distribution. The Birds of North America web site has excellent distribution information, annual membership required.. Visit the eBird web site to report sightings of the American Goldfinch and to view current and some historical information on a state-by-state basis. Each species account is written by leading ornithologists and provides detailed information on bird distribution, migration, habitat, diet, sounds, behavior, breeding, current population status, and conservation. During the breeding season, typically they will forage close to the location of their nesting area. Ten Least Tern on The IUCN Red List site -,, The call of the least tern is a high-pitched “zeep", "zreep,” or “kit.”. The smallest of American terns, the Least Tern is found nesting on sandy beaches along the southern coasts of the United States and up the major river systems far into the interior of the continent. The Least Tern is vulnerable to human disturbance. Distribution. Least terns primarily feed on small fish. Range: Interior least terns breed in isolated areas along the Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Red, and Rio Grande river systems. Winter Range: Not a lot is known about Least Terns' winter range, but they are known to winter … They nest on river sandbars, reservoirs, lakeshore housing developments, and sand and gravel mines (more information can be found about these nesting habitats under the monitoring and research tab). Colonies occur locally along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. They will fly up into the air when alarmed, making an alarm call, and dive repeatedly at the intruder. All the combined species, and even some individual species alone, have worldwide distribution. The endangered Interior Least Tern (Sterna antillarum athalassos) breeds inland along the Missouri, Mississippi, Colorado, Arkansas, Red, and Rio Grande River systems. The least tern is a species of tern that breeds in North America and locally in northern South America. In the Western Hemisphere it breeds on the Pacific Coast from Central California to Peru; inland along the Colorado, Red, Rio Grande, Missouri, and Mississippi river systems; on the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Argentina; and along the Great Lakes in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Terns are treated as a subgroup of the family Laridae which includes gulls and skimmers and consist of eleven genera. Data Quality Male least terns engage in a unique courtship ritual which involves a male offering a female food in the hope of her choosing him as a mate. Least terns are carnivores, they mostly eat small fish, like smelt, anchovy, surfperch and silversides (ray-finned fish), and also crabs, shrimp, barnacles, krill and some insects. Overall, currently Least terns are classified as Least Concern (LC), however, their numbers today are decreasing. Some parts of this site work best with JavaScript enabled. The least tern is largely distributed in North America. In breeding plumage both sexes have a black cap and nape, white forehead, grayish back and wings, snowy white underparts, orange legs, and a black-tipped orange-yellow bill. Casey A Lott, 1 Robert L Wiley, 2 Richard A Fischer, 3 Paul D Hartfield, 4 and J Michael Scott 5 Birds of New York state. Inside least terns traditionally nested alongside sand and gravel bars of the Decrease Mississippi River and its main tributaries, together with Missouri, Purple, Ohio, and Arkansas rivers. Distribution. Its small size—not quite the size of a robin—yellow bill, and triangular white patch on its forehead distinguish it from other terns found in North Carolina. Least terns are the smallest of the terns, measuring 8-9 in (20-22 cm) in length and having a 20 in (50 cm) wingspread. Least terns can reach a length between 8.3-9.1 inches (21-23 centimeters) with a wingspan of 21-23 inches (53-58 centimeters) (Thompson et al., 1997). Least terns are widespread and are common in places, but the nesting habit they prefer is sought after for residential development, human recreation, and alteration by the diversion of water, which interferes with nesting in many areas. Least terns breed in North America, as well as locally in the north of South America. Groups of them often hover near the surface of the water with their quick, flickering wing beats, catching small fish and invertebrates. During extremely hot weather, a parent tern may soak its belly in water and then drip the cooling water onto their eggs or chicks. Endangered. The Avian Knowledge Network collects data from thousands of locations and multiple data sets.. Least tern is a common local breeder and a common to abundant migrant on Long Island. Colloquially known as the “little striker” for its headlong dives in pursuit of fish, the Least Tern is, as its name suggests, North America’s smallest tern.
2020 least tern distribution