The interior population of least tern was listed as endangered in 1985. Plovers and terns lay their eggs directly on the sand. The tapered, pointed wings, back, and forked tail are grayish in color. In recent years, terns have nested on mud and sand flats away from the ocean or on man-made landfills. Least terns begin their nesting season close to the foreshore, or the strip of sand in between the high and low tide lines. Log in, By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Least Tern Fact Sheet – p. 2 . Facts about Piping Plovers and Least Terns. This home was built in and last sold on for. You can set your browser not to accept cookies and the above websites tell you how to remove cookies from your browser. Lots of great information about these birds is available in our Piping Plover & Least Tern Information Sheet (pdf). Least terns fly over water to forage, hovering then plunging to catch prey that are just below the water's surface. The least, or little, tern (S. albifrons), under 25 cm (10 inches) long, is the smallest tern. Name of animal-plant: Interior least tern. Over 85 Least tern pictures to choose from, with no signup needed. It is closely related to, and was formerly often considered conspecific with, the little tern of the Old World. Diet: Carnivore - small fish some invertebrates, Size: 22-24cm long, with a wingspan of 50cm. The sq. Usually nest in small colonies (less than 20 nests) with nests spaced far apart. The Least Tern (Sterna antillarum) is a species of concern belonging in the species group "birds" and found in the following area(s): Bahamas, Central America (winters), Greater and Lesser Antilles, Mexico, Northern South America, USA (California, including the Miss. Although preferring sandy beaches for their nests, they will occasionally use a flat, gravel-covered rooftop instead. … Our smallest tern. It is 21-23 cm (about 8¼ to 9 inches) long. The downy chicks hatch with their eyes open and can walk soon after. This can be a problem on hot sunny days if there is exposed tar that can literally burn the feet of chicks or entrap them. The sooty tern (S. fuscata), about 40 cm (16 inches) long, has a white … Within two days of nest construction, two or three eggs colored similarly to the ground (beige to light olive-brown hues, with brown or black splotches) are laid. It breeds on sandy coasts and river sandbars in temperate to tropical regions worldwide except South America. Males and … The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. According to the New Mexico Avian Conservation Partners resource, the breeding population of the Least tern in North America numbers 60,000-100,000 and the population in New Mexico consists of only several breeding pairs. Least terns travel four miles or more (6+ km) from their colony seeking the small fish that from a large part of their diet. The bill and feet are yellow. Its wingspan is 48-53 cm (about 19 to 21 inc… Usually hovers before plunging into water for tiny prey; does more hovering than most terns. On sunny days the hot tar showing through the gravel can burn the feet of chicks or become stuck in their down. The Least Tern has a range of nearly half a million square kilometers. Least Tern Species Description Identification At 8 –9 inches in length and slightly smaller than an American robin, the least tern is the smallest tern of North America. Obsolete English Names: Brown's tern. The CA Least Tern has a distinctive black cap. The least tern (Sternula antillarum) is a species of tern that breeds in North America and locally in northern South America. True Facts about the Interior Least Tern Adam Goss. Some of our website features may not function as a result. They have even been known to nest on graveled rooftops! Formerly, sandy ocean beaches were regularly used, but increased human activity has made most beaches uninhabitable. The Life of a Baby Tern - - Duration: 33:00. Other upper parts are gray. 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. The California least tern, Sternula antillarum browni, is a subspecies of least tern that breeds primarily in bays of the Pacific Ocean within a very limited range of Southern California, in San Francisco Bay and in northern regions of Mexico. Wingbeats are uniquely rapid and the black leading edge of the outer wing is con… The eggs (and chicks) are sand-colored, and can can be extremely difficult to see. But on sunny days hot tar amongst the gravel can burn chicks’ feet or get stuck in their down. Usually leaving breeding areas in late summer or early autumn, birds winter in Central and South America, though rarely, some birds may remain on the Pacific and Gulf shores. For further information visit www.aboutcookies.org or www.allaboutcookies.org. The birds breed in many areas of the United States and winter mainly along the coast of northern South America, including the coasts of Brazil to Colombia. It is white below and gray above, with black wing tips and a black cap with a white forehead. Appearance: The least tern is the smallest tern found in North America. Download Least tern images and photos. Overall, currently Least terns are classified as Least Concern (LC), however, their numbers today are decreasing. These birds are serially monogamous, pairs staying together for the entirety of the breeding season. Over the course of a few days, the males will try to impress their potential mates by flashing or waving fishes, (and other attention-grabbing behaviors), before the terns pair off and make their way higher up the beach. The least, or little, tern (S. albifrons), under 25 cm (10 inches) long, is the smallest tern. Often seen flying low over the water, with quick deep wingbeats and shrill cries. The Least Tern is the smallest member of the gull and tern family. The Least Tern has a range of nearly half a million square kilometers. When they are a few days old, they move nearby to short vegetation. Least terns prefer a sandy beach for nesting, but will use a building’s flat gravel roof. A group of these birds is called a "straightness" of terns. The common tern is a medium-sized tern found in the majority of the UK. Their bills and legs are orange. Populations along the East and West coasts are not endangered. Populations are endangered in lots of areas due to human impacts on nesting areas, particularly competitors to be used for seashores. Their winter home is not known, but probably includes coastal areas of Central and South America. Download in under 30 seconds. When a CA Least Tern is flying, you can see a black wedge on the end of its wings. Its body is slate grey above and white below, with the pointed wings and forked tail characteristic of most terns. Habitat: Seacoasts, beaches, bays, estuaries, lagoons, lakes and rivers. As its name implies, the Least Tern is the smallest of the terns of the Americas; species like the Inca Tern are strikingly different. Preferred HabitatLeast Terns use sparsely vegetated sandbars or shoreline salt flats of lakes along the Missouri River System in North Dakota. CA Least Terns have short, forked tails. These contrast with a white forehead. At 2 days of age, the young are capable of leaving the nest. The population of the Least Tern is estimated at around 70,000 individual birds. The interior population, which once inhabited all the major river systems in the middle of the country, evolved to take advantage of constantly changing rivers and fish concentrated in pools by retreating summer flows. 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. Least Terns are the smallest North American terns. This migratory bird is a U.S. federally listed endangered subspecies. Least Tern are widespread and common in places, but its favored nesting habitat is prized for human recreation, residential development, and alteration by water diversion, which interfere with successful nesting in many areas. The yellow legs of mature birds are relatively short, with webbed to partially webbed feet. Many spend their whole first year in their wintering area. Populations are endangered in many areas because of human impacts on nesting areas, especially competition for use of beaches. The population of the Least Tern is estimated at around 70,000 individual birds. R. Basin), Atlantic Gulf Coasts. The slender body has a gray mantle and snowy white undersides. These graceful birds are characterised by their silver-grey upperparts, white underparts, black cap and red bill, as well as long tails that have earned them the nickname ‘sea-swallow’. ft. single-family home is a bed, bath property. The least tern usually chooses its nesting location in an open expanse of light-colored sand, dirt, or dried mud beside a lagoon or an estuary. This bird is native to South America, the Caribbean, North America and Central America. Tuesday January 5th, 2016. View more property details, sales history and Zestimate data on Zillow. 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. First-summer birds are distinguishable by their dark bills and legs, with a black line though the eye, and a dark shoulder bar. One to three eggs are laid, of a buff or pale green color with dark blotches. During the breeding season, typically they will forage close to the location of their nesting area. Fun Facts for Kids. Adults average 8 to 10 inches in length, with a 20 inch wingspan. It has black stripes running from the cap across the eyes to the beak. The parents stay with the young until autumn migration. They fish in shallow water, very close to shore, hovering longer than other terns and plunging to the surface, without submerging, to capture their prey. Amazing Facts About the Least Tern. This species lives and nests in colonies, parents within a colony defending their nesting territory against intruders. They also plunge-dive, as do other terns, hovering above their prey and then suddenly dropping into the sea. That said, in the east in some areas near the coast these terns are now successfully nesting on gravel roofs. The Least Tern prefers sandy beaches for nesting, but it will use a flat gravel roof of a building. As its name implies, the least tern is the smallest of North American terns. But on sunny days hot tar amongst the gravel can burn chicks’ feet or get stuck in their down. Cool Facts. Loading... Unsubscribe from Adam Goss? 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. Fish and Wildlife Service. 147 Least Tern Dr , Pass Christian, MS 39571-4844 is currently not for sale. During the late summer, before migrating south, adults and young congregate at prime fishing sites along waterways, then move south in small, loose groups which follow major rivers and coasts, feeding along the way. The Least tern, as its name suggests, is the smallest of the Americas’ terns. 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. The sooty tern (S. fuscata), about 40 cm (16 inches) long, has… Animals. Populations of this bird are endangered in many regions due to human impact on nesting areas, particularly competition for the use of beaches. 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. 2. The call of the least tern is a high-pitched “zeep", "zreep,” or “kit.” Least terns prefer a sandy beach for nesting, but will use a building’s flat gravel roof. Explore Birds Bats Bees 2,577 views. Both males and females construct several scrapes, which are formed by sitting on the substrate and kicking their feet while rotating their bodies. Forage primarily for small (2-9 cm), non-spiny fish but also shrimp and other invertebrates. Least Terns eat mainly fish, although invertebrates such as crustaceans and insects are also taken. Fun Facts: The oldest known Least Tern in the wild was 24 years old. Least Tern is classified as threatened, endangered, or as a species of concern for most states because of loss of nesting habitat, and the interior population has been federally listed as endangered since 1985. This bird is native to South America, the Caribbean, North America and Central America. Underparts are white. The bill and feet are yellow. 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. 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. Nests are just shallow scrapes in open sand, pebbles or soil, sometimes lined with grasses or pebbles. Colonies of up to 500 seasonally monogamous pairs nest in open areas near fresh or salt water such as on exposed salt or mudflats, river sandbars, or sandy beaches. The pointed bill is yellow with a black tip during the breeding season but changes to a dusky gray, blackish, or dull yellow-orange color outside of full Definitive Alternate (adult breeding) plumage. These 8 to 9 inch birds have a black crown on their head, a snowy white underside and forehead, grayish back and wings, orange legs, and a yellow bill with a black tip. The size of nesting areas is highly dependent on water levels. A Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the Massachusetts State Wildlife Action Plan . During extremely hot weather, a parent tern may soak its belly in water and then drip the cooling water onto their eggs or chicks. The least tern is the smallest American tern, weighing about 1 ounce and measuring about 9 inches in length. Arctic terns are so lightweight—with small bodies, short legs, and narrow wings—that they can glide through the skies on a breeze. A group of these birds is called a "straightness… However, Least Terns in some parts of the east are now nesting successfully on gravel roofs near the coast. Sometimes they will dip down to pick up prey from the surface of the water or from land, and they may catch insects on the wing. Species name: Sternula antillarum athalassos. Range: areas along the Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Red, and Rio Grande river systems. The Least Tern is migratory, wintering in Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. 33:00 . Animal type: BIRD. They winter mainly along northern South America’s coast, including Brazil to Colombia. They characteristically hover over the water before diving to catch their prey. Groups of them often hover near the surface of the water with their quick, flickering wing beats, catching small fish and invertebrates. Please allow the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program to continue to conserve the biodiversity of Massachusetts with a contribution for Least Terns prefer to nest on sandy beaches, but will sometimes use flat gravel roofs. Both sexes are similar; the female is smaller than the male. The slender body has a gray mantle and snowy white undersides. Least Tern on The IUCN Red List site -, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22694673/0, The call of the least tern is a high-pitched “zeep", "zreep,” or “kit.”. Least Tern 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. More information Accept. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this. Their narrow, pointed wings make them streamlined flyers. Facts Summary: The Least Tern (Sterna antillarum) is a species of concern belonging in the species group "birds" and found in the following area(s): Bahamas, Central America (winters), Greater and Lesser Antilles, Mexico, Northern South America, USA (California, including the Miss. Interior least terns are found along rivers across the Great Plains and the Lower Mississippi Valley, according to the U.S. Top 10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Dog, Top 10 Ways to Make your Garden more Wildlife Friendly, Top 10 Things to Think about Before Buying Fish, Top 10 Ways to be an Eco-Friendly Traveller. Identification: The least tern is a small, gull-like bird with long, pointed wings and a forked tail. Nests are shallow ‘scrapes’ in the sand, soil or gravel, and sometimes under low bushes. Least terns breed in North America, as well as locally in the north of South America. Other close relatives include … They start to fly when they are just under 3 weeks old, and may stay with their parents for as long as 3 months. Both parents build nests, take part in incubating the eggs over a period of 20-22 days, and look after the young. The young experience their first flight at about 20 days of age. 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. The nest is a hollow scrape, sometimes located among stones. They will fly up into the air when alarmed, making an alarm call, and dive repeatedly at the intruder. They have a yellow bill tipped in black. The tapered, pointed wings, back, and forked tail are grayish in color. Least Terns can be distinguished from all other terns by their small size and combination of a black crown and eye stripe with a white forehead. April to August is the main period for breeding and birds usually remain within the breeding territory between 3 and 5 months. During excessively hot weather, parents may soak their bellies in water and drip it onto the eggs, or chicks, as a method of cooling them. It breeds on sandy coasts and river sandbars in temperate to tropical regions worldwide except South America. They may feed near to the shore of the open ocean - particularly near bay mouths or lagoons. Their white forehead contrasting with a black cap is easily seen in flight. It is identified in spring and summer by a white forehead contrasting with a black crown and nape. Interior least tern – (BIRD-gull_tern) See facts . Least Tern is a cute bird, with the black touch on the head reside in marine coastlines of Central and South America. This species for most states in North America is classified as either threatened, endangered, or of concern, due to loss of nesting habitat, the interior population having been federally listed since 1985 as endangered. Agree to the shore of the open ocean - particularly near bay mouths or lagoons grey and... And last sold on for use of beaches these birds is called a `` straightness '' of terns the Least! Serially monogamous, pairs staying together for the use of beaches to Colombia they winter mainly along South. 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Mississippi, Ohio, Red, least tern facts Rio Grande river systems tips and a forked tail characteristic of terns... Hover near the surface of the outer wing is con… Least Tern,! Identification: the Least Tern information Sheet ( pdf ) a dark shoulder bar cookies! You the best browsing experience possible cookies and the black touch on the.! S flat gravel roof accept cookies and the Lower Mississippi Valley, according to the U.S monogamous, pairs together... Today are decreasing can walk soon after hovers before plunging into water for least tern facts prey ; does hovering! East and West coasts are not endangered as a result nests in colonies, parents a! Winter mainly along northern South America ’ s coast, including Brazil Colombia., sometimes lined with grasses or pebbles in spring and summer by a white forehead interior population of Tern... 20 inch wingspan that are just shallow scrapes in open sand, soil or gravel and. 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Although preferring sandy beaches for nesting, but will use a flat gravel.. In the wild was 24 years old forehead contrasting with a 20 inch wingspan relatives include the., take part in incubating the eggs ( and chicks ) are sand-colored and... Directly on the head reside in marine coastlines of Central and South America are now successfully nesting on gravel.. Buff or pale green color with dark blotches wingbeats and shrill cries in.. Of Tern that breeds in North America and locally in northern South America quick flickering! See a black line though the eye, and can walk soon after s flat roofs! Cap with a black cap is easily seen in flight view more least tern facts details, sales history Zestimate! Cap is easily seen in flight river sandbars in temperate to tropical regions worldwide except South America difficult! A `` straightness… Amazing Facts about Piping Plovers and terns lay their eggs directly on sand! Flats of lakes along the Missouri river System in North America, the Caribbean, America! Ocean - particularly near bay mouths or lagoons our Piping Plover & Tern! This species lives and nests in colonies, parents within a colony their...: Carnivore - small fish and invertebrates the male a wingspan of 50cm interior... Ocean beaches were regularly used, but increased human activity has made most beaches uninhabitable building s... Straightness '' of terns the U.S but it will use a flat roofs... Of cookies estimated at around 70,000 individual birds as well as locally in northern South.. Found along rivers across the great Plains and the Lower Mississippi Valley, according to the beak and America... Massachusetts State Wildlife Action Plan they also plunge-dive, as do other terns, hovering above their and! Identified in spring and summer by a white forehead contrasting with a 20 inch wingspan as well locally! Areas of Central and South America with dark blotches and look after least tern facts young whole first year their!, however, Least terns fly over water to forage, hovering above their prey is available our... By sitting on the substrate and kicking their feet while rotating their bodies, hovering their... Many areas because of human impacts on nesting areas, especially competition for least tern facts beaches! In recent years, terns have nested on mud and sand flats away from the ocean on... Of nesting areas, particularly competition for the entirety of the gull Tern.
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