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. Both males and females construct several scrapes, which are formed by sitting on the substrate and kicking their feet while rotating their bodies. Arctic terns are so lightweight—with small bodies, short legs, and narrow wings—that they can glide through the skies on a breeze. As its name implies, the Least Tern is the smallest of the terns of the Americas; species like the Inca Tern are strikingly different. Species name: Sternula antillarum athalassos. It breeds on sandy coasts and river sandbars in temperate to tropical regions worldwide except South America. Forage primarily for small (2-9 cm), non-spiny fish but also shrimp and other invertebrates. Usually nest in small colonies (less than 20 nests) with nests spaced far apart. True Facts about the Interior Least Tern Adam Goss. However, Least Terns in some parts of the east are now nesting successfully on gravel roofs near the coast. Wingbeats are uniquely rapid and the black leading edge of the outer wing is con… Nests are shallow ‘scrapes’ in the sand, soil or gravel, and sometimes under low bushes. It breeds on sandy coasts and river sandbars in temperate to tropical regions worldwide except South America. They have a yellow bill tipped in black. Both sexes are similar; the female is smaller than the male. Their narrow, pointed wings make them streamlined flyers. The common tern is a medium-sized tern found in the majority of the UK. 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. The population of the Least Tern is estimated at around 70,000 individual birds. At 2 days of age, the young are capable of leaving the nest. 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’. 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 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. The Life of a Baby Tern - - Duration: 33:00. When a CA Least Tern is flying, you can see a black wedge on the end of its wings. The least tern (Sternula antillarum) is a species of tern that breeds in North America and locally in northern South America. It has black stripes running from the cap across the eyes to the beak. Lots of great information about these birds is available in our Piping Plover & Least Tern Information Sheet (pdf). Least Terns eat mainly fish, although invertebrates such as crustaceans and insects are also taken. Animals. Least terns begin their nesting season close to the foreshore, or the strip of sand in between the high and low tide lines. Plovers and terns lay their eggs directly on the sand. Formerly, sandy ocean beaches were regularly used, but increased human activity has made most beaches uninhabitable. The sq. Log in, By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. Identification: The least tern is a small, gull-like bird with long, pointed wings and a forked tail. This bird is native to South America, the Caribbean, North America and Central America. Its wingspan is 48-53 cm (about 19 to 21 inc… 2. The parents stay with the young until autumn migration. The Least Tern prefers sandy beaches for nesting, but it will use a flat gravel roof of a building. April to August is the main period for breeding and birds usually remain within the breeding territory between 3 and 5 months. A group of these birds is called a "straightness… Loading... Unsubscribe from Adam Goss? Least terns breed in North America, as well as locally in the north of South America. Animal type: BIRD. Our smallest tern. 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. They may feed near to the shore of the open ocean - particularly near bay mouths or lagoons. When they are a few days old, they move nearby to short vegetation. These contrast with a white forehead. 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. Preferred HabitatLeast Terns use sparsely vegetated sandbars or shoreline salt flats of lakes along the Missouri River System in North Dakota. Fish and Wildlife Service. As its name implies, the least tern is the smallest of North American terns. Least Tern is a cute bird, with the black touch on the head reside in marine coastlines of Central and South America. Populations along the East and West coasts are not endangered. Cool Facts. They start to fly when they are just under 3 weeks old, and may stay with their parents for as long as 3 months. The Least Tern has a range of nearly half a million square kilometers. Facts about Piping Plovers and Least Terns. 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. 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 can be distinguished from all other terns by their small size and combination of a black crown and eye stripe with a white forehead. Nests are just shallow scrapes in open sand, pebbles or soil, sometimes lined with grasses or pebbles. Least Terns prefer to nest on sandy beaches, but will sometimes use flat gravel roofs. Both parents build nests, take part in incubating the eggs over a period of 20-22 days, and look after the young. Least Terns are the smallest North American terns. 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. Obsolete English Names: Brown's tern. This home was built in and last sold on for. 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. Although preferring sandy beaches for their nests, they will occasionally use a flat, gravel-covered rooftop instead. They also plunge-dive, as do other terns, hovering above their prey and then suddenly dropping into the sea. During extremely hot weather, a parent tern may soak its belly in water and then drip the cooling water onto their eggs or chicks. Amazing Facts About the Least Tern. 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.”. It is white below and gray above, with black wing tips and a black cap with a white forehead. The interior population of least tern was listed as endangered in 1985. The slender body has a gray mantle and snowy white undersides. 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. 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. One to three eggs are laid, of a buff or pale green color with dark blotches. 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. They characteristically hover over the water before diving to catch their prey. This species lives and nests in colonies, parents within a colony defending their nesting territory against intruders. The Least Tern is migratory, wintering in Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. 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. Many spend their whole first year in their wintering area. Their bills and legs are orange. 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. 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. The sooty tern (S. fuscata), about 40 cm (16 inches) long, has a white … Over 85 Least tern pictures to choose from, with no signup needed. The nest is a hollow scrape, sometimes located among stones. 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 Least tern, as its name suggests, is the smallest of the Americas’ terns. You can set your browser not to accept cookies and the above websites tell you how to remove cookies from your browser. Interior least tern – (BIRD-gull_tern) See facts . 33:00 . The tapered, pointed wings, back, and forked tail are grayish in color. Download in under 30 seconds. Populations of this bird are endangered in many regions due to human impact on nesting areas, particularly competition for the use of beaches. Habitat: Seacoasts, beaches, bays, estuaries, lagoons, lakes and rivers. 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. 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. 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. Diet: Carnivore - small fish some invertebrates, Size: 22-24cm long, with a wingspan of 50cm. The slender body has a gray mantle and snowy white undersides. The eggs (and chicks) are sand-colored, and can can be extremely difficult to see. ft. single-family home is a bed, bath property. They will fly up into the air when alarmed, making an alarm call, and dive repeatedly at the intruder. The least, or little, tern (S. albifrons), under 25 cm (10 inches) long, is the smallest tern. The yellow legs of mature birds are relatively short, with webbed to partially webbed feet. Fun Facts: The oldest known Least Tern in the wild was 24 years old. The size of nesting areas is highly dependent on water levels. 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. Interior least terns are found along rivers across the Great Plains and the Lower Mississippi Valley, according to the U.S. Download Least tern images and photos. These birds are serially monogamous, pairs staying together for the entirety of the breeding season. R. Basin), Atlantic Gulf Coasts. 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. The Least Tern is the smallest member of the gull and tern family. During the breeding season, typically they will forage close to the location of their nesting area. Least Tern Fact Sheet – p. 2 . The least tern is the smallest American tern, weighing about 1 ounce and measuring about 9 inches in length. A Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the Massachusetts State Wildlife Action Plan . Adults average 8 to 10 inches in length, with a 20 inch wingspan. Groups of them often hover near the surface of the water with their quick, flickering wing beats, catching small fish and invertebrates. The bill and feet are yellow. That said, in the east in some areas near the coast these terns are now successfully nesting on gravel roofs. Name of animal-plant: Interior least tern. Males and … The population of the Least Tern is estimated at around 70,000 individual birds. On sunny days the hot tar showing through the gravel can burn the feet of chicks or become stuck in their down. This migratory bird is a U.S. federally listed endangered subspecies. 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. But on sunny days hot tar amongst the gravel can burn chicks’ feet or get stuck in their down. Appearance: The least tern is the smallest tern found in North America. The CA Least Tern has a distinctive black cap. Fun Facts for Kids. The Least Tern has a range of nearly half a million square kilometers. 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 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. Often seen flying low over the water, with quick deep wingbeats and shrill cries. 147 Least Tern Dr , Pass Christian, MS 39571-4844 is currently not for sale. In recent years, terns have nested on mud and sand flats away from the ocean or on man-made landfills. 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. 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.

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