February 11, 2017 – Least Tern (Sternula antillarum)

The smallest species of tern in North America, these birds breed on sandy beaches along the coasts of much of the United States and inland near several river systems, wintering throughout the Caribbean and on the coasts of Central America and northern South America. They eat small fish and some invertebrates, hunting by diving into the water from flight. Breeding in small colonies, they nest on the ground, building shallow scrapes in sandy or gravelly areas, such as beaches, riverbanks, or sometimes flat building rooftops. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks. The population found in the interior of the United States is threatened by habitat loss and nest disturbance.


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