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Interior Least Tern      

Description

The interior least terns are 8 to 9 inch birds which have a black "crown" on their head, a snowy whiter underside and forehead, grayish back and wings, orange legs, and a yellow bill with a black tip. From late April to August, terns use barren to sparsely vegetated sandbars along rivers, sand and gravel pits, or lake and reservoir shorelines. Interior least terns typically nest in a shallow hole scraped in an open sandy area or gravelly patch on an exposed flat. They typically nest in small colonies. Terns hover over and dive into standing or flowing water to catch small fish.

Range

Interior least terns breed in isolated areas along the Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Red, Platte, and Rio Grande river systems. Their winter home includes coastal areas of Central and South America.

Source: www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/birds/tern.html

Interior Least Tern