Life Expectancy: 15 years of age. Length: 8.5-9.5 inches. CA Least Terns have short, forked tails. Increased numbers of predators due to the larger amounts of available food and trash for scavenging are also a threat to the least tern. The seabirds nest in shallow “scrapes” they make on broad expanses of bare sand. Protection of nest beaches from development, degradation and disturbance, and active predator control programs caused the species to steadily increase to 6,561 pairs in California in 2004 . When a CA Least Tern is flying, you can see a black wedge on the end of its wings. FOOD. When placed on the endangered species list in 1970, just 225 nesting tern pairs were recorded in California . A wide variety of birds and mammals, crabs, and fish are predators of Least Tern eggs, chicks, and adults. Nest predators commonly limit productivity of Least Tern (Sterna antillarum) breeding colonies in both natural and artificial habitats. CONSERVATION STATUS: Endangered - Protected CLIMATE CHANGE: Not Applicable At the Aquarium. Food: Small fishes, like sandlances; sand eels; crustaceans, like shrimp and prawns. The California Least Tern and the Western Snowy Plover in Orange County by Cheryl Egger : Even though the endangered California Least Tern and the threatened Pacific Coast population of the Western Snowy Plover prefer the same beach habitat for breeding, they require different approaches for protection from predators and human interference. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton (CPEN) is located in the northwestern portion of San Diego County, immediately north of Oceanside, California. Least Tern Overview (Sternula antillarum, formerly Sterna antillarum) In early spring, least terns return to Florida from wintering grounds in Latin America.They soon pair up using courtship rituals in which hopeful males offer small fish to prospective mates. Their bills and legs are orange. Predators. Piping plover nest success was significantly increased (P < 0.001) with the use of exclosure cages. Wingspan: 20 inches. It is 21-23 cm (around 8¼ to 9 inches) long. California Least Tern And Western Snowy Plover Predator Control at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The interior least tern is a migratory bird species, nesting along freshwater habitats of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and their major tributaries and overwintering in the Caribbean and South America. Predators can cause destruction to breeding colonies while they are nesting by destroying nests and eating chicks and eggs. SPECIES IN DETAIL. Status: State threatened. Sterna antillarum browni. As its name implies, the least tern is the smallest of North American terns. Least terns primarily feed on small fish. Increasing piping plover and least tern nest success and chick survival, through predator deterrence, was evaluated in 1991 - 1992 using chick escape shelters, exclosure cages, and strobe lights as passive deterrent devices. California Least Tern. Its wingspan is 48-53 cm (around 19 to 21 inches). Also, global climate change is an impending threat to the least tern. The Least Tern is between 8 to 9 inches in length and has a … Avian predators include crows, gulls, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Great Horned Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Least Terns prefer to nest on sandy beaches where they face the threat of predators such as feral and free ranging cats, dogs, coyotes, raccoons, ghost crabs, human impact, and changing environments such as flooding. Weight: Approximately 1 ounce. Habitat: Broad, sandy, vegetation-free beaches usually located close to an estuary. When was the interior least tern protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)? Least Tern Sterna antillarum. The California Least Tern is illustrated on The Wave’s mosaic tile mural, Rios de la Vida (Rivers of Life).The fountain, mural, and accompanying graphics illustrate the story of our Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers.