Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Delray Beach, Florida, USA
Member of the Gulls and Terns Family
§A Ternery of Terns§
~true bird fact~ Weighing in at one ounce, the Least Tern is the smallest member of the gull family. This doesn't keep him from aggressively defending his nest by diving and shrieking at intruders.
Loves hot-doggin' and showin' off with some fancy flyin' moves
Doesn't like it when you bring up the whole 'least' thing
Acts really tough. Some might say he's compensating
A fiery temper
How endangered are they? Depends where you ask. It turns out there are three distinct populations of Least Terns, one on the East Coast (pictured above), an inland variety, and a West Coast Tern (who is probably the coolest least tern). The California and Inland type are both categorized as endangered species, but both of these populations have been recovering with aggressive management of nesting sights. These guys love the beach, so their breeding spots are often also good vacation spots. In addition to this, they were once nearly hunted to extinction by fancy-hat-makers. Overall the Least Tern is a success story, although it still has a designation as 'endangered', 'of concern', or 'threatened' in many of the states it lives in.