California Least Tern

Sterna antillarum browni

Status: Endangered

California Least Terns look every bit like toy fighter planes when they dive, retracting their pointy wings and plummeting beak-first toward the water. Look for them at the lagoon in spring and summer. Least Terns used to nest in this area too, but very little of their coastal dune habitat remains. We’re hoping that the 4-acres of protected dunes in the reserve will allow these endangered birds to nest here again.

Fun Fact:
These smallest of terns look like tiny bombers as they dive into the water after fish.

What’s for Lunch:
Small fishes

Where’s Home:
Coastal dunes and shallow waters in spring and summer; Central and South America in winter