California Least Tern

California Least Tern at the Alviso Slough Trail at the Don Edwards SF Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso (San Jose)

The California Least Tern is one of a few Tern species. They are still considered an endangered bird species. The bird is relatively small measuring ten inches with a wing length of four inches and weighing only 45-55 grams. Their diet consists of diving towards the water picking off fish just below the surface. California Least Terns are identified by a short, forked tail, and a long, slightly decurved, tapered bill. Their territory is only in the United States along the immediate coast of California from San Francisco Bay south to the Mexican border. But due to coastal development and intense human recreational use of beaches the numbers greatly diminished with numbers around 6,000 pairs today.

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