Interior Least Tern: Migration

Little is known about Interior Least Tern migration. Interior Least Terns are thought to primarily follow major rivers during their migration route. They are believed to migrate in small family groups and feed in water bodies along the way. During migration Least Terns have appeared feeding in aquatic habitats throughout the United States. Spring migration is thought to be rather quick as birds are eager to get to their breeding habitat. Fall migration appears to be more extended because adults may linger around their breeding habitat with fledglings.

Tern Migration Range

Typical Patterns:

  • Arrive in Nebraska in early May
  • Depart by late August to early September
  • Earliest known arrival in Nebraska is 19 April
  • Latest known departure is 28 October

Several weeks prior to departure, adults and young birds are known to congregate at feeding sites.