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Sterna antillarum  Least Tern
Two subspecies of these piscivores breed in the state. The coastal form (S. a. antillarum) has nested on New Orleans rooftops. The inland form, or Interior Least Tern (S. a. athalassos), is Federally-listed as endangered, although the species as a whole is not. Colonies breeding along the Red and Mississippi rivers are susceptible to cats, rats, and water management practices that inundate sand bars during the breeding season.

photo Copyright 1999 by Bill Bergen 
female or male on egg

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Sterna sandvicensis  Sandwich Tern
Strictly coastal, these ground-nesting piscivores nest in dense colonies on barrier islands and often feed well out over the Gulf of Mexico.

photo Copyright 1999 by Bill Bergen 
male or female

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Sterna maxima  Royal Tern
These ground-nesting piscivores are strictly coastal. The "Possible" records likely do not represent breeding localities but rather birds that have commuted from their breeding colonies to feed.

photo Copyright 1999 by Bill Bergen 
female or male