Bad Year For Least Terns

This was a bad year for least terns. Gulf Coast officials say only about half the normal number of chicks survived.

The Audubon Society tends to the terns. The group chairman says two big storms this year drowned hundreds of baby birds and washed out nests. Least terns arrive from South America in late April or early May and require about six weeks to raise a chick. They build nests by scraping out a hollow in the sand.

The terns have left the coast for the winter. About two-thousand pairs of terns now nest on the coast, down from six-thousand to eight-thousand in the mid-1980s.