Important Bird Areas

Alexander County - Least Tern Habitat

Illinois

This IBA site covers the islands, sandbars, and flooded areas along the Mississippi River in Alexander County where the highest state concentration of Least Terns is known to breed. 

Ornithological Summary

This site was chosen as an IBA because it met the criteria for Least Terns.

Conservation Issues

Some years flooding forces the birds to go inland and attempt to nest in other areas.

Habitat

The sandbars where the Least Terns nest can be in different locations from year to year and even absent during years when the river is high due to flooding. This habitat comprises only about four percent of the IBA, but was historically much more common along the river.

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