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Forster’s Tern

Sterna forsteri

Forster’s Terns can be found in Southern California year round. Their breeding range extends throughout many locations in the USA and the southern prairies of Canada. These birds are nearly exclusive to the North American continent year-round.

In San Diego County, they can be found nesting along the shoreline of South San Diego Bay, but most Forster’s Terns migrate north to the northern Great Basin region or to the northern prairies and the upper Mississippi valley, where they seek open water marshes to nest and raise their babies.

Forster’s Tern populations, like other species dependent on prairie marsh lands, have suffered from habitat loss and degradations due to agricultural development, draining wetlands, though their numbers haven’t dropped as dramatically as other species.

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