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Least Terns 
Up ] 2000 Least Tern Report ] 2001 Least Tern Report ] 2002 Least Tern Report ] 2003 Least Tern Report ]


Tulsa Audubon plays an active role in the protection and monitoring of the endangered Least Tern, which nests on sandbars in the Arkansas River in Tulsa. A Least Tern day along Riverparks is held in the summer to allow the public to observe the nesting Terns and their young.

The section of the Arkansas River between 11th and 91st Street in Tulsa provides sandbars and barren beaches of gravel and sand used by the Interior Least tern as nesting habitat. The terns arrive mid-May, leave their nesting areas in mid July and depart the area in late August - early September. Monitoring of nesting sites is conducted by volunteers from the Tulsa Audubon Society who work closely with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to limit public access to the nesting areas. Recent breeding reports compiled by Bob Harwood and Colin Davey are available here:

2000 Least Tern Report

2001 Least Tern Report

2002 Least Tern Report

2003 Least Tern Report

The Nature Conservancy  has established the Arkansas River Least Tern Preserve, consisting of approximately 1,175 acres, located in the City of Tulsa. The Conservancy owns 143 acres, with the remaining acreage under management agreements with public and private landowners.

Two lookout sites have been provided for those interested in viewing the Least terns. These sites are located at 15th St. 31st St. and 81st St. The Tulsa Audubon Society also conducts Least Tern Viewing Days several times throughout the summer. Here is a Map of of viewing areas from The Nature Conservancy

 

Fred Pianalto

Fred Pianalto, 1927 - 1996, was one of the first people to discover the Terns utilizing the river, and spent many years observing and protecting them.

Despite debilitating arthritis, Fred, who had special permission, would drive his pickup along the bike trail and set up his scope to watch over the birds. Over the years he became a fixture at Riverparks, and became one of Tulsa Audubon's greatest ambassadors to the Public. Thousands of people learned about the Terns and other wildlife along the river from Fred.

Click here for a page of tributes to Fred

 

 

 

 

Send mail to johnkennington@cox.net with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2013 Tulsa Audubon Society
Last modified: March 14, 2017

 

 

 

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