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
Conservancy has established the Arkansas
River Least Tern Preserve, consisting of approximately 1,175 acres, located in the City of
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
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.
here for a page of tributes to Fred