Breeding Range: Interior Least Terns’ breeding range stretches across the interior of the United States along the Mississippi, Missouri, and Rio Grande Rivers and their tributaries. Nesting habitat includes sparsely vegetated river sandbars, sandpits, and reservoir beaches.
Winter Range: Not a lot is known about Least Terns’ winter range, but they are known to winter primarily in marine coastal areas of the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Atlantic Ocean. Least Terns from the United States are known to winter as far south as the northern coast of South America.
In Nebraska: Interior Least Terns were once found in Nebraska throughout the major river systems, but their range has been reduced because of habitat loss. Today Interior Least Terns nest along portions of the Missouri, Platte, Niobrara, Loup, and Elkhorn Rivers. They nest on river sandbars, reservoirs, lakeshore housing developments, and sand and gravel mines (more information can be found about these nesting habitats under the monitoring and research tab).