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On Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

The least tern (Sternula antillarum) is one of several terns observed on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and is listed as a species of Special Concern in North Carolina. It is the smallest tern in North America, measuring only about 8 to 9 inches tall. During the breeding season, terns usually occur in colonies and often nest in groups on habitats with bare sand and shell with little or no vegetation. Biologists and refuge interns recently observed more than 625 least tern nests on survey on Pea Island. With more than 1000 chicks on the ground, it’s important to minimize all disturbances to water birds during this critical development time. Please respect all posted temporary bird closure areas, which allow a buffer from human activities. As per Refuge policy, all dogs must be leashed. We appreciate your help in sharing the shore with wildlife!