Any bird with the name "least" may have a bit of an inferiority complex, but there's nothing inferior about efforts to help the endangered interior least tern. According to STLToday.com, the Army Corps of Engineers has developed a floating barge project to provide secure nesting habitat for these tiny terns, and while the project has only had limited success to date, it is hoped that further refinements of the project - adding predator guards around the barge edges and a calling system to attract more birds - will keep encouraging birds to nest.
Least terns themselves are not endangered, but the interior subspecies that nests along river edges has been listed as endangered since 1985. Because these birds nest along river edges and shores that are prized for recreation such as fishing, boating and more, their nests can be easily destroyed and the population suffers.
Whenever you are near a beach or river edge, be sure to take steps to protect birds!
Nesting Least Tern
Photo © USFWS/Midwest Region