New York Natural Heritage Program
Caspian Tern
Hydroprogne caspia (Pallas, 1770)

New York State Distribution [-]
Only two nesting colonies are known in New York, however, this species exhibits a large home range for foraging which may obscure the locations of other small colonies. Caspian Terns have nested on Little Galloo Island in Lake Ontario since 1986 and on Four Brothers Islands in Lake Champlain since 2004.

Global Distribution [-]
Breeding Range: Caspian Terns occur in a patchy distribution throughout their range. They breed in the eastern U.S. on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, from northern Florida to Virginia. They also breed in New Jersey, on the central Gulf Coast of Florida, and in southeastern Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas, and around the Great Lakes. In western North America, Caspian Terns breed in a few locations along the coast in Washington, California, Alaska and also also Baja California and in Sinaloa. They breed in the interior of the western United States in Washington, eastern Oregon, northern Utah, northwestern Wyoming, Idaho (recent range expansion), North Dakota, southern California, and western Nevada. In Canada, the terns breed in the central region including the southern northwest territories at Great Slave Lake, northeastern and southern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan, and southern Manitoba. In Canada, they also breed in Labrador, southeastern Quebec, Newfoundland and in and along the Great Lakes in southern Ontario. The breeding distribution also includes populations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Winter Range: Caspian Terns overwinter along the Pacific coast from southern California south to Guatemala and along the Atlantic coast from southern North Carolina south around the Florida panhandle along the gulf coast to northern Honduras. They are casual winter resdients in Hawaii and rare in the West Indies. This species also winters in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Best Places to See
• Four Brothers Island, Lake Champlain (Essex County)
• Little Gallo Island, eastern Lake Ontario (Jefferson County)