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Mississippi River
Least Tern Breeding Colony - Densford Bar

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MAVLeast Tern Surveys in the Mississippi River

Note:  Least Tern breeding colonies that contain >1% of the total inland Least Tern breeding population can qualify as a separate IBA. In Tennessee, the site must meet this requirement 4 out of the last 5 years (2001-2005). Densford Bar is part of the IBA site, Mississippi Alluvial Valley in Tennessee.

Surveys:  Interior Least Tern surveys have been conducted since 1985 by the Memphis District Army Corps of Engineers. In the period 2001-2005, a small boat survey technique was used to census the birds. Upon spotting a likely colony, terns were counted in the air and on the land from the boat as it drifted downstream. After this preliminary count, the site was usually surveyed on foot to count adults, nests, eggs, and chicks. (Jones 2005). See Least Tern Surveys in the Mississippi River for a summary and each county for a county breakdown--Lake County and Obion County, Dyer County, Lauderdale County, Tipton County, and Shelby County.

Location:  Densford Bar, Shelby County, Tennessee
Physiographic Province:  PIF 05 (Mississippi Alluvial Valley); BCR 26 (Mississippi Alluvial Valley)
Tennessee IBA Site Map - MR Densford Bar
Geographical Coordinates:
   
Densford Bar--2005. Lat. 353902N  Long. 0900703W
    Densford Bar--2004. Lat. 353902N  Long. 0900703W
    Densford Bar--2003. Lat. 353893N  Long. 0900701W
    Densford Bar--2002. Lat. 352333N  Long. 0900409W
    Densford Bar--2001. Lat. 352345N  Long. 0900358W
   
Elevation Range:
 
  223' Densford Bar    
Size:
acres
USGS 7.5' quad:   Pecan Point

Description: 

YEARSubstrateVegetationVegetation To Nearest Nest
(feet)
2005Sand/DebrisWillows/Cottonwoods1,000'
2004SandWillows/Cottonwoods0'
2003Sand/DebrisWillows/Cottonwoods500'
2002Sand/DebrisNone0'
2001Sand/DebrisSparse Grass0'

IBA Criteria:  1

Ornithological Importance:  Nest site of inland race of Least Tern, a Tennessee and Federal Endangered species, containing >1% of the total inland Least Tern population for that year.
    Note 1. 2005. Surveyed June 26. Nesting site on right bank, approximately 500 feet to the river from the center of the nest site. Adults: 230. Eggs: 1,2,3 egg clutches. Nests: 16. Chicks: Yes. "Long, high, flat bar with wrack lines. Last years (2004) census counted only 3 terns and no nesting activity. Mobbing intense with lots of courtship behavior. Chicks from 2 to 7 days old. Human and dog tracks abundant as usual, with signs of camping and recreational use at the waterline." TN Side. Map No. 53, A-I-15.  Field Data Sighting Sheet A-II-37.  TN Side. (Jones 2005)
    Note 2. 2004. Surveyed July 23. Nesting site on right bank. Adults: 3. Eggs: No. Chicks: No. "Long, high, flat bar with wrack lines. Last years (2003) census counted 700 terns, but noted much disturbance of nests at the time. Human and dog tracks abundant. No signs of nesting activity."  TN Side. No map. Field Data Sighting Sheet A-II-36. TN Side. (Jones 2004)
    Note 3. 2003. Surveyed July 14. Nesting on right bank, approximately 200 feet to water to the river from the center of the nest site. Adults 700. Eggs: 3 egg clutches. Chicks: Yes "Long, high, flat bar with wrack lines. Count shows 250 sitting on nests. Hatching underway with chicks 1-3 days old. Humans present at waterline downstream and skiing in chute. Some nests disturbed (13 eggs in each of 2 scrapes). Avian predation on adult tern noted (7/21/03) with Treadfin and Gizzard Shad in colony." Map No. 53, A-I-17. Field Data Sighting Sheet A-II-42. TN Side. (Jones 2003)
    Note 4. 2002. Surveyed July 8. Nesting on left bank, approximately 800 feet to the river from the center of the nest site. Adults 500. Eggs: 2-3 egg clutches. Chicks: Yes. "Historically productive bar with little change from previous years. High, wide, unattached with scattered, sparse debris. Many hatchlings of all ages, scrapes with and without eggs abundant. Coyote tracks, human and dog tracks. Most nests concentrated at bar's high center and over 1 mile long." Map A-I-20. Field Data Sighting Sheet A-II-65. TN Side. (Jones 2002)
    Note 5. 2001. Surveyed July 20. Nesting on left bank, approximately 300 feet to the river from the center of the nest site. Adults: 270. Eggs: 2 egg clutches. Chicks: Yes. "Large, extended, historically productive colony. Chicks up to 1 week old abundant, one dead, cause unknown. Two chicks banded and blood sampled. Thunder to north." Map  A-I-16. Field Data Sighting Sheet A-II-65. TN Side. (Jones 2001)

River Mile

2005
(Total Inland Population/>1%)
9,563/94
(a)
10,960/110
(b)

2004
(Total Inland Population/>1%)
9,061/91
(a)
11,239/112
(b)

2003
(Total Inland Population/>1%)
8,082/81
(a)

2002
(Total Inland Population/>1%)
5,802/58
(a)

2001
(Total Inland Population/>1%)
6,361/64
(a)

Source2

754.5--

--

700
(See Note 3 above.)
----7
754.3------500
(See Note 4 above.)
--7
754--3
(See Note 2 above.)
------7
755

230
(See Note 1 above.)

------270
(See Note 5 above.)
7
(a) Least Tern survey 2001-2003 was from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Vicksburg, Mississippi, for a total of 577 river miles.
Number reflect survey of 577 river miles.
(b) Least Tern survey 2004-2005 was extended 200 miles to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for a total of 777 river miles.
Numbers reflect extended survey to 777 river miles.
Season1   B = Breeding, W = Wintering, SM = Spring Migration, FM = Fall Migration 
Source 2  1-Atlas Breeding Birds of Tennessee 2-Breeding Bird Surveys 3-Christmas Bird Counts
4-Point Counts 5-Refuge Counts 6-Personal observations 7-Other (Ken Jones, John Rumancik, et al.)

Ownership:  US Army Corps of Engineers
     Contact:  John Rumancik, Department of the Army, Memphis District Corps of Engineers, 167 North Main Street, B-202, Memphis, TN 38103-0894, (901) 544-3975,  John.P.Rumancik@mvm02.usace.army.mil.

Conservation Concerns:  Major concerns are predation and disturbance to birds.

Management Program:

Submitted by:

Additional Contributors:  Kenneth H. Jones, Associate Professor of Biology, Dyersburg State Community College, 1510 Lake Road, Dyersburg, TN 38024, 731-286-3367, kjones@dscc.edu.   John Rumancik, Department of the Army, Memphis District Corps of Engineers, 167 North Main Street, B-202, Memphis, TN 38103-0894, 901-544-3975,  John.P.Rumancik@mvm02.usace.army.mil.

References:
Jones, K. H. 2005. Population Survey of the Interior Least Tern on the Mississippi River from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Memphis District,  Corps of Engineers.
Jones, K. H. 2004. Population Survey of the Interior Least Tern on the Mississippi River from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Memphis District, Corps  of Engineers.
Jones, K. H. 2003. Population Survey of the Interior Least Tern on the Mississippi River from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Memphis District, Corps  of Engineers.
Jones, K. H. 2002. Population Survey of the Interior Least Tern on the Mississippi River from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Memphis District, Corps  of Engineers.
Jones, K. H. 2001. Population Survey of the Interior Least Tern on the Mississippi River from Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Memphis District, Corps  of Engineers.

Approved under the umbrella IBA site Mississippi Alluvial Valley:  February 2006--Yes 7  No 0


This page was last updated on 02/19/06.