As summer weather arrives and people spend more time enjoying the Missouri River, you are reminded to be respectful of the needs of the special birds that live on the sandbars and share this great resource.
The Missouri River provides the Bismarck-Mandan area with a truly great recreation area. The River’s large, low sandbars make an ideal place to park our water craft and enjoy the warm sandy beaches. These same beautiful sandbars are also the home of many birds, two of which are rare and endangered - the Piping Plover and the Least Tern.
The sandbars have become critical habitat for the continued existence of these birds and their young. Portions of the sandbars may be closed to public access (including pets) during the nesting and brooding season. This action is necessary to prevent disturbance to or destruction of nests, adult birds, or hatchlings. If you see these birds, or a sign indicating their presence, please give them space. Entering closed areas is a violation of state and federal laws. To report violations call 701- 400-8433.
The Piping Plover is a small, stocky bird that is distinctly pale, matching the beaches where it lives. They have a black band across the upper forehead and another across the upper breast. The bands are faint in the young and become faint on all piping plovers during winter months.
The Least Tern is the smallest member of the gull and tern family at approximately 9" in length. They are predominately gray and white, with black streaking on the head. Least terns have a forked tail and narrow pointed wings. Their young have less streaking and less of a forked tail.
Have a safe and fun summer as you share the Missouri River sandbars with these special birds!
Please visit the following sites for more information:www.fws.gov
Public Outreach is required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s 404 Permit for dredging projects on the Missouri River in the Bismarck-Mandan Reach and is sponsored by Burleigh and Morton Counties, the Cities of Bismarck and Mandan, and the Lower Heart Water Resource District.