New islands to lure terns away from Columbia River

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Corps of Engineers plans to build a 1-acre island in Malheur Lake in southeast Oregon in hopes of luring more Caspian terns into nesting there -- instead of near the mouth of the Columbia River where they have been eating too many young salmon and steelhead.

The Oregonian reports (http://bit.ly/nNItPS) it will be the seventh such island the corps has built in Oregon and northern California in areas where the terns once nested. The new islands are built as the corps shrinks East Sand Island, which was created with Columbia River dredging spoils.

The corps is getting help with terns this season from predators. Oregon State University researchers say eagles, falcons and owls flushed terns off their nests this season, allowing gulls to sweep in and eat the eggs.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com