Arctic Terns (Sterna
paradisaea) at Ny Alesund, Svalbard.
This picture was taken near to the nesting grounds,
the birds dislike anything approaching their nests
or looking like it might approach their nest and
this seems to include each other even when the bird
in question occupies the adjacent nest, so aerial
squabbling is common.
Arctic Terns are not
especially large birds, they have a length of
33-39cm (13-15") and wingspan of 76-85cm (26-30"),
they weigh just 86-127g (3-4.5 oz). They are famous
for their annual migration which takes them from
Northern to Southern polar regions and back again
every year. For some individuals, this is as much as
80,000km per year.
They travel more than any
other animal on earth and see more daylight than any
animal being in each polar region during its
respective summer with 24 or near 24 hour daylight.
In a lifetime of 30 years or
more, an Arctic Tern may travel more than 2.4
Picture credit - Andreas
Trepe, licensed under creative commons
The distribution of the Arctic Tern. Breeding range
in red, migration green arrows and northern
hemisphere winter is spent in the blue area around
attribution-share alike 2.5 generic license
copyright Paul Ward