Bird profile: Arctic Tern

The species is strongly migratory, seeing two summers each year as it migrates along a convoluted route from its northern breeding grounds to the Antarctic coast. Recent studies have shown average annual roundtrip lengths of about 70,900 km for birds nesting in Iceland and Greenland and c. 90,000 km for birds nesting in the Netherlands. These are by far the longest migrations known in the animal kingdom. The long journey ensures that this bird sees two summers per year and more daylight than any other creature on the planet.

The Arctic Tern flies as well as glides through the air, performing almost all of its tasks in the air. Arctic Terns are long-lived birds, with many reaching thirty years of age.

Wingspan: 76–85 cm