Arctic Tern (Sterna Paradisea) – They are medium sized sea birds, with the longest migration known to any animal, from the Northern Oceans to Antarctica and back. They see more sunlight in a year than any other animal.
The long forked tails developed in the summer, are particularly attractive as they fly and glide through the air. They nest every one to three years and perform most of its activities in the air. Juveniles are brown or grayish , resembling winter adults.
They are extremely vocal and protective of their nest, attacking visitors who venture into their colony grounds. They tend to return to the same nesting grounds. They hardly fly while they are molting, resting in blocks of ice.
They can live of to 34 years and can breed at 3 to 4 years of age. Their diet consists of fish and small marine invertebrates.
Arctic terns are slightly smaller than common terns, and have a shorter bill and longer tail. The rump is white, the underparts are darker and the wing lacks the dark wedge on the outer edge, which is a key identifying feature of common terns. During summer, the bill becomes bright red and lacks the black tip seen in common terns.
The Arctic Terns are considered threatened in certain states, and at the southern part of their range, the population has been diminishing.
There are approximately one million individuals around the world.
You can see a 30 second video of an adult feeding chicks here: