Arctic tern in flight

Scientific name: Sterna paradisaea

Britain: April-October.

Status: Summer Visitor-Breeding.

Description Male: Length around 34cm. Wingspan around 70cm. The male arctic tern has white lower parts, light grey upperparts, a black cap and a long forked tail, the wings have a dark edging.

Female: Length around 34cm. Wingspan around 70cm. The female arctic tern is similar to the male.

Juvenile: Juvenile wings have a brownish grey patched appearance, they have shorter tail streamers than an adult and slightly darker upper part colouring.

Arctic terns spend much of their time at sea, as being a migratory species they undertake extremely long journeys. They are rarely seen on land aside from during the breeding season. Their staple diet is fish as well as consuming small crustaceans, such as crabs and krill. Insects are also taken during the breeding season to feed their young.