Arctic Terns in
arctic tern is a Summer visitor to Irish coasts and offshore islands.
This attractive tern begins to arrive in March and depart Irish
shores in September heading or South Africa and as far as the Antarctic.Arctic
terns undertake the longest migrations known in the animal kingdom.
arctic tern is a slender seabird with narrow, pointed wings, a long
forked tail and a long, pointed bill. Similar to the common tern
they have grey plumage with a black cap, a red bill, and red legs.
the average life span for a arctic tern is 13 years the longest
lived arctic tern was recorded at 31 years.
Name for Arctic Tern
Irish phrase for arctic tern is Geabhróg
Arctic tern's diet varies depending on location and time, but is
usually carnivorous. In most cases, it eats small fish or marine
crustaceans. In Irish waters they feed on herring and cod, amongst
dip down to the surface of the water to catch prey close to the
surface. Arctic terns may also pick off insects in the air when
breeding. They are also known to harass other birds so as to startle
them into releasing their catches
Arctic Terns Nesting
Arctic terns are
ground-nesting and that makes them and their nests vulnerable to
predation by cats and other animals. If their eggs or young come
under threat these terns will aggressively attack any perceived
threat. They often form mixed colonies with other terns, such as
common and Sandwich terns.
In Ireland arctic
terns are a coastal breeding bird, but will also breeds inland on
the fresh water lakes of Lough Corrib in County Galway and on Lough
Conn in County Mayo. Some of the largest Irish arctic tern colonies
can be found found in Counties Wexford, Kerry, Mayo, and Donegal.
Arctic terns are
renowned for their long-distance migrations. One tern, ringed as
a chick on the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland, England
in June 1982, turned up in Melbourne, Australia in October of the
same year. As they travel over open seas (not overland) it is estimated
this involved a flight of more than 20,000 Km. Most arctic terns
return to the same area, even the same colony, where they were hatched
Name: Sterna paradisaea
34cm Wingspan: 80cm Weight:
: Calls a short kip and a harsh kee-err.
Coastal, tundra, lakes, and rivers. In winter pelagic.
Fish, crustaceans and insects.
From 4 years
Number of Eggs:
1 - 3
No. of Clutches:
13 years. Record is 31 years.
Status in Ireland: AMBER
Tern Range in Ireland
arctic tern is a Summer visitor to all coasts of Ireland.