Arctic Tern
Sterna paradisaea

– medium-sized tern
– considerably smaller and lighter weighted than Common Black-headed Gull
– diurnal migrant, but probably nocturnal as well
– migrates in small (sometimes large), loose flocks or as family-party (summer)


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, 1CY
BIF2150, 02/09/2014, North Sea, offshore, Martin Grimm


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD BREED
BIF0101, 01/06/2010, Esbjerg, Denmark, Mathias Putze


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD BREED
BIF0102, 01/06/2010, Esbjerg, Denmark, Mathias Putze


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD BREED
BIF1962, 01/06/2010, Esbjerg, Denmark, Mathias Putze


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD
BIF1384, 01/07/2015, Rügen, Germany, Roland Neumann


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD BREED
BIF2133, 29/04/2017, North Sea, offshore, Roland Neumann


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD flight call, 1CY begging call
BIF0103, 06/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke



Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD, flight call
BIF2126, 05/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD, flight call
BIF2127, 05/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke



Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD, flight call
BIF2128, 06/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD flight call, 1CY begging call
BIF2129, 06/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD flight call, 1CY ‘KIT’ call
BIF2130, 06/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, 1CY ‘KIT’ call
BIF2131, 06/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke


Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, AD F begging call
BIF1743, 17/06/2015, Snæfellsnes, Iceland, Patrick Franke

voice:
– very vocal
– a variety of calls to be heard during migration
– during spring migration AD birds utter several calls related to courtship and breeding too
– AD flight call is 0.3-0.4 sec in length, slightly downslurred, screechy
– the AD flight call is similar to ‘KIRR’ calls (breeding grounds) but lack voice break and harsh terminal elements
– during spring migration AD F begging calls are not uncommon
– AD F begging calls are similar to 1CY ‘KIT’ calls and often uttered in long, fast, regular series
– most common call of 1CY birds in autumn is a 0.05sec long overslurred quite variable ‘KIT’, often uttered in long but mostly irregular series
– 1CY birds regularly utter begging calls during migration too, often in short fast series
– most calls are distinctly higher pitched than similar Common Tern calls

comparison species:
Little Tern (v)
Gull-billed Tern (v)
Whiskered Tern (v)
Roseate Tern (a) (v)
Common Tern
Sandwich Tern

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