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 p. paradisaea, 1CY
BIF2150, 02/09/2014, North Sea, offshore, Martin Grimm


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


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


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


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


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


Arctic Tern Sterna p. paradisaea, AD, 1CY, calls during migration
BIF0103, 06/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke



Arctic Tern Sterna p. paradisaea, AD, calls during migration
BIF2126, 05/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke


Arctic Tern Sterna p. paradisaea, AD, calls during migration
BIF2127, 05/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke


Arctic Tern Sterna p. paradisaea, AD, 1CY, flight calls during migration, begging calls
BIF2128, 05/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke



Arctic Tern Sterna p. paradisaea, AD, calls during migration, excitement calls
BIF2129, 06/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke


Arctic Tern Sterna p. paradisaea, AD, 1CY, calls during migration
BIF2130, 06/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke


Arctic Tern Sterna p. paradisaea, 1CY, calls during migration
BIF2131, 06/08/2010, North Sea, offhore, Patrick Franke

voice:
– very vocal
– particular calls during migration
– AD flight calls higher pitched than Common Tern
– AD flight call is 0.3-0.4 sec long, harsh, slightly downslurred, screechy
– usually lacks Common Tern’s voice break towards the end
– 1CY flight call is somewhat shorter and more blurry than AD calls
– social call a 0.05sec long, overslurred, variable ‘wit’
– 1CY begging call is slightly upslurred, variable in length and shape, sometimes in fast series
– during spring migration birds utter several calls related to courtship and breeding too

comparison species:
Common Tern
Roseate Tern
Sandwich Tern

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