Arctic Tern

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Scientific Information

Adult Arctic Terns
The Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) is an abundant breeder throughout most of the Peninsula, it is never far from water and breeds along the Coastal Lowlands and Interior Lowlands and Uplands wherever water occurs. Arctic Terns are incredible migrants as they winter in Antarctica up to 25,000 miles round trip annually. It is said that some through their lifetime (30 years) may fly a distance equal to flying to the moon and back. They are very protective of their nests and will fly above a perceived threat and dive on it shrieking at the same time. They will usually return to the same site as where they hatched to the same colony.

Community Information

Shishmaref

Name

Qiyiiak

Spoken Name

Relevant Site Information

Arctic Terns usually begin showing up here around the end of May when their are cracks in the sea ice that allow them to dive to catch their prey. People enjoy hunting for their eggs. They are notoriously aggressive when protecting their clutches and will dive at intruders who are near their nests.

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