How to identify

With its long tail streamers and streamlined shape, the Arctic Tern deserves its local name of 'sea swallow'. White with a black cap, it's a largely coastal bird, although it can be seen inland during migration. Arctic Terns depend on healthy marine environments, and some colonies have been affected by fish shortages. Arctic Terns are the ultimate distance migrants, flying between the UK and the Antarctic every year!


Arctic Tern

Niels Krabbe / xeno-canto


  1. Resident
  2. Passage
  3. Summer
  4. Winter
* This map is intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.
  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

Key facts

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