The adult Arctic Tern breed and nest mostly in the Arctic but fortunately a few breed and nest on Machias Seal Island. They have beautiful breeding colors with bright red beaks and feet. These Terns mate for life and have the longest migrations of any animal, sometimes with a round trip of 40-50,000 miles. They nest on the ground and are fiercely defensive of their nests and chicks. These two were aggressively defending their chicks and will peck you on the head if they think you are too close to their nest or chicks!
Posts Tagged: Arctic Tern
The Arctic Tern is one amazing bird. They are well known for their exhaustive migrations. These trips are from northern breeding grounds to the Antarctic coast for the summer and then back again six months later. They are rarely seen near land except for breeding. They nest every one to 3 years and lay only 1-2 eggs.
The Arctic Tern chicks are downy when they hatch and start to wander around on the ground and explore within 1-2 days of hatching. I photographed these two chicks on Machias Seal Island. These little fluff balls are probably only 1-3 days old!