With its long tail streamers and general shape the Arctic tern deserves the local name of 'sea swallow'. Appearing white with a black cap, it is largely coastal although it can be seen inland on migration. It depends on a healthy marine environment and some colonies have been affected by fish shortages. Arctic terns are the ultimate long distance migrants - summer visitors to the UK and winter visitors to the Antarctic.
What they eat:
Mainly fish but also crustaceans and insects.
- UK breeding:
- 53,000 pairs
- 500-900,000 pairs
This bird species has different identifying features depending on sex/age/season.