Arctic Terns are incredible as they traverse the globe to live in a perpetual summer. We are luckily on Anglesey and have a couple of large Tern colonies at Cemlyn and the Skerries.
It is about this time of year that they head off for their second summer in the Southern hemisphere, travelling as far as the edge of the Antarctic ice.
Arctic Tern Facts:
- The Arctic Tern is sometime called the ‘sea swallow’
- Terns are a good indicator of a healthy marine environment
- Arctic terns mate for life and mostly return to the same colony each year
- They are fiercely defensive of their nests, attacking invaders (including humans) by pecking at them
- They have a number of social calls, including a call for self-identification, a bit like shouting your name
- Many birds reach fifteen years of age and some live to see thirty
- Arctic Terns fly at approximately 35 to 40 km per hour
- Recent studies show an average annual round-trip length of about 90,000 km (56,000 mi) for birds nesting in the Netherlands
- They have the longest migrations known in the animal kingdom
- A thirty year-old bird, it is estimated, will travel 2.4 million km (1.5 million mi) during its lifetime
- By having two summers a year they experience more daylight than any other creature on the planet
The Skerries are home to breeding Arctic, common and occasionally, roseate terns. If you would like to see the Anglesey Terns, join us on a Skerries trip before the end of August when the Terns are off South to chase the summer.
A Tern on the Skerries