The name of the beautiful bird in the picture is Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea). The Icelandic name is Kría. We admire this bird for how strongly they protect and look after their chicks. As a result of this when photographing them nesting you need to have some protection. For instance a cap on your head or a stick that is higher than yourself as the terns are really aggressive. The bird in the picture is somehow posing for the camera.
The Arctic terns are medium-sized birds. Colouring is mainly grey and white plumaged. They have red/orangish beak and feet, white forehead, black nape and crown streaked with white and white cheeks. Arctic terns are long-lived birds. Consequently a lot of them reach fifteen to thirty years of age. Their food is mainly fish and small marine creatures. The species is abundant, with an estimated one million individuals. While the trend in the number of individuals in the species as whole is not known. However exploitation in the past has reduced this bird’s numbers in the southern reaches of range.
The Arctic tern flies a long way in its migration and life. Recent tracking studies have shown average annual coverage of lengths of 70.900 km for birds nesting in Iceland and Greenland and 90.000 km for birds nesting in the Netherlands. The bird in the photo breeds in Iceland. In the fall it flies all the way to the Antarctica. The longest migrations known in the animal kingdom are those of the Arctic Tern.
The Arctic tern flies as well as glides through the air. They nest once every one to three years. When the birds have finished nesting they take to the sky for another long southern migration.
We are a tour operator. We organise Bird Photography Tours. So come with us.