Saturday, June 25, 2005

A Turn with an Arctic Tern

The Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) is a small bird that makes the longest migration of any bird. It breeds in the Arctic tundra (within the Arctic Circle), but flies to the edge of the Antarctic ice pack during the winter. It flies over 21,750 miles (35,000 km) each year - roughly the circumference of the Earth. This excellent flier spends most of its life flying. This tern always experiences long days, since it spends the summer in the Arctic and the (Northern Hemisphere) winter in the Antarctic.

Arctic terns have a life span of about 20 years. This one started it's life as an orphan and is getting a new start with baby bird mom and Rehab Director Cindy Palmatier. Fresh salmon everyday is helping this little fellow grow.In a few weeks he'll be released and start his worldly travels.


Cindy P. said...

The little guy is growing by leaps and bounds! His head is now about the same size he was when he arrived at the clinic. He loves salmon, mealworms (the big ones!) and an occasional kibble of dog food soaked in pedialyte or water.

I'll ask Dave to post a current photo!


vlad259 said...

That's an astonishing lifespan, and an incredible migration. With a lifespan that long, I bet they don't produce many chicks - how precious each one is!