Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Charadriiformes > Laridae > Sterna > Sterna paradisaea

Sterna paradisaea (Arctic Tern)

Synonyms: Sterna macrura
Language: French; Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) is a seabird of the tern family Sternidae. This bird has a circumpolar breeding distribution covering the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America (as far south as Brittany and Massachusetts). The species is strongly migratory, seeing two summers each year as it migrates along a convoluted route from its northern breeding grounds to the Antarctic coast for the southern summer and back again about six months later. Recent studies have shown average annual roundtrip lengths of about 70,900 km (44,100 mi) for birds nesting in Iceland and Greenland and c. 90,000 km (56,000 mi) for birds nesting in the Netherlands. These are by far the longest migrations known in the animal kingdom. The Arctic tern flies as well as glides through the a
View Wikipedia Record: Sterna paradisaea

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 2.86207
EDGE Score: 1.3512


Clutch Size [7]  2
Clutches / Year [4]  1
Fledging [6]  23 days
Global Population (2017 est.) [3]  3,000,000
Incubation [4]  21 days
Mating Display [8]  Ground and non-acrobatic aerial display
Mating System [8]  Monogamy
Maximum Longevity [4]  34 years
Migration [1]  Intercontinental
Speed [9]  24.383 MPH (10.9 m/s)
Water Biome [1]  Lakes and Ponds, Coastal
Wing Span [9]  31 inches (.8 m)
Adult Weight [2]  105 grams
Birth Weight [4]  13 grams
Breeding Habitat [3]  Arctic tundra, Boreal forests, Beaches and estuaries, Coastal marine
Wintering Geography [3]  Southern Cone
Wintering Habitat [3]  Coastal marine, Pelagic
Diet [5]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Fish [5]  80 %
Diet - Invertibrates [5]  10 %
Diet - Scavenger [5]  10 %
Forages - Water Surface [5]  60 %
Forages - Underwater [5]  40 %
Female Maturity [4]  3 years
Male Maturity [4]  3 years


Protected Areas

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Important Bird Areas

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap


Range Map

External References


Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Storchová, Lenka; Hořák, David (2018), Data from: Life-history characteristics of European birds, Dryad, Dataset,
3Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
4de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
5Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
6Nathan P. Myhrvold, Elita Baldridge, Benjamin Chan, Dhileep Sivam, Daniel L. Freeman, and S. K. Morgan Ernest. 2015. An amniote life-history database to perform comparative analyses with birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecology 96:3109
7Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
8Terje Lislevand, Jordi Figuerola, and Tamás Székely. 2007. Avian body sizes in relation to fecundity, mating system, display behavior, and resource sharing. Ecology 88:1605
9Alerstam T, Rosén M, Bäckman J, Ericson PGP, Hellgren O (2007) Flight Speeds among Bird Species: Allometric and Phylogenetic Effects. PLoS Biol 5(8): e197. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050197
10Food Web Relationships of Northern Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca : a Synthesis of the Available Knowledge, Charles A. Simenstad, Bruce S. Miller, Carl F. Nyblade, Kathleen Thornburgh, and Lewis J. Bledsoe, EPA-600 7-29-259 September 1979
11Food web topology and parasites in the pelagic zone of a subarctic lake, Per-Arne Amundsen, Kevin D. Lafferty, Rune Knudsen, Raul Primicerio, Anders Klemetsen and Armand M. Kuris, Journal of Animal Ecology 2009, 78, 563–572
13Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
14Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
15International Flea Database
16Species Interactions of Australia Database, Atlas of Living Australia, Version ala-csv-2012-11-19
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2020-03-21; License: CC BY 4.0