Arctic Tern

Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea)

The migration flight of the Arctic Tern is among the longest of all bird species. It breeds in the high arctic but in the winter it goes as far south as Antarctica. It is a common bird in Iceland, nesting mostly by the coast but also by lakes and wetlands. Other bird species tend to nest in Arctic Tern colonies because of its aggression when defending eggs and young. Arctic Terns feed on small fish and insects.


Few thousands pairs of Arctic Terns nest around the Bay Skjálfandi in a number of colonies. The biggest colony with around 2000 pairs is at Mánárbakki on the Tjörnes Peninsula. These birds seek food in Skjalfandi bay and are therefore commonly seen.


38 cm


92-135 g


75-80 cm


 200,000-300,000 pairs