Arctic tern flying with fish in its beak

Arctic tern

Arctic terns are famous for undertaking the longest migration of any bird. Some individuals travel from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again over the course of a year. Their migration means that they never feel the full effects of winter - when the northern hemisphere experiences its winter months, the birds are in the southern hemisphere, and vice versa. Arctic terns breed in northern latitudes such as the UK, as well as in the Arctic circle.

Did you know?
Arctic terns fly the equivalent of three round trips to the Moon in its lifetime.

Scientific name: Sterna paradisaea

Rank: Species

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The Arctic tern can be found in a number of locations including: Arctic, Asia, Europe, North America, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Arctic tern distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Shorebirds
  6. Sternidae
  7. Sterna
  8. Arctic tern

BBC News about Arctic tern

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