Arctic Tern
Sterna paradisaea

f4.5 @ 1/400s, ISO:2000, Nikon D300S w 300mm and 1.4X teleconverter


"Arctic Tern," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Breeding begins around the third or fourth year. Arctic terns mate for life and, in most cases, return to the same colony each year. Courtship is elaborate, especially in birds nesting for the first time. Courtship begins with a so-called "high flight", where a female will chase the male to a high altitude and then slowly descend. This display is followed by "fish flights", where the male will offer fish to the female. Courtship on the ground involves strutting with a raised tail and lowered wings. After this, both birds will usually fly and circle each other. Both sexes agree on a site for a nest, and both will defend the site. During this time, the male continues to feed the female. Mating occurs shortly after this.
Svalbard, Norway
 
08/06/2010