carsten_egevang_1994Recently, a new international study on The Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) was released revealing an impressive migratory pattern of the small seabird. An international research group with researchers from Greenland, Denmark, the US, UK and Iceland successfully mapped the impressive migratory pattern of 71,000 km from Greenland to the Weddell sea on the shores of Antarctica and back. What is interesting is that the Arctic tern flyes two different patters depending whether it is going north or south and spends almost a month on an island in the North-Atlantic before heading south. In addition, the birds separate on the coast of northwest Africa on their way south, half of the birds continuing down the coast of Africa the other half crossing through the Atlantic Ocean flying down south along the east coast of South America.

The migration of the Arctic tern is the longest animal migration known today, which is very impressive considering that the bird is just over 100 grams.

For more information, please visit the Arctic tern Migration Project homepage

(image: Carsten Egevang)