Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 108 - Arctic Terns

Arctic Terns are famous for a number of things - having one of the longest migration of any species and for seeing more daylight that any other species on Earth.

One thing that they should be famous for is their absolute ferocity - for a bird of their size and mass they must be one of the most aggressive species on Earth!  On the Farne Islands, this tendency to fierceness comes to the fore because the birds nest right next to, and sometimes on, the paths around the island - and when camera and binocular draped birders get too close the bird consider the birders fair game!

Even through my well loved canvas bucket hat, it was surprisingly painful when the birds stabbed me on the head!

Under circumstances like this my traditional low key green dress sense seems a little redundant!

 
On a more serious note, the Arctic Tern - Stena paradisaea - is about 35 cm long, and carries that wonderful combination of black, white, grey and red that make this bird so wonderful to see, and rather difficult to split from Common Tern.  There were terns all over the place on the islands, in in some places you had to step over birds that were protecting their young on the boardwalks and pathways.  Well over 1000 pairs of Arctic Terns nest on these islands - along with smaller number of Common and Sandwich Terns.








Now it's over to you - click the link below and off you go!

57 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

love that photo of you!!! :D

what great looking birds. love the fuzzy chick, too. so cute!

Chris Rohrer said...

Great photo! Sounds like a lot of activity around that area. Around the New England states, they roped off the nesting areas from people. Terns are a beautiful group of birds....and the story behind the Arctic's migration is an amazing one. Imagine all the places they visit:)

Sylvia K said...

Hey you look great with a bird on your head!!:) I love the little ones!

Andrea Priebe said...

Your Artic Terns, as beautiful as they are ... the baby stole the show. Wouldn't life be fun if grownups were as cute as their babies? Speaking of cute ... maybe that's the wrong term ... handsome sounds better. You look awesome with a bird on your head and I am impressed with the heavy camera equipment (have any back problems?). This was a great post, Stewart. Love the sense of humor ... something we all need these days.

Andrea @ From the Sol

Andrea Priebe said...

Since I already have two posts, I may as well post a third to explain ... I am impatient with my computer and end up clicking on the "Publish" button more than once if it is taking too long. Sorry to use up your predious space :)

Andrea

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Wonderful images of the Arctic Terns. They are such interesting birds, and the distances they traverse during migrations are amazing. I did not venture into a nesting colony in Manitoba, but watch someone walk "innocently" through it, under vigorous attack.

Sharon Wagner said...

The lichen makes for some colorful shots. And you were definitely photo bombed!

Mama Zen said...

Ouch!

Andrew Fulton said...

A fantastic post Stewart... wonderful images.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Gorgeous birds! I love the little fluff balls. :)

Felicia said...

the birds are beautiful and you look quite handsome with one on your head.

Frank said...

Excellent series Stewart of this feisty Tern.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

That chick is adorable!!! But, the one photo I like best this week is that of yourself!!!!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

such tiny little feet :>)

NatureFootstep said...

lol, I was there 2 years ago. Loved it. It was possible to rent a hard plastic hat during the visit. :) I totally loved the visit.

bailey-road.com said...

What wonderful shots. They really are beautiful birds - and the chick is so cute. I love the shot of you with the bird on your head. Ouch!

Linda W. said...

Nice shots - I especially loved the one of the little chick!

Christian Weiß said...

Brave and beautiful birds, the migration of them is fascinating. That's a great place for birding.

John @ Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

I hope he left a deposit on your bucket hat. Leaving his mark will be something you can remember that moment by long from now...as long as you never wash your hat.

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful Tern Stewart, I love it.

janiceadcock said...

Lovely birds. Nice pix of you, too.

Breathtaking said...

Excellent captures of the Tern, and you too Stewart.:)) Cute shot of the chick also. Great series!

eileeninmd said...

Stewart, the beak on the Arctic Tern looks sharp. I would not want to be poked in the head by this bird. Great photos, I love the chick! Thanks for hosting! Enjoy your week!

Les Fous du Cap said...

We can not imagine a more beautiful observation!
Céline & Philippe

Adam Jones said...

Great pictures Stewart. I have heard about their feisty behaviour. Glad you survived.

Cloudia said...

Nice to see the photog at work!

Glad to be aboard




ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
=^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

Brian King said...

LOL! That's an awesome photo! Not everyone can say they've got a picture of a tern sitting on them! Beautiful shots!

EG CameraGirl said...

How cool you have Arctic terns there right now. I have been searching the wharves of lake Ontario lately trying to capture a few with my lens

Small City Scenes said...

Terns are fun birds to watch and take in their beautiful wardrobe. Yours too!
Like the flashy car story. MB

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Well your shots bring back memories of my trip to Farne. Great shots of the Terns. Thanks for hosting.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Stewart, that photo of you might be the best photo of all-time sir :)

orchid Miyako said...

OMG, what a great photos of YOU and Arctic Terns♪
I was SO impressed by your camera, you look professional and thought blog friends who take great pictures must have these wonderful SLR :-)
I smiled that you said 'this my traditional low key green dress sense seems a little redundant'

LOVELY shots of them and baby is SO adorable. I wish I lived the bird-full environment♫♫♫

Sincerely from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

Terri @ Backward B Ranch said...

Super shots- I think I have camera envy! LOL!

Mike said...

Great photos! Inspired me to post some Sandwich Terns!

Iowa Voice

Marie said...

Beautiful photos of the terns! But OUCH! That beak looks pretty sharp! And, oh, that camera!!!!

Connie Smiley said...

Ouch! If they weren't so beautiful, they'd never get away with that kind of behavior. It's a wonderful collection of photos--love the shot of you with the bird on your hat, and that fluffy little one is darling!

Susan (ABON) said...

Lovely birds, and what a migration story they have, amazing! Your images are awesome, love the one with a tern on your head :) and the fuzzy little one. Enjoyed your post!

Marie said...

Meant to tell you--that baby tern is precious!!!! Check out my videos of the hummingbirds from Madera Canyon....I finally figured out how to get them posted!

pattisjarrett said...

That fluff-ball of a baby is adorable! This is a beautiful bird, love the tail. That bill does appear to be meant for business! It is a nice adornment for your hat, I must say. Thanks for hosting, sharing your knowledge, and all these great birds with us.

Oman said...

the little bird seem so friendly as if saying to you, take my photo for i am smiling haha. great captures as always.

Pieni Lintu said...

Great shots! :) I love that baby bird, so sweet!

There's always terns and guls with nests near my parents house and terns can be VERY agressive when they have babies. :/

Ti Ra said...

LOVELY!!!

Greetings
Tina

Irma said...

Great photos of the Arctic Tern, Stewart.
The picture of you with the Arctic Tern on your hat, I find totally amazing.
Best regards, Irma

Arija said...

I certainly did not know that Arctic Terns behaved like our magpies that dive-bomb anyone passing under a tree that they nest in.
I did not notice your fetching headdress on Facebook but the again, I packed everything for this trip except my glasses so I do labour under a slight disadvantage.

Roan said...

I had to smile when I saw your photo. The birds are beautiful and the chick is too cute!

Kerri Farley said...

These are Fantastic captures! and the baby just steals my heart :)

LadyD Piano said...

Great equipment you have there and wonderful colors with the yellow background. Love the straight forward shot of the sleek Tern!

Nick V. said...

Lovely captures, Stewart. Thanks for hosting.

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

They look very fashionable with their red lipstick and shoes!

Millie and Walter said...

Is it okay if we laugh at you with the bird on your head? Sorry I had to. I did have a chickadee land on my long lens once but never on my head. Your pictures are beautiful.

amanda | wildly simple said...

Fantastic shots, Stewart.
I rather like the sporty one of yourself, sporting that bird on your head - quite a camera setup! And OH! the fuzzy fletching.

BumbleVee said...

Awww... love the terns... 'specially the little fuzzy guy...

Pete Shanley said...

Well, it's been a while for me to drop by - but my you do get around Stewart! Great shots & I love "the selfie"
Peter

(◔‿◔) said...

Wow, that's amazing pictures, Stewart.
The 4. photo of the seagull ist my favorite with the open beakt/ lip.
Best regards, Wieczora (◔‿◔) | Mein Fotoblog

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wow! Those birds are tough critters. Sweet baby too. So they nest there and fly here (to Alaska?)... need to read more on that. ( might have seen some in the wildlife center place in Seward where I photod the puffins (the ones I couldn't get good pix of in the wild ... unlike some better photographers I know ;>)

Anyway wonderful pictures , loved the info too. I have several birds to post eventually; can't seem to be in the right place at the right time to link up ; traveling makes that a bit harder up here. I will be back.

love HAPPY Notes said...

Amazing photos

love HAPPY Notes said...

Amazing photos