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Arctic Terns

Ange Boyson (July)

I saw this flock of Arctic Terns nesting on the Skerries, which is off the North West corner of Anglesey.
The Arctic Tern has the longest regular migration of any known animal and will fly up 24,000 miles (and that is not a typo!) each year. It is a lucky bird, because it sees two summers each year!
The Arctic Tern does most of its tasks from the air and only lands to nest, which could be only once every one to three years!
Arctic Terns mate for life and usually return to the same colony each year. Their courtship is very elaborate, beginning with a 'high flight', where a female will chase a male up to a high altitude and then slowly descend. Next is the 'fish flight', where the male will offer fish to the female. Thirdly there's courtship on the ground with a lot of strutting and then both birds will fly and circle each other. Both birds agree on a site for the nest.
Arctic Terns are very aggressive and fiercely defensive of their nest and young. Although they are too small to cause serious harm, they can still draw blood! So beware of getting too close while taking pictures!

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