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Arctic Tern Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    Arctic Terns are slender terns with long, angular wings and pointed wingtips. They have a small round head with a steep forehead and extremely short legs. Breeding adults have a deeply forked tail.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Least Tern, smaller than a Caspian Tern.

    Relative Sizebetween robin and crowbetween robin and crow

    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 11.0-15.3 in (28-39 cm)
      • Weight: 3.2-4.2 oz (90-120 g)
      • Wingspan: 25.6-29.5 in (65-75 cm)