A few years ago we went out to Seavy Island, NH, to view and photograph the nesting tern colony there where there were about 2,500 pairs of state-endangered Common Terns and 9 pairs of state-threatened Arctic Terns. The state Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Progran and New Hampshire Audubon re-established the tern colony there in 1997, and work hard each year to protect and help the colony prosper. Biologists live on the island during the nesting season to monitor and study the terns and keep away gulls, who prey on the tern eggs.
It was a rare treat for us to visit there, and I photographed this beautiful Arctic Tern, looking ethereal as it hovered in the sea-misted light. We have seen these terns in Alaska, closer to their main breeding areas in arctic regions. Here, in NH they are at just about the southern limit of their breeding range. This tern is a famed long-distant migrant champ, flying sometimes 22,000 miles round trip each year, since they winter in the Antarctic region.
Photo © Lillian Stokes, 2007