Thursday, August 18, 2011

Arctic Tern

My new hero is a 100 gram bird, the Arctic Tern. We  were planning a trip in the fall to a point on Lake Erie in Ontario where birds hunker down before flying across the lake, when I found out about the world champion and utterly amazing bird that flies from the arctic to the antarctic, and back each year.

It flies 22,000 miles each season, from Greenland to Antartica and back! Over 44,000 miles because they don't fly in a straight line; often going 10% too far to catch the wind. The live for thirty years flying 1,330,000 miles in a lifetime, which is just mindlessly too much.

Arctic Terns don't like water, and they don't like land much either. They prefer to catch insects in the air, and they stay aloft. They mostly eat fish like other terns.

Baby Terns fly too much too. One three month old tern was found in Melbourne, over 14000 miles from Britain where it was born.