Arctic Tern Comes To The Westfjords! - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Arctic Tern Comes To The Westfjords!

Published May 9, 2016

Jóhanna Pétursdóttir
Photos by
LindsayRs/Creative Commons

RÚV reports that Arctic terns have been spotted flying over the Westfjords a few days ago, and have also been seen in Arnarfjörður and Stykkishólmur.

Birdwatchers were first aware of the terns appearing in the southeast of the country late last month, and now hundreds of them have arrived to breed. These are birds best viewed from a distance: when people come to close to their nests, terns can feel threatened and act accordingly, as you can see in the following video:


(Video by Fuglaathugunarstöð Suðausturlands)

Despite having to travel halfway around the world (35,000 kilometres to be exact), they always meet at the same nesting grounds around the same time.

TOURIST TIP: If you’re walking somewhere and accidentally wander into tern nesting grounds, you’ll know – one of more terns will sudden hover above you, shrieking at you, possibly attempting to dive-and-peck. Fortunately, they are also not very bright. By simply raising something above your head – such as a tent pole or even a tree branch – the tern will attack that instead, leaving your scalp unpecked as you make a hasty escape.


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