Without much fanfare my friends the arctic terns have left. Off to Antarctica…

They arrived in Alaska in May, fed on eulachons, found a mate, raised their chicks, and off they went on their annual 20,000 mile journey. It’s just an unimaginable twist of evolution that these tiny birds embark on this long trip every year. How do they find their feeding grounds in Antarctica, how do they find their way back to this particular spot at the end of the Inside Passage? It’s a miracle.

Soon, I will have to make a choice, too. Where to spend winter? Should I try the snowbird approach, too and travel South? Or should I spend another winter in Alaska?



Off to Antarctica…


The Unbearable Lightness

If I hadn’t clipped the wing of one of the terns I could retire from photographing terns.

This aerial ballet is part of their courtship. It also¬† involves feeding a fish to the future mate. Terns apparently mate for life. The “high flight” and “fish feeding” flight is mostly seen in couples that nest for the first time.

Three weeks from now we might see young terns hatching, although the adults are nesting in an industrial fuel tank area…

Please read the previous post on the amazing annual migration of this gracious sea bird.