1113. ARCTIC TERN.
Sterna macrura, Naum. Isis, 1819, p. 1847 ; id. x. p. 114, Taf. 253 ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 72 ; Saunders, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxv. p. 62 ; id. Manual, p. 649 ; Lilford, vi. p. 20, pl. 9 ; S. paradisea, Brunn. Orn. Bor. p. 46 (1764) ; Ridgway, p. 43 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1008 ; S. hirundo, Muller, Zool. Dan. Prod. p. 170 (1774) ; Dresser, viii. p. 255, pl. 579 ; S. arctica, Temm. Man. d'Orn, ii. p. 742 (1820) ; Audub. B. Am. pl. 250 ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 419 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 481, pl. cxxxiii. figs. 1, 2.
Sterne paradis, French ; Gaivina, Portug. ; Gavina, Span. ; Rondine di mare artica, Ital. ; Kusten-Meerschwalbe, German ; Kyst-Terne, Dan. ; Rodnoebbet-Terne, Norweg. ; Rodnabbad-Tarna, Swed. ; Cerrik, Lapp. ; Lapintirra, Finn. ; Krashka morskaya, Russ.
Male ad. (Scotland). Crown black ; upper parts delicate silver-grey ; quills dark grey, the outer web of the first blackish ; secondaries tipped with white ; tail white, the outer webs of the two longest feathers dark grey ; chin, sides of face, under wing- and tail-coverts white ; rest of under parts silver-grey ; bill and legs coral-red ; iris blackish brown. Culmen 1.3, wing 10.4, tail 8.0, tarsus 0.55 inch. Sexes alike. In winter the forehead and crown are mottled with white, and the under parts are paler.
Hab. The high northern portions of the Old and New Worlds, nesting north to 82° N. lat. or even higher ; in winter passing south to South Africa, South Asia, and South America as far as 66° S. lat. in the Southern Ocean.
Frequents the sea coasts and islands off the coast, and is noisy but not shy. Its flight is extremely buoyant, easy, and graceful, and it will sometimes alight on the water and swim, and will even dive. It feeds on small fish, shrimps, and crustaceans of various kinds, and its note is recognizable from that of the Common Tern by a practised ear, being a somewhat plaintive keer, keer, or kee, kee, kee, or gip, gip, gip, gip, often modulated. It usually breeds close to the sea, but in some parts on the borders of inland lakes, making no nest, but depositing its 2 or 3 eggs on the sand, shingle, or on dry seaweed or grass ; these, which are usually deposited in June or July, according to latitude, vary in ground-colour from white to stone-grey, pale blue-green and rich greenish, and are spotted and blotched with umber-brown or blackish brown surface- markings and pale purplish shell-blotches ; in size they measure about 1.45 by 1.11.
1113. Sterna macrura
1113. ARCTIC TERN.