You are here

Arctic Tern

Difficult to distinguish from the common tern but arctic terns only pass through Dorset on migration.

Photograph by: 
Peter Coe

There are no nature notes for this species



Common Name Arctic Tern
Scientific Name Sterna paradisaea
Species Group Birds Gulls Skuas and Terns
Status Restricted
Interest Level
  • 04 - April
  • 05 - May
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
  • 10 - October
Look for

A slender common tern with longer tail streamers

Identification Notes
  • Very difficult to separate from the common tern in flight and they are rarely seen on the ground in Dorset
  • A northern breeding species seen mainly on migration here but some are seen during the mid-summer months too
  • It is a more delicate bird than the common ter; it has longer tai streamers and is a slightly darker grey 
Primary Habitat
Preferred Environment
Look for
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Birds Gulls Skuas and Terns