ARCTIC TERNS, 13” x 28”, 1988
The arctic tern is the champion migrant of all birds. They nest in the north to the very limits of the land, and fly in the fall from the highest arctic to the margins of Antarctica. Studies have shown that the average round trip lengths can vary from 40,000- 55,000 miles. On pebbly shores of sea islands these birds congregate in colonies, and establish nests every 1-3 years that are mere hollows in the ground. Their diet consists of small fish and crustaceans plucked from the ocean. Arctic terns are long-lived birds, with many reaching thirty years of age. These are the Olympic athletes of the skies, flying and gliding through the air, while performing almost all of its tasks in the air.