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The Sunday of this second weeek at sea was special because we met of first birds soince ta log time ago.
Firstly, early in the morning, a couple of seabirds identified as storm petrels, which I could not managed to geet in the box.
Then, at the end of the morning, and again latter in the begnning of the afternoon, a lenely arctic tern ("sterne arctique" in French), again very fast and hard to catch (even when switchinh to manual focus), which expalins the rather pooor pictures I provide you tonight... However, this was an important date, because we wer still about 1,200 nm from the next shore: Bermuda.

PS Elements 6.0

I picked the description of both birds from Wikipedia.

Storm-petrel

Storm-petrels are seabirds in the family Hydrobatidae, part of the order Procellariiformes. These smallest of seabirds feed on planktonic crustaceans and small fish picked from the surface, typically while hovering. The flight is fluttering and sometimes bat-like.

Storm-petrels have a cosmopolitan distribution, being found in all oceans. They are strictly pelagic, coming to land only when breeding. In the case of most species, little is known of their behaviour and distribution at sea, where they can be hard to find and harder to identify. They are colonial nesters, displaying strong philopatry to their natal colonies and nesting sites. Most species nest in crevices or burrows and all but one species attends the breeding colonies nocturnally. Pairs form long term monogamous bonds and share incubation and chick feeding duties. Like many species of seabird nesting is highly protracted with incubation taking up to 50 days and fledging another 70 days after that.

Several species of storm-petrel are threatened by human activities. One species, the Guadalupe Storm-petrel, is thought to have gone extinct; the New Zealand Storm-petrel was presumed extinct until rediscovered in 2003. The principal threats to storm-petrels are introduced species, particularly mammals, in their breeding colonies; many storm-petrels habitually nest on isolated mammal free islands and are unable to cope with predators like rats and feral cats.

Arctic Tern

The Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) is a seabird of the tern family Sternidae. This bird has a circumpolar breeding distribution covering the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America (as far south as Brittany and Massachusetts). The species is strongly migratory, seeing two summers each year as it migrates from its northern breeding grounds along a winding route to the oceans around Antarctica and back, a round trip of about 70,900 km (c. 44,300 miles) each year. This is by far the longest regular migration by any known animal. The Arctic Tern flies as well as glides through the air, performing almost all of its tasks in the air. It lands once every one to three years (depending on its mating cycle) to nest; once it has finished nesting it takes to the sky for another long southern migration.

Arctic Terns are medium-sized birds. They have a length of 33–39 cm (13–15 in) and a wingspan of 76–85 cm (26–30 in). They are mainly grey and white plumaged, with a red beak (as long as the head, straight, with pronounced gonys) and feet, white forehead, a black nape and crown (streaked white), and white cheeks. The grey mantle is 305 mm, and the scapulars are fringed brown, some tipped white. The upper wing is grey with a white leading edge, and the collar is completely white, as is the rump. The deeply forked tail is whitish, with grey outer webs. The hindcrown to the ear-coverts is black.

Arctic Terns are long-lived birds, with many reaching thirty years of age. They eat mainly fish and small marine invertebrates. The species is abundant, with an estimated one million individuals. While the trend in the number of individuals in the species as a whole is not known, exploitation in the past has reduced this bird's numbers in the southern reaches of its range.

Distribution and migration
The Arctic Tern has a worldwide, circumpolar breeding distribution which is continuous; there are no recognized subspecies. It can be found in coastal regions in cooler temperate parts of North America and Eurasia during the northern summer. While wintering during the southern summer, it can be found at sea, reaching the southern edge of the Antarctic ice. The species' range encompasses an area of approximately ten million square kilometers.

The Arctic Tern is famous for its migration; it flies from its Arctic breeding grounds to the Antarctic and back again each year. This 19,000 km (12,000 mi) journey each way (measured point to point) ensures that this bird sees two summers per year and more daylight than any other creature on the planet. The average Arctic Tern in its lifetime of up to 34 years will travel about 2.4 million km (1.5 million mi). One example of this bird's remarkable long-distance flying abilities involves an Arctic Tern ringed as an unfledged chick on the Farne Islands, Northumberland, UK, in the northern summer of 1982, which reached Melbourne, Australia, in October 1982, a sea journey of over 22,000 km (14,000 mi) in just three months from fledging. Another example is that of a chick ringed in Labrador, Canada, on 23 July 1928. It was found in South Africa four months later.

Research using tracking devices attached to the birds was published in January 2010 and showed that the above examples are in fact not unusual for the species; eleven Arctic Terns that bred in Greenland or Iceland each covered 70,900 km on average in a year, with a maximum of 81,600 km. The difference from previous estimates was because the birds were found to take a meandering course to take advantage of prevailing winds.

Arctic Terns usually migrate far offshore. Consequently, they are rarely seen from land outside the breeding season.

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Additional Photos by Emmanuel LE CLERCQ (emjleclercq) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2017 W: 62 N: 3115] (15780)
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