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Arctic Tern on the beach

Arctic Tern on the beach
Photo Information
Copyright: Michel Detay (M_Detay) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 21 W: 0 N: 160] (832)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-09-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D2X, Nikkor ED 400mm 1/2.8 D
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-11-08 0:33
Viewed: 5325
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Arctic Tern on the beach

Picture taken on a beach in the Snaefellness beginning of September. At this time of the year in north Iceland the young Stern are still fed by the adults. To get the food it is a big fight between adults trying to get the food from others and between young stern trying to get the food for themselves.

I was freezing on the beach, trying to get the flavor of what was going on. Using a 400 mm (i.e. 600 mm on a digital camera); ISO on 200; everything take place in a blink of an eye (speed 1000); no much light f:5 (i.e. limited depth of field).

The Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) is a seabird of the tern family Sternidae. This bird has a circumpolar distribution, breeding colonially in 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 to the oceans around Antarctica and back (about 24,000 miles) each year. This is the longest regular migration by any known animal.

Arctic Terns are medium-sized birds. They have a length of 33–39 centimetres (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 305mm, 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.
The Arctic Tern is K-selected, caring for and aggressively defending a small number of young.

Parents feed them fish for a considerable time, and help them fly south to winter. Arctic Terns are long-lived birds, with many reaching twenty years of age. They eat mainly fish and small marine invertebrates.

StephenE, nainnain, mariki, thor68, Ena, sayat, undoredo, SelenE, uleko, Maite has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]


I think this is superb. I love the lines, angle and detail on the bird. Depth of field adds to a great shot. TFS

Hello Michel

Great shot! Very nice pose for this tern, good timing! Good detail and splendid natural colours.
Well done,

bonjour michel
on dirait une statue en cristal!!
bravo, belle présention, belle posture de l'oiseau, bonne netteté
merci de partager

Hello Michel,

This is a beautiful capture of the tern preening. Very sharp, good DOF and POV. Great colours as well.

Warm regards,


wow, awesome capture with wonderful details and an amazing cleaning-pose! :-) the low pov and the sharpness are perfect.
well done & best wishes, thor.

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2007-11-08 4:28]

Superb display shot!

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2007-11-08 4:35]

Hey, beautiful photo!
Interesting pose. Good colors and sharpness!

  • Great 
  • sayat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 280 W: 0 N: 258] (1457)
  • [2007-11-08 5:19]

Excellent capture, great shot.

Hello Michel,
What an amazing moment you've taken!!
Outstanding details and sharpness, with wonderful POV and composition.
Also, lovely natural colours and nice focusing!
Well presented!
TFS and regards,

Wow, great timing for the shot, as if the bird was posing to you. Great colors, very crisp.

Thanks for sharing.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-11-08 11:06]

Hello Michel,
What a fantastic pose and perfect timing. Perfect DOF. Very sharp with great details. Outstanding colours. The low POV makes it complete.

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2007-11-08 11:29]

Great shot and very good timing. I like your composition and the low pov you choise here. Good details and great sharpness and focus.
TFS Paula

  • Great 
  • arunk Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 26 W: 0 N: 19] (272)
  • [2007-11-08 20:36]


class picture ! very well taken

Arun krishnaiah

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-11-09 1:51]

Hi Michel,
What a lovely pose you've captured... Your timing was very good. Good lighting, colors, exposure control and composition.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-11-12 1:10]

Hello Michel,
Wonderful well-timed capture of this beautiful Tern preening itself. The shape you've captured is amazing and details are very sharp. Beautiful light and colours too. Very well done!
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-11-13 10:35]

What an artistic pose you captured! What a beautiful picture! I love the POV, DOF, magnificent details and colors.
Congratulations and thank you very much for sharing.
Best wishes

Great shot! Very nice pose for this tern, good timing! Good detail and splendid natural colours.

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