4 days ago
Under a soft evening light, two arctic terns squabble in the air with balletic and poetic grace.
It was quite a while that I had not taken any pictures of bird actions in flight but the opportunity came up last week as I found a colony of these magnificent and emblematic birds somewhere in the Reykjanes peninsula, Southern Iceland. This photo was taken from the side of a road and it required a bit of patience to freeze this interaction between these two adults (male below). As these birds nest on the ground, it is important not to try to approach them closely, not only because the parents would not fail to attack any intruder, but because it would be the most silly and inconsistent thing to do for anyone who would pretend to love and protect wildlife. Especially when you know that the Arctic Tern is famous for the world's longest migration of the animal kingdom; it travels back and forth from its breeding range in the Arctic to southern Africa, Australia or Antarctica each year. Each trip takes about four months. Every year, these birds may therefore roam a total of 38,000 km, which allows them to undergo two summer seasons a year and more light than any other creature on the planet. During his life, an arctic tern will travel about 800,000 km, a distance equivalent to a round trip to the moon! Quite impressive for a ball of feathers of about 100 grams...
Nikon D4, afs vr 300mm 2,8, f/3,2 1/5000sec iso 250 +1,3 EV
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