Top 10 Amazing Arctic Birds

The long cold weather and harsh environmental conditions make the Arctic region as a difficult place to survive life. Still many species of bird are inhabit in the Arctic region. Many Arctic birds migrate to other parts of the world in winter season to escape from chilling climate. Some birds remain in Arctic circle year around. Here the list of 10 amazing Arctic birds.

10 Yellow-Billed Loon

yellow billed loon

credit of image : Seabamirum on Flickr


Yellow-billed loon is the largest loon bird in the world. It has a length between 30-38 inches and wingspan between 53-63 inches. Yellow-billed loons breed in Arctic tundra. They make nests using tundra vegetation in the shore of the mainland. This loon species spend most of their summer time in large tundra lakes. In winter season they migrate to Southern Alaska and British Columbia. They primarily feed on small fishes, mollusks and crustaceans.

9 Rock Ptarmigan

rock ptarmigan

Rock ptarmigan is an Arctic tundra bird that inhabits in mountainous and hilly regions of the Northern Arctic circle. They possess different coloration between season. In Winter ptarmigans have pure white color. In summer season they have grayish brown plumage. This change in coloration help them to hide from potential predators. Actually rock ptarmigans only have few predators like golden eagle as they live in remote areas of the Arctic circle. Their diet includes flowers, berries, buds and leaves.

8 Peregrine Falcon

peregrine falcon

The peregrine falcon is the fastest bird in the world. It reach a top speed between 200-240 miles per hour . They live in all around the world except Antarctica. The name of the bird means ‘wandering’. It reflects the high migratory behavior of the peregrine falcon. They breed in Arctic tundra and in next winter season they migrate to South America by covering more than 15500 miles.

Not all birds of the peregrine falcon family are migratory. Some of them choose a permanent breeding place. Peregrine falcons are an exceptional raptor.  They prey on songbirds, pigeons, and bats by high speed dive.

7 Buff-breasted Sandpiper

buff breasted sandpiper

credit of image : Dominic Sherony on Flickr


Buff-breasted sandpiper is a small wandering bird with attractive coloration. Both male and female sandpipers have a pale brown body with black spots. The small bird also has an attractive straight black bill. The buff-breasted sandpipers breed in dry regions of Arctic tundra. In non-breeding season they migrate to South America. During courtship the male bird raises its wings to display attractive white colored feathers on underside to attract female bird. The Buff-breasted sandpiper chicks also go out of nests in searching for food in the first day itself after hatching.

6 Steller’s Eider

stellers eider

credit of image : Ron Knight on Flickr


With a length of 45 cm Steller’s eider is the smallest member of eider family. They built nests and breed in Arctic tundra. Steller’s eiders spend most of time in rivers and larger lakes of Arctic tundra. In winter season they form large flocks that contain up to 200000 birds and move to Bering sea.

The male stellar’s eider has a dark upper part and yellowish underpart. Its head is white and has green spot on the lores. Th female bird has dark brown plumage and has white lines on the wings. Steller’s eiders primarily feed on molluscs and crustaceans.

5 Snow Goose


Snow gooe is named after its beautiful white plumage. They breed in remote regions of arctic tundra. In winter snow geese form flocks of hundreds to thousands of birds and migrate to Southern regions of the United States.  The large flocks of snow geese form a ‘U’ like pattern in the sky. At the end of winter season they again return to Arctic tundra. The snow geese chicks also grow quickly. They can swim and can maintain the body temperature within few days from hatching.

4 Ruddy Turnstone

ruddy turnstone

Ruddy trunstone is a small shorebird name after its habit of picking and flipping stones. Ruddy turnstone also a strong migratory bird. They breed in rocky regions of Arctic tundra. In winter they migrate to the coasts of Europe, Africa, North America, South Asia and South Pacific islands.

The small ruddy turnstone only has a length between 22-24 cm. They have bright-patterned plumage in black and white color. During breeding season the upper part of the bird turn into reddish-brown color, with white head and attractive black markings. Ruddy turnstone feed on aquatic invertebrates and insects.

3 Snowy Owl

snowy owl


The strange looking snowy owls are breed on Arctic tundra. They are known for their striking white plumage. The female snowy owls are slightly darker than males. Snowy owls have keen eyesight and exceptional hearing. It helps them to catch the preys even in thick snow cover Snowy owls primarily feed on lemmings. They remain in the Arctic circle for all seasons depend on availability of lemmings. Snowy owls also migrate to the United States and Canada in winter season.

2 Snow Bunting

snow bunting


Snow bunting is an attractive Arctic bird. They built nests in rocky regions of Arctic tundra. During winter season they found in shores of lakes and ocean. In winter both male and female snow bunting has pale plumage with the blackish upper part. During breeding season the male bird is in black and the female is in grayish-black.

Even at the end of winter season the temperature of high Arctic filed measure at -30 degree Celsius. But the male snow bunting can survive within that chilling climate. But the female birds only return one month later. The grass seeds and insects are the main items within the diet of snow buntings.

1 Arctic Tern

arctic tern

The small and attractive Arctic tern in  known for undertaking the longest distance migration in the animal kingdom. They breed in Antarctic circle At the starting of winter season the Arctic tern flies to Antarctica. Although it is the start of the warmer season inn Antarctica. During the journey Arctic tern also touches the coastlines of Africa. The migratory path of Arctic tern merely depend upon the availability of food.

Arctic terns only have a length of 30 cm and a wingspan of 30 inches. They spend a few months in Antarctica and shed their feathers during this time. When the temperature start to drop Arctic tern make their return journey to the breeding site in the same year. Thus this strong migratory bird sees two summers per year. The annual round trip length of Arctic tern is about 44100 miles. They feed on small fishes, insects and crustaceans.