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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Arctic Tern - Sterna paradisaea

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNA

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
The Arctic Tern breeds along the coast and inland from Alaska and northwestern British Columbia east to the coast of Labrador and Newfoundland south to Massachusetts (Hatch 2002). This species is thought to winter around Antarctica (Hatch 2002). In Montana, the Arctic Tern has a couple of records over the past decade (Montana Bird Distribution Committee 2012) and has historically attempted to breed in the state.

For a comprehensive review of the conservation status, habitat use, and ecology of this and other Montana bird species, please see Marks et al. 2016, Birds of Montana.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions

All Ranges
(Click legend blocks to view individual ranges)

Western Hemisphere Range


Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 13

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density


SUMMER (Feb 16 - Dec 14)
Direct Evidence of Breeding

Indirect Evidence of Breeding

No Evidence of Breeding

WINTER (Dec 15 - Feb 15)
Regularly Observed

Not Regularly Observed


(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

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Citation for data on this website:
Arctic Tern — Sterna paradisaea.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from