Arctic Tern in Sheboygan Wisconsin on June 15, 2018

After returning home from birding some of the lakefront in Milwaukee in the morning I realized my birding was not finished for the day. I saw the rare bird report of an Arctic Tern found by Amy K up at Sheboygan. I needed this bird for my Wisconsin state life list so I decided to make the run up around 12:30 pm. My last try for this species was back on May 21, 2016 when there was one present at the time of seeing the famous White-winged Tern in Manitowoc, but I missed that bird by a day. I got a hold of Amy and she told me exactly where she saw the Arctic Tern and from where. I picked up Bruce on the way up as he had an interest in seeing this bird. We arrived around 2:00 pm and went to the hot spot, the Blue Harbor Pier. We could see very many gulls and some terns from the pier on the rocks in the harbor, but unfortunately it was too far to get an ID. We tried by the sailing club and met Barry B there, but could not ID the Arctic Tern 100% from there with the distance. None of us brought a scope! We knew our only hope was to wait for a birder with a scope to show up. Along came Davor G with his scope. We headed back over to the pier and with in a minute or two Davor had the tern in his scope. The bird was about 1/4 mile away from us so images are not much, just a couple of doc shots. Big thank you to Amy K for finding the rare bird and getting the word out to others, and Davor for nailing this bird in his scope. There was a lot of excitement had with all of us and a few birders that showed up after the big find. A mostly sunny period when I was there, stiff breeze off the lake where, felt very cool and it made me have to have two light coats on. Images were taken on June 15, 2018.

Arctic Tern surrounded by Common Terns…bird is a couple inches above the round hole in the rock…image taken at about 1/4 mile from tern..

Red arrow to see the tern location…just above the round hole in the rock…

Arctic Tern

Binomial name: Sterna paradisaea

Category: Gulls, Tern, and Skimmers

Size: 12” long, 31” wing span

Weight: 3.9 oz

Note: Breeding grounds for this species is the High Arctic and wintering is in the Antarctic, migrating across the oceans each year, what a distance!


Head turned in as it was preening…

A Laughing Gull was also present giving nice views at a distance from the Sailing Club…

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About admin

Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

2 Responses to Arctic Tern in Sheboygan Wisconsin on June 15, 2018

  1. Annie says:

    Oh man! We missed this. Too many things going on today and not even a moment to check any Web sites. Tomorrow maybe????. Thanks for sharing this awesome find.

  2. Nan Wisherd says:

    Good WI life bird, even at a distance. Very nice.

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