Really. This small avian travels from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again each year, a 22, 000 mile round-trip! It does this again and again over a lifespan of twenty years or more. Essentially flying around the world annually, the tern can rack up more than 500,000 miles in its lifetime. That’s equivalent to a round-trip flight to the moon!
There’s an interesting side-effect of this migration: it makes this creature the world’s champion sun-seeker, much more accomplished than the human “Snowbirds” who annually migrate to the warm climes of Arizona and Florida. For these birds which fly from one summer to another, summer never ends. And because daylight in the polar summers lasts 20 hours or more, the tern “catches more rays” in its life than any other creature. Jimmy Buffet, eat your heart out.PB