Top 10 Amazing Arctic Birds

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

10 Yellow-Billed Loon

yellow billed loon

Yellow-billed loon is the largest loon bird in the world. It has a length between 30-38 inches and a 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 summertime in large tundra lakes. In the 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 a pure white color. In the summer season, they have grayish-brown plumage. This change in coloration helps them to hide from potential predators. Actually rock ptarmigans only have few predators like a 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 reaches a top speed between 200-240 miles per hour. They live 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 the 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

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 the non-breeding season they migrate to South America. During courtship the male bird raises its wings to display attractive white-colored feathers on the underside to attract the female bird. The Buff-breasted sandpiper chicks also go out of nests in searching for food on the first day itself after hatching.

6 Steller’s Eider

stellers eider

With a length of 45 cm Steller’s eider is the smallest member of the eider family. They built nests and breeds in Arctic tundra. Steller’s eiders spend most of their time in rivers and larger lakes of Arctic tundra. In the 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 a green spot on the lores. The female bird has dark brown plumage and has white lines on the wings. Steller’s eiders primarily feed on mollusks and crustaceans.

5 Snow Goose


The snow goose is named after its beautiful white plumage. They breed in remote regions of the 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 the 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 a few days from hatching. An Email A Day Keeps Boring AwayGrab our Newsletter. Never miss a list from TMW. 

4 Ruddy Turnstone

ruddy turnstone

Ruddy turnstone is a small shorebird name after its habit of picking and flipping stones. Ruddy turnstone also a strongly 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 the breeding season the upper part of the bird turns into reddish-brown color, with a white head and attractive black markings. Ruddy turnstone feed on aquatic invertebrates and insects.

3 Snowy Owl

amazing arctic birds

The strange-looking  Snowy Owl is a 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 prey even in thick snow cover Snowy owls primarily feed on lemmings. They remain in the Arctic circle for all seasons depending on the availability of lemmings. Snowy owls also migrate to the United States and Canada in the winter season.

2 Snow Bunting

snow bunting

Snow bunting is an attractive Arctic bird. They built nests in rocky regions of Arctic tundra. During the 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 the breeding season the male bird is in black and the female is in grayish-black.

Even at the end of the winter season the temperature of high Arctic filed measures at -30 degrees 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 in 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 starts to drop Arctic tern makes its 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.