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Arctic terns - Isle of May, Scotland

Famed for its seabird colonies including kittiwake, puffin, guillemots, razorbills, shags and terns, the Isle of May is a wonderful location to photograph seabirds. A large colony of terns nest at the jetty at which visitors disembark. Adult birds nest in small hollows on the ground and any intrusion is met with uproar, swooping and calling loudly they will on occasion defecate on interlopers or strike their heads.

 Arctic tern sitting on nest in the rain protecting chick, Isle of May, Scotland.

Arctic tern sitting on nest in the rain protecting chick, Isle of May, Scotland.

Arctic tern chicks are typically fed with small fish which appear to vary in size depending on the size of the chick.

 Young arctic tern chick being fed small fish.

Young arctic tern chick being fed small fish.

 Arctic tern chick being fed large fish by parent, Isle of May, Scotland.

Arctic tern chick being fed large fish by parent, Isle of May, Scotland.

 Chicks are fed constantly even when wet.

Chicks are fed constantly even when wet.

As soon as possible chicks begin to test their wings and develop their strength.

 Arctic tern chick strengthening wings in the rain.

Arctic tern chick strengthening wings in the rain.

 Young arctic tern chick testing wings.

Young arctic tern chick testing wings.

As the chicks strengthen their flight muscles and gain coordination the adults are constantly catching food and bonding.