The arctic tern has long, pointed wings and a long, deeply forked tail. The red bill is thin, rather long and pointed. The body is generally flashing white, with a black cap, red bill and legs, and pale grey mantle. It lives primarily on or near water, except during nesting season, when it frequents a variety of aquatic habitats (coastal or inland).
It nests in colonies, usually dense, sometimes with other species (often with Sabine's Gulls in Nunavut). The adults are very aggressive in defense of their nests, and will dive-bomb intruders. Nest is near water in a shallow depression in sand, gravel or moss. It may be lined with nearby plant materials. They usually lay 2 eggs, buff or olive coloured, marked with dark brown, which hatch in the middle or end of July.
Arctic tern eat small fish, aquatic invertebrates (including crustaceans), and insects. Terns dive into the water in search of food.
The body is designed for swimming, with short, strong legs set far back on the body. The legs are perfect for moving through water, although this design makes walking on land difficult. The three front toes are webbed, and these loons have short, well-defined tails. The body feathers are molted only in early spring and early autumn.
The red-throated loon obtains most of its food underwater, in dives that have been recorded at 2-9 meters, and average 1 minute. Prey is located visually, so these loons favor clear waters for foraging, and they do not fish at night. The prey consists of small or medium sized fish, including cod, herring, sprat, sculpins, and occasionally crustaceans, mollusks, frogs, fish spawn and insects. Food is usually swallowed before the loon surfaces. More information can be found here.(del Hoyo, Elliot, and Sargatal, 1992)
Pairs generally establish a nesting territory, produce four to five eggs per nest, and raise their young as a family unit. Later, families often combine to form “creches” guarded by several parents. As with most other waterfowl, geese are flightless for about a month in mid-summer, while new wing feathers are grown. Predators of Canada geese and their eggs vary widely among areas and include foxes, coyotes, wolves, bears, wolverines, gulls, eagles, and ravens. Canada geese are popular and accessible to many wildlife watchers, even in urban areas. They are prized by hunters across the continent.
Habitat: White-fronted Goose: Breeds on arctic tundra, marshes, lakes and ponds. Snow Goose: on coastal tundra with ponds, shallow lakes and streams, and river deltas; may be found on higher drier terrain as well. Nesting: Breed in colonies or single pairs, on the ground. Nests vary from a mere scrape to a mass of mud and mosses or other tundra vegetation, lined with down. White-fronted Geese usually lay 4-6 eggs and snow geese, 3-4 eggs.
Food: Shoots and roots of sedges, grass, bulbs, and aquatic vegetation; even insects and aquatic invertebrates.
Food: Mostly vegetation (seeds, aquatic vegetation, sedge, grain), but also minnows, aquatic invertebrates, insects and tadpoles.
Range: Breeds in Eurasia and North America, including Alaska, most of Canada, and the western U.S.A. In Nunavut, breeds mainly in the western mid-Arctic and low Arctic, on southern Victoria Island, and on Southampton.
Habitat: In the breeding season, the Common Eider is the more marine of the two species, and prefers rocky coastal areas. The King Eider is more common around tundra freshwater ponds, lakes and streams, usually near the coast. Nesting: Common Eiders are colonial and nest near salt water, usually on small offshore marine islands. King Eiders are not colonial and usually nest near freshwater Arctic ponds and pools, or sometimes inland on low tundra. Eider nests are scrapes in the ground lined with fine plant material and down, usually sheltered by rock or vegetation.
Eggs: usually 4 to 6, olive in colour. Food: Eiders feed in flocks, diving as deep as to take mostly and crustaceans. Range: Holarctic. Both are common in Nunavut, especially along the coastal shores and islands. Nunavut Common Eiders winter from southern Baffin Island and Hudson Bay southward along the Atlantic Coast to the northern U.S.A. King Eiders winter in the seas as far north as open water permits-in the Bering Sea and along the distribution of King Eider Pacific coast of Canada to the west, and off southern Greenland, Labrador and the Atlantic provinces to the east.
Nesting: Tidy nests in hollows lined with nearby plant material, down and feathers are usually concealed in low vegetation or among rocks, near water. Eggs: usually 5-9, olive to yellowish buff. Oldsquaws are often found nesting near Arctic Tern colonies, and benefit from the terns' vigorous defense against predators.
Food: Dives deeper than any other Nunavut duck, to obtain aquatic invertebrates (especially crustaceans, mollusks, and insects), fish, and occasionally aquatic vegetation. Range: Circumpolar Arctic, including throughout Nunavut. North American birds winter along the west coast from Alaska to northern U.S.A., from Greenland to southeastern U.S.A., and on the Great Lakes.
Nesting: Nest is usually a grass-lined depression on a hummock, often hidden in vegetation. Eggs: usually 4, pale olive or buff, marked with browns. Food: Mostly insects, also spiders, worms, mollusks and seeds. Range: Holarctic. In Canada, breeds mainly along the northwestern mainland, in the central mid- and low Arctic, and on Southampton and Coats Islands. North American Dunlins winter from southern Alaska along the Pacific Coast to the southern U.S.A., and from the northern U.S.A. along the Atlantic Coast to the Gulf of Mexico.
Most of Canada's 40 species of shorebirds breed almost exclusively in or near the Arctic. They play a central role in tundra food chains: they are predators of small invertebrates, and prey of mammals and birds including hawks, owls, foxes and weasels. Even more shorebird eggs and young are eaten in years when other prey such as lemmings are low in number-about every three years.