How to Draw an Arctic Tern

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw an Arctic Tern in 7 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the Arctic Tern.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw an Arctic Tern - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Let's draw an Arctic tern! Draw a short slope, then trace a sharp beak at the end of it. Finish off the head with a small chin.

Step 2: Trace a line through the middle of the beak for the mouth. Color in a small oval for the eye, then draw a line across the length of the face.

Step 3: From the bottom of the head, trace a short line across the bottom for the belly.

Step 4: From the top of the head, trace a long line out to the side for the wing. At the top of the wing, trace short feathers, then trace a line back to complete the wing.

Step 5: For the front wing, trace a short line up, then trace a longer line out. Bringing the line back toward the body, trace long feathers at the tip of the wing and shorter feathers toward the inside of the wing.

Step 6: Draw some small lines beneath the wing to outline the tern's feet.

Step 7: From the bottom of the wing, trace a long, curved line toward the back for the tail. Make it pointy! There's your Arctic tern! Did you know that in spite of their webbed feet, Arctic terns are not very good swimmers?

Interesting Facts about Arctic Terns

Arctic terns are seabirds that are related to gulls. They live in the arctic region of the world, which includes northern Canada, Alaska, parts of Europe, and northern Asia. They can also be found as south as Massachusetts on the Atlantic Coast of the United States.

Did you know?

  • Arctic terns are grey and white. Their legs and bills are red.
  • Their diet consists of small fish, crustaceans, and krill. They swoop down to the water and catch their food in their bill. They sometimes also eat insects and berries.
  • Although they have webbed feet, arctic terns are not very good at swimming.
  • They live for about 34 years.
  • On average, arctic terns are 14 inches long. Their wingspan is three feet wide.

Arctic terns migrate farther any other animal in the world, traveling more than 24,000 miles round-trip. The fly from their Arctic home south to the Antarctic region every year. They are hardly ever found on the ground; they are almost always in the air because they spend most of their time migrating. They land once every one to three years to mate and lay their eggs. Once that ask is finished, they continue their long journey. Arctic terns even eat while flying!