Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Breeding range extends from northern Alaska east to northern Ellesmere Island, south to the Aleutian Islands, northwestern British Columbia, northwestern Saskatchewan, northern Ontario, New Brunswick, and along Atlantic coast, locally to Maine and Massachusetts; a disjunct colony exists in Puget Sound, Washington, and solitary nesters in northcentral Montana. Outside North America, nesting occurs in Greenland on all coasts; in the Palearctic north to Iceland, Svalbard, and Franz Josef Land, and south to the Netherlands and sparsely in Belgium, Ireland, and northwestern France; and in northern Russia and widely along Russian far eastern arctic coasts (Wrangel Island, Chukotska and Kamchatka Peninsulas south to Sakhalin Island) (Hatch 2002).
During the nonbreeding season, this species occurs primarily in the antarctic and subantarctic regions of the Southern Hemisphere, with small numbers reported throughout the year from Namibia to Mozambique, southern Australia, and New Zealand (Hatch 2002). Migrants occur widely in areas between the breeding areas and antarctic region.
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