There are only a few kinds of birds that spend the winter in the Arctic, including the raven, the snowy owl, and the rock ptarmigan. Pictured to the right is the Arctic tern, a very common bird in the region. Inuit women and children hunt birds (mostly geese, ducks, and rock ptarmigan) and use them for food and materials. Skins of larger birds are used as towels, to make slippers and (if there was a shortage of caribou) parkas as well.
Birds are also revered as symbols to the Inuit. For example, birds are viewed as a symbol of springtime and the return of the sun. This makes sense, because in the Arctic, the sun only rises once per year (the spring equinox) and sets once per year (the autumn equinox), and the birds return to the region in the spring. Birds also play a part in Inuit mythology; there is an Inuit story that tells of a man that was married to a goose. Dreams that involve birds are said to foreshadow the coming of a blizzard. Lastly, birds are very commonly used as artistic subjects in carvings and graphic arts.