Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

Initiatives to help raise awareness for the Kittiwakes along the River Tyne

Home Can we create a specially designed area for Tyne Kittiwakes to nest?

Can we help the Tyne Kittiwakes?

At this time of climate change, bird populations are shrinking around the world.  Kittiwakes are now a
red-listed species and they need OUR help.  We could be looking at how we can provide support; such as protecting their existing nesting sites and building them some artificial structures to use.

Kittiwakes trapped in anti-bird netting
on the Exchange Buildings 
Newcastle Quayside
Summer 2018
by Paul Buskin

Is a Greener solution needed?

For decades the Tyne Kittiwakes have been moved on and the Newcastle Quayside is becoming fortified against birds with more and more spikes, anti-bird netting and electric shock systems.  This money could be invested instead in a new development to support and provide a be-spoke nesting site for the local population of breeding Kittiwakes”.

Paul Buskin, Kittiwakes upon the Tyne.

   Do you agree?   

A Kittiwake trapped behind anti-bird netting
on Phoenix House by Lophophanes
Summer 2018

We could support GREEN flagged sites where Tyne Kittiwakes can return every year to build their nests.  Artificial structures have been used in the past, such as the Kittiwake Tower which have helped a LOT.  More ambitious projects were considered at the time such as artificial cliffs. 

Until a more pro-active plan is agreed and developed, the need to help protect Kittiwakes along the River Tyne from ‘anti-bird deterrents’ will remain.  It costs a lot of money to install anti-bird deterrents and they are often very unattractive, especially as they carpet these historic vintage buildings. A greener-solution is needed; the designation of a wildlife along the tyne wildlife corridor combined, with a specially created landscape for Kittiwakes to nest.

A Kittiwake standing next to avi-shock
on the Exchange Buidings
Newcastle Quayside – Summer 2019

This would not only help the Kittiwakes; be great for eco-tourism and education, but would also enhance this valuable riverside habitat. Further development of Riverside Park in Walker and the Gateshead Riverside could provide capacity. More efforts could also be invested to encourage a greater variety of wildlife to visit and make the riverside habitats their home. 

At present the anti-bird deterrents which are used on buildings along Newcastle Quayside, do not actually stop birds nesting, as they simply either nest elsewhere on the same building or choose another nearby. And in many cases they simply nest on top of the netting, spikes or avi-shock.  They often then become injured however and at times become trapped and unable to escape. Sadly some loose their lives as a result of these anti-bird deterrents every year. 

A Kittiwake trapped on anti-bird spikes
on the Guildhall Summer 2021

CHANGE is needed to ensure these important red-listed Gulls are protected; especially as globally Kittiwake populations are at risk.  Can you help us to look out for the Tyne Kittiwake colonies along the Tyne?

A Kittiwake trapped in anti-bird nettingA fledged Kittiwake trapped during the 2018 breeding season
on the Exchange Buildings
Newcastle Quayside.

Have you found an injured or trapped Kittiwake?”


A Kittiwake chick trapped behind anti-bird netting
on the Guildhall by Lophophanes
Summer 2018