Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

Showcasing the progress of the Kittiwakes along the River Tyne

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Kittiwake Tower

An Artificial Tower was built in an attempt
to relocate a colony of Kittiwakes

“What did the Kittiwakes think?”

“To make room for a new modern art gallery, the old Baltic Flour Mill was converted into what is today
the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.”

The Kittiwake Tower
by Andrew Rickeard

Over a hundred Kittiwakes nested on the Baltic Flour Mill before the new gallery was created. At that time, an alternative nesting site was designed and constructed; ‘A Kittiwake Tower’.

Efforts were actioned to encourage the Kittiwakes to nest there instead. Some of the Tyne Kittiwakes however really wanted to continue nesting on the old Flour Mill building and gradually dozens have returned and continued to nest. The location of the Kittiwake Tower was also changed, as it was considered by some to be too close to the new Art Gallery. Kittiwakes still returned every year and in the present day over one-hundred pairs of Kittiwakes continue to nest on the Baltic. 

The new art gallery is also now an amazing  supporter for the local breeding colony of Kittiwakes; helping to raise awareness for the Tyne Kittiwakes.  A second Kittiwake Structure was also built, further along the river towards the coast, however the Kittiwakes themselves, were not interested in this artificial structure.

“Perhaps more ambitious projects are needed, such as artificial cliffs.”  Read More

Over one-hundred pairs of Kittiwakes currently nest on the Kittiwake Tower and there continues to be capacity for more should the Kittiwakes themselves choose to nest there.


Breeding Tyne Kittiwakes

A Review 1994-2020 – NHSN talks
With Daniel M Turner,
Tyne Kittiwake Partnership

The River Tyne nesting kittiwakes have shown a remarkable story since their beginnings in 1949. Explore a new talk as local ornithologist, Dan Turner, shares some of their nesting sites along the Tyne and examines trends in their numbers and breeding success.        Click here to watch on YouTube

“At times the Tyne Kittiwakes fly as far away
as the Farne Islands in Northumberland to feed”

During this talk it references a paper by Chris Redfern and Richard Bevan.
A comparison of foraging behaviour in the North Sea by Black-legged Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla from an inland and a maritime colony. This can be found on Taylor and Francis Online