Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

The Furthest Inland Breeding Colony of Kittiwakes in the World

Home Kittiwake Colonies Quayside Roundabout – Tyne Kittiwakes

“Looking for somewhere to nest”

“Displaced Kittiwakes choose
new places to build their nests”

As visitors and residents travel to and from the Quayside of Newcastle during the spring/summer months, they are often rewarded with great views of Kittiwakes.

Kittiwakes nesting on anti-bird spikes
on Newcastle Quayside
Summer 2019

A selection of buildings have been chosen in recent years by the Kittiwakes themselves to build their nests and help bring life to the next generation of Kittiwakes.  Some of the owners of the buildings have been unable to let the Kittiwakes continue to nest and have installed anti bird netting and spikes.  Some Kittiwakes ignore these and continue to nest on the spikes and amongst the netting.  Of course this is always potentially dangerous for the Kittiwakes.

Two Kittiwakes nesting high up
on a building – Newcastle Quayside
Summer 2019


“Sometimes the Kittiwakes manage to nest between spikes,
but usually in small numbers of 1-5.”


A Kittiwake nesting amongst Anti-bird spikes
Summer 2019


Sometimes the Kittiwakes actually nest on the spikes themselves.  This is a more risky choice.  If you look closer at the photo you can see the spikes towering out of the nest.


A Tyne Kittiwake
nesting on Anti-bird spikes
on a building
along Newcastle Quayside
Summer 2019

The Kittiwake Triangle
Down on Newcastle Quayside
Summer 2019

At other times, Kittiwakes nest in gutters and areas of nearby roofs.  Kittiwakes like to nest in groups for both company and for better protection should any predators come to visit.  Occasionally they nest in very unique configurations.



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