Kittiwakes upon the Tyne

Showcasing the progress of the Kittiwakes along the River Tyne

Home Tyne Kittiwake Diary Response to outcome of events for the North Shields Colony

Response to outcome of events for the North Shields Colony

Update 21st February 2021

A further update has been added by Dan Turner to

Updates regarding the petition to try and save the North Shields colony of Tyne Kittiwakes.  Their nesting site was blocked off earlier in the year by the installation of some anti-bird netting.  To view this update please visit

Comments from ‘Kittiwakes upon the Tyne”

It is very sad to learn that the anti-bird netting that was installed at the site where Kittiwakes breed in North Shields will not be removed. The birds are due to return any day. Of course, the landlord has concerns about his building, and is listening to his residents.

Considering how long the Kittiwakes have nested in that area however, it would have been nice if an opportunity had existed to first encourage the birds to nest nearby instead. This is especially important considering the red-listed status of the species, and how this is the only location in that area where a) they nest and b) well the Kittiwakes started nesting originally in north shields.

Secondly, anti-bird netting has been proven at times to accidently trap/injure Kittiwakes. This often happens as the netting becomes damaged in storms/strong winds. Kittiwakes also at times simply ignore the netting and nest on top. When rescues happen, they attract a lot of attention, and require a fire brigade ladder, and the services of animal rescues services and volunteers.

Of course, it is the responsibility of the landlord to check and maintain the anti-bird netting; however, volunteers from ‘Kittiwakes upon the Tyne’ will be checking on the North Shields site where the Kittiwakes usually nest. Watching out in case any birds become trapped. Kittiwakes often nest nearby when their original site is blocked off, or simply nest elsewhere on the same building. It will be very interesting to learn how this drama will unfold.

Will they nest on the anti-bird netting? Will they nest elsewhere on the same building? Will they choose another building? Or will they journey up the Tyne and choose a new location to nest?

It is re assuring to learn that Dan is exploring the provision of alternative nesting sites, nearby, and it would be great if this work continued and we could help encourage the Kittiwakes to nest, with some green-listed sites along the Tyne. We will liaise with Dan to see how we can help i.e. fundraising, raising awareness etc.

Finally, if anyone would like to help keep an eye out in the North Shields area as a ‘Kittiwakes upon the Tyne’ volunteer please email

This involves simply reporting what you find to us. This can help if rescues are required and with monitoring.