The Tyne Kittiwakes return every spring to build their nests at specific locations that they themselves have chosen along the River Tyne in the North East of England. It is very unusual for Kittiwakes to nest inland, as they are very much a seagull, spending their winters far out to sea. Kittiwakes usually nest on coastal cliffs and islands along the coast. The Tyne colonies are the furthest inland breeding Kittiwakes in the world.
Tyne Kittiwake Colonies
Most of the colonies are located eleven miles from the North Sea along the Quaysides of Newcastle and Gateshead. The largest colonies are on the Tyne Bridge, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the Guildhall Clock Tower in Newcastle; whilst in Gateshead Kittiwakes nest on the Akzo Nobel Paint Factory and an artificial struture built by Gateshead Council known as the Kittiwake Tower . Pairs are welcomed at these sites and often go undisturbed as they bring life to the next generation of Kittiwakes.
Anti-bird deterrents installed
Not everyone is keen to host a colony of Kittiwakes however and some buildings have installed anti-bird netting, spikes, gel and avi-shock to deter Kittiwakes from nesting. Gel and Avi shock has been proven to be harmless to the Kittiwakes; whilst anti-bird netting and spikes can at times accidentally trap or injure the Kittiwakes.
Kittiwakes upon the Tyne
Kittiwakes upon the Tyne was set up back in 2018, following the events that year where over two dozen Kittiwakes became trapped or were injured as a result of anti-bird deterrents on Newcastle Quayside. Sadly many birds lost their lives and following a large campaign, which included a petition which secured over 100,000 signatures. much of the anti-bird netting which had been proven to be a hazard to the Kittiwakes was removed. This new independent group continues to help raise awareness and look out for the nesting Kittiwakes when they return every year to nest. We link in with other members of the Tyne Kittiwake Partnership and other stakeholders, however Kittiwakes upon the Tyne is not part of the TKP and remains an INDEPENDENT VOICE for the Tyne Kittiwakes.
Do you visit the Tyne Kittiwakes?
- If you want to help support us, you can do so by providing content such as quotes, photographs or studies regarding Kittiwakes and seabirds, for inclusion on our website and in our e-newsletters.
- Everyone is welcome to contribute and there is a large audience who are very much interested in learning more about the famous Tyne Kittiwakes.
- Anyone that kindly shares any content has their names alongside and copyright for any photos remains with the author
Are you are on Facebook & Twitter?
- You can help by adding or sharing posts, and participating in discussions by placing comments.
- On Facebook the Page is open to all and helps share latest news; whilst the group is for members only, however everyone is welcome to join for free.
- Everyone is welcome to follow us on Twitter
- A brand new Instagram account will launch May 2022, featuring Live content from the Tyne Kittiwake colonies.
Have you found a trapped Kittiwake?
- Kittiwakes can become trapped or injured as a result of deterrents such as anti-bird netting or spikes.
- You can help us look out for the Kittiwakes and report any concerns to us, so we can help when it is most needed. All help is very much appreciated.
- We co-ordinate with animal rescue charities.