Newcastle- Gateshead Quayside is home to the most inland breeding colony of kittiwakes in the world! These fantastic birds spend Autumn and Winter out at sea and return to nest on building and bridge ledges along the Tyne late February through to August. Enjoy getting a close up view of the birds as they reunite with their partner, build their nests, lay eggs and rear their chicks through our Kittiwake Camera attached to the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.
*Please note* The camera will be switched on between March and August while the kittiwakes are back at their nesting sites.
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Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside is home to approximately 800 pairs of breeding Kittiwakes. These oceanic gulls have been using buildings and structures along the quayside as a breeding site since the 1960’s and have truly become a well-established part of our local and natural heritage.
The colony demonstrates how humans and wildlife can co-exist in urban areas and it is fantastic that local people and visitors are able to experience this amazing wildlife spectacle against the iconic landmarks of the Tyne bridges, the Sage and the Baltic art gallery.
The Tyne Kittiwakes Partnership has formed to ensure that the Kittiwake population along the Tyne is safeguarded and to work together to improve our understanding of the birds and their conservation needs. The Partnership includes Durham Wildlife Trust, the Natural History Society of Northumbria, RSPB, Northumberland Wildlife Trust; Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside Councils, Newcastle University and individual researchers and ornithologists.
For more information about the Tyne Kittiwakes have a look at the leaflet produced by the partnership, Kittiwakes On The Tyne.
Or visit www.durhamwt.com/events to see what kittiwake talks we have coming up.
Thanks to Northumberland Wildlife Trust for contributing to the running costs of the 2020 Kittiwake- Cam season
We’ve put together a pack of activities for fellow kittiwake-enthusiasts, so you can enjoy learning more about these wonderful feathered-friends.
What do kittiwakes eat? Find out by having a go at our Kittiwakes: Who Eats What? Activity sheet and make your own kittiwake food chain mobile. Click on the image below to open the sheet:
Kittiwakes spend most of the year out at sea, only coming ashore to breed between February and August, and the Newcastle Gateshead quayside is the most inland breeding and nesting site in the world! As they are seabirds, they still head out to sea to hunt for food. Make your own Tyne Kittiwake Map with our activity sheet.
Let’s go out for a feather forage! Have a look in your garden or when you go to the park or out for a walk, and see if you can find some feathers. Birds have four different types of feathers, and they all have their own purposes, some are for warmth, some to steer in flight. Collect some feathers and use our Feather Forage activity sheet to identify what types of feathers you have found! Make sure you wash your hands after handling them, or wear some gloves.
Get creative and colour in our Kittiwake colouring sheet, click the picture below to download a PDF sheet to print out: