Arctic Terns vanish from The Skerries

The UK’s largest Arctic Tern breeding colony was abandoned by the breeding birds at the end of May, and BTO scientists are asking the public for help to work out where these birds have gone. The colony on the Skerries, off the north of Anglesey, is also home to several hundred pairs of Common Terns. This year, the RSPB wardens that normally look after it have been absent due to Covid-19, and the terns have left – possibly because of the presence of a pair of Peregrines. It seems that a lot of the birds may have relocated to Cemlyn, with up to 1,000 ‘new’ terns arriving at the end of May. Several of the Skerries stalwarts have now been confirmed from Cemlyn from the orange flags on their legs: two flagged in 2013 and two from 2014 – all flagged as breeding adults and re-sighted every year since flagging, (apart from Orange AU which wasn’t seen in 2014, the year after flagging). One has now been found breeding at the #DalkeyIsland tern colony just south of Dublin, highlighting the importance of a diversity of safe breeding spaces.

However, many have not been relocated at present. Read more and find out how you can help trace them here.

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