Sunday, 1 May 2011

Kittiwake Tower

Traditionally kittiwakes, which spend most of their life out at sea,  breed on steep sided sea cliffs, but in the 1960s a small number of birds began to nest on  riverside buildings in Newcastle and Gateshead, 10 mile inland.By the 1990s the Baltic Flours Mills building had become the main focus of kittiwake breeding activity on the Tyne, supporting a colony of around 200 pairs. The redevelopment of the Baltic as an international centre for contemporary art resulted in the loss of this  breeding site for kittiwakes. 

Alternative nesting opportunities were provided for the birds with the construction of the kittiwake tower shown here, a breeding platform whih was originally located in Baltic Square near the Baltic before being moved to its permanent location on the south bank of the River Tyne at Saltmeadows.

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