Vanishing Terns on the Skerries

Vanishing Terns on the Skerries

22 Jun 2020

Arctic Tern Photographer Jeremy Moore

The UK's largest Arctic Tern breeding colony has been abandoned, 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.

Luckily BTO ringers have been colour-marking a sample of birds each year as part of a Retrapping Adults for Survival project, meaning that watchful members of the public could report them if they turn up, and help explain the fate of the colony.

Please keep your eyes peeled and contact sg.dodd [at] (the project coordinator) if any colour-ringed Arctic Terns turn up on a beach near you.

Sightings and recoveries of any ringed birds can also be reported via

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