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Great News For Rosy Terns

  • Mon 8th Jun, 2020

Hot news from our conservation sponsorship desk: In our sixth year of funding for the RSPB coquet Roseate Tern Project we have just heard our nest box number 56 was once again the first egg of the season, same as in 2019!

Roseate Tern Coquet © Dan Lombard Roseate Tern Coquet © Dan Lombard

Roseate Terns fly an incredible 4000-miles each spring from West Africa to nest in the UK. 90% of England, Scotland and Wales’s population, nest on Coquet Island off the Northumberland coast. Almost all the remaining Roseate Terns in Europe breed on a tiny island called Rockabill, 6km off the north Dublin coast. In 2017, an incredible 1,556 roseate pairs were counted nesting there.

Roseate Tern roosting Coquet Island alongside Arctic and Common Terns © Richard BainesRoseate Tern roosting Coquet Island alongside Arctic and Common Terns © Richard Baines

The successful breeding of Roseate Terns on Coquet and Rockabill depends on protection from predators and shelter from storms. The RSPB with help from Green Future Building have developed a be-spoke nest box to protect the chicks after they hatch.

Nest boxes ready for the island built by Green Future BuildingNest boxes ready for the island built by Green Future Building

To further increase protection from predators the wardens installed a more permeant fence around the tern terraces on the island in the winter of 2019.

Erecting the new fence © RSPBErecting the new fence © RSPB

The nest boxes have been incredibly successful on both Rockabill and Coquet. The Coquet colony has now risen to over 100 pairs and is thriving. The nest boxes are a simple and effective measure ensuring this wonderful bird can thrive on our coast.

The colony now has a live nest box cam. Look out for ‘Coquet Island Nesting Terrace’ on the web site. To see the live stream, Click Here.

In 2014 we were the very first sponsor in a new project launched by the RSPB. We have kept up our sponsorship every year and are proud to be once again contributing to the conservation of this beautiful bird.

Roseate Tern chicks © RSPBRoseate Tern chicks © RSPB

How Can You Help Roseate Terns?

Sponsor a box from as little as £60/year. Everyone who sponsors a nest box will receive a certificate and regular updates on the birds that are using their box.

For further information please email Mike Harris at and copy in