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Chris Redfern: Foraging strategies of Kittiwakes on the Farne Islands

The numbers of breeding Kittiwakes in North Sea colonies has declined substantially in recent years. Like many seabirds along our coastlines, Kittiwakes depend partly on sandeels, a fish which has been harvested from the North Sea on an industrial scale.

The foraging areas of Kitti wakes, and how these overlap with other seabirds nesting on the Farnes, are unknown. However, being able to determine where these are will help conservation measures with respect to conserving important fish stocks.

The availability of (relatively) cheap and light global positioning system (GPS) loggers means that it is now possible to learn about seabird foraging behaviour in much greater detail than ever before.