More than a job

Denise and Jenny are RSPB wardens who come out to the Skerries every summer to look after the arctic terns. The island is home to 2,500 pairs of arctic terns, so there is always something to watch. Once the terns start laying Denise and Jenny watch the colony from dawn to dusk. They look out for gulls that are showing an interest in the terns and try to put them off by shouting and jumping about. They try not to walk through the colony but sometimes they have to, so they get pecked and pooed on a lot. When the terns take to the air and fly around together it is known as dreading. Not all reasons for it are known, but usually it is a response to a predator such as a peregrine falcon. Spending so much time with the colony, the wardens beome quite tuned in to the birds. It's more than a job - it's a way of life and really fulfilling.

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