Heavy rain kills baby birds off Northumberland coast

Puffins fighting
Getty Images

Seabirds nesting on the Farne Islands in Northumberland have been hit by heavy rain which killed many of their young, the National Trust has said.

Arctic terns, puffins, guillemots and shags all suffered losses as chicks including pufflings - baby puffins - were battered by nearly 5in (13cm) of rain in 24 hours on 13 June.

Gwen Potter, countryside manager for the National Trust, said: "The significant rainfall sadly caused many ground-nesting Arctic tern chicks to perish due to exposure to the elements.

"We don't know the full impact yet but estimate that tern numbers are likely to dip by up to 35% this year.

"We also know that 300 pufflings perished on one of the islands. Puffins are ground-nesting birds and unfortunately their burrows flooded. "

Puffins at risk from warming sea water

Sand eels, the staple food of puffins, will become scarce as the temperature rises.

Photo clues to puffins' decline

RSPB ask for photographs of puffins feeding to help work out why bird numbers are falling.

Wet your beak: Burhou puffins to be webcam stars again

BBC Radio Guernsey

The puffins on Burhou, off Alderney, will be live-streamed online again this year, with new cameras tracking their movements through the breeding season.

The Alderney Wildlife Trust said it had invested in the new equipment that would watch their breeding patterns and broadcast it.

Roland Gauvain, from the trust, said the work would allow people to see the birds' progress and discourage people trying to visit trips to Burhou that could upset and disrupt the puffins.

Alderney Wildlife Trust camera webpage
Alderney Wildlife Trust