Scientists Stalk Seabirds
Scientists are fitting tiny tags to seabirds in the UK in order to track their behaviour via satellite and better understand the way they live. Scientists are tagging birds on the Fair Isle, Orkney and Colonsay in the Hebrides. The project is called FAME – Future of the Atlantic Marine Environment – and is being carried out as part of a Europe-wide programme. The project is being carried out because very little is known about the behaviour of seabirds when they are far out at sea.
Dr Ellie Owen, a scientist working on FAME, said “We know more about the journeys of albatrosses in the Southern Ocean than we do about some of the seabirds around our own shores.
"For example, we know how many kittiwakes there are in the UK, and we know they've declined by 30% between 2000 and 2010.
"But we don't know where these ocean travellers are going to fish for their chicks' suppers. But now, just when these birds need our help, we're on the cusp of filling this information void with vitally-important data.”
In the UK, the Fame project has been tagging fulmar, shag, kittiwake, guillemot and razorbill.