Orkney Ringing Group

Orkney Ringing Group

Puffin

Seabird Ringing

Orkney holds internationally important seabird colonies so it is only to be expected that this was one of the first group of species is targeted for special study by our group members.

Since 1983 we have been very fortunate in receiving funding for our seabird ringing and monitoring from the operators of the Flotta Oil Terminal. Occidental Petroleum first supported the Group in their seabird ringing activiities and this support has been carried on by the Elf Consortium and now the current operators of the Terminal Talisman Energy (UK) Limited.

Unfortunately in recent years seabirds in Orkney have had very poor breeding seasons and there is now real concern for the future of our seabird colonies. The diving birds at the large Arctic Tern colonies, which used to be one of the main features of an Orkney summer, are now almost a thing of the past. Terns and Kittiwakes were the first species to show declines, but this has now spread to Skuas, Guillemots and Razorbills.

It is now more important than ever for us to continue ringing and monitoring our seabirds to see if we can find out if our birds are relocating and breeding at colonies away from Orkney or more worringly just not breeding at all.