Arctic Terns in Dublin Bay

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANature creates the forces that make Dublin Bay a really suitable habitat for birds. The Arctic Tern is an extremely fragile and important bird and considered a species of concern. You may be lucky enough to see one because they moor here at Dublin Bay in early springtime.

Arctic Terns are mainly grey and white plumaged, have a red beak and normally breed in Arctic or sub-Arctic regions. These phenomenal birds do not nest for the first three years of their lives, they circum navigate the globe and are known to travel around 44,000 miles each year.

The Arctic Terns were found to be making their homes in dolphins (cold water intake points for a power station) in Dublin Bay. The ESB funded the restoration of two of these dolphins so these birds could make their homes. Ecologists from Trinity College were involved in the design of the new gravel beds and shelters in the dolphins. Bird numbers are monitored annually and so far there has been a huge increase in the numbers to the area. Unfortunately, they did not fare too well this year due to heavy rain washing some further down the coast. Badger defences were put up to stop Badgers from eating the birds in some areas and in others some of the young were attacked by rats.

By Jason McDonnell