Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Tern up for the books as decoy birds boost breeding

We usually see decoy birds being used by shooters to lure wild fowl to their death.

But now they are being used to ensure the continuation of species.

For the dummy birds – along with a sound system – have been placed on one of the Copeland Islands to bring breeding populations of terns and puffins offshore to safer habitats. And it has worked a treat, at least as far as the terns are concerned with the best breeding season in decades.

Puffins displayed all the signs of establishing a colony and hopes are high for next year. Never mind the old chestnut of breeding like rabbits – it is seabirds which now have the steamy reputation if this past summer is anything to go by.

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