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"A mid-air fight between two Arctic Terns battling it out for food. The one-minute attack was launched as one of the birds attempted to snatch a sand eel from the beak of another as it returned to the nesting ground to feed its young."

Photographer Lee Davis shot the image during a trip to the Farne Islands in Northumberland

via The Telegraph

'Sandeels in UK waters are at the extreme south of their range. They feed on zooplankton (for example, larvae of crustaceans, molluscs and fish) who in turn feed on smaller zooplankton and also phytoplankton, tiny organisms that derive their energy from the sun by photosynthesis. With the temperature of the sea increasing, this may be affecting the phytoplankton adversely and, in turn, the zooplankton.

A decline in zooplankton would lead to a decline in sandeels and this would have a direct impact on the breeding success of seabirds. Seabirds breeding in northern areas would be especially vulnerable to declining sandeel populations as there are no alternative fish species that can be used to feed chicks.’


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