The black guillemot is a very special seabird and Seaview Primary School pupils have been making nest boxes for Glenarm’s resident black guillemots with the help of Council and RSPB.
Dr Kenneth Bodles, RSPB, said: “Glenarm is a picturesque village where beautiful countryside meets the sea and its landscape supports a wide variety of wildlife.
“The black guillemot eats small fish such as sand eels and butterfish, is an excellent diver and can stay underwater for up to two minutes. They can live for up to 30 years and are easily recognised by their striking bright red feet.
“In winter, the bird’s plumage turns to a grey and white, and they easily blend into the rocks of Glenarm Marina where they like to settle on many a winter morning.
“Black guillemots do not travel very far between seasons and you are likely to spot them near their breeding grounds in the harbour wall of the Marina all year around.”
Cllr Lindsay Millar, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, said: “Well done to Seaview Primary School who have made new homes for these birds, just in time for Christmas.
“Black guillemots are a protected species and amber listed as their numbers are declining.
“One reason may be lack of suitable nest sites which is why this project is so important.
“We hope these nest boxes will be fully occupied next breeding season in spring. A similar project was carried out at Carrickfergus Marina and the population is steadily increasing there.”
Ashleigh Moran, teacher at Seaview Primary School, said: “In Glenarm we are so lucky to have many unique species of animals.
“At Seaview, we feel it is important that our children have a knowledge of the species that live on our doorstep.
“After finishing the nest box, the children were shown around the Marina by Billy the Harbour Master and were very lucky to see a couple of black guillemots sitting in the water.
“They are fascinating birds and we hope they will enjoy their new nest boxes and live in Glenarm for more years to come.”