Around 80 chicks are expected to hatch following a 4,000-mile migration of a Little Tern colony from West Africa.
Wardens from Durham Wildlife Trust are expecting the first chicks to hatch at Seaton Carew beach after a colony of Little Terns arrived in early May.
The rare sea bird is of international conservation concern but has migrated to the North East beach from Gambia, West Africa for the last four years.
Forty-nine pairs of the birds, which mate for life and can live for more than 20 years, nested on the beach in early May.
The birds rely quite heavily on when sand eels and sprats are close to the shoreline because these birds don’t fly too far out to feed.
Around 80 chicks are expected to hatch in the coming days and weeks.