Bird Island, Seychelles
Bird Island is the northernmost island in the Seychelles archipelago, 60 miles from Mahe. The 0.70 km2 coral island is known for its birdlife, including sooty terns, fairy terns and common noddies, and for hawksbill and green turtles. It is now a private resort with 26 bungalows. It also contains a small weather station and a small landing strip Bird Island Airport which connects the island with Mahe.
Bird Island was formerly known as "Ile aux Vaches" due to the numerous dugongs (sea cows) that lived in nearby waters. Between 1896 and 1906, 17,000 tons of guano were removed from the island and exported to Mauritius as fertilizer. It formerly was a coconut plantation, and cash crops such as papaya and cotton were also grown.
Since 1967 it has been privately owned, and conservation measures have taken place such as protection of birdlife and hawksbill turtle nesting sites, the eradication of feral rats and rabbits and the translocation of a population of Seychelles sunbird.
Bird Island is named in honour of its spectacular colony of around 700,000 pairs of sooty tern that nest on the island. The birds arrive from late March, laying eggs in May and remaining until October before leaving the island. Another phenomena especially in October to December, arises from the geographical location of Bird Island on the northern edge of the Seychelles Bank. This means it is the first landfall for migratory Euarasian birds and Seychelles Bird Records Committee has recorded here many species new to the country.
- Newsletter of Bird Island Wildlife
- Bird Island Nature Conservation
- Seychelles Bird Records Committee
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