Location of Great Bird Island within Antigua and Barbuda
Great Bird Island is a tiny islet lying almost three kilometres north-east of Antigua. Measuring just 20 acres (81,000 m2), smaller than most city parks, it is the only place on Earth where you can see an Antiguan Racer (Alsophis antiguae) in the wild. The entire world population of this snake lives on the island. Named by sailors who were amazed at the number of birds that they found living and nesting there, Great Bird Island is a miniature paradise. As well as being the last refuge of the Antiguan Racer, it is also home to a variety of other endangered creatures including the rare lizardAmeiva griswoldi, Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), West Indian Whistling Ducks and Red-billed Tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus). Luckily for the snake, there are no mongooses on the island, although hundreds of black rats lived there until recently. The island is currently privately owned by an American businessman.