Bird Island, Seychelles

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Bird Island
Nickname: Île aux Vaches
Bird Island aerial view Seychelles.jpg
Aerial view of Bird Island
Bird Island is located in Seychelles
Bird Island
Bird Island
Location of Bird Island in Seychelles
Coordinates03°43′13″S 55°12′13″E / 3.72028°S 55.20361°E / -3.72028; 55.20361Coordinates: 03°43′13″S 55°12′13″E / 3.72028°S 55.20361°E / -3.72028; 55.20361
ArchipelagoInner Islands, Seychelles
Adjacent bodies of waterIndian Ocean
Total islands1
Major islands
  • Bird Island
Area0.94 km2 (0.36 sq mi)
Length1.77 km (1.1 mi)
Width0.75 km (0.466 mi)
Coastline4.46 km (2.771 mi)
GroupInner Islands
Sub-GroupNorthern Coral Group
DistrictsLa Digue and Inner Islands
Largest settlementBird Island Village (pop. 38)
Population38 (2014)
Pop. density40.4 /km2 (104.6 /sq mi)
Ethnic groupsCreole, French, East Africans, Indians.
Additional information
Time zone
ISO codeSC-15

Bird Island is the northernmost island in the Seychelles archipelago, 100 km from Mahe. The 0.94 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 24 bungalows[1]. It also contains a small weather station and a small landing strip Bird Island Airport which connects the island with Mahe.

Bird Island used to be known as "Île aux Vaches"[2] due to the numerous dugongs (sea cows) that lived in nearby waters. Between 1896 and 1906, 17,000 tons of guano was removed from the island and exported to Mauritius as fertilizer. The island has been a coconut plantation, and for growing cash crops such as papaya and cotton.

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 phenomenon 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 Eurasian birds and Seychelles Bird Records Committee has recorded here many species new to the country.



  1. ^ "Official website for Bird Island". Bird Island. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Official website for Bird Island". Bird Island. Retrieved 1 April 2019.

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