Bird Island, Seychelles

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For other places with the same name, see Bird Island (disambiguation).
Bird Island
Nickname: Île aux Vaches
Bird Island is located in Seychelles
Bird Island
Bird Island
Location of Bird Island in Seychelles
Location Seychelles
Coordinates 03°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
Archipelago Inner Islands, Seychelles
Adjacent bodies of water Indian Ocean
Total islands 1
Major islands
  • Bird Island    
Area 0.94 km2 (0.36 sq mi)
Length 1.77 km (1.1 mi)
Width 0.75 km (0.466 mi)
Coastline 4.46 km (2.771 mi)
Group Inner Islands
Sub-Group Northern Coral Group
Districts La Digue and Inner Islands
Largest settlement
Bird Island Village
(population 38)
Demonym Creole
Population 38 (2014)
Pop. density 40.4 /km2 (104.6 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Creole, French, East Africans, Indians.
Additional information
Time zone
Official website
ISO Code = SC-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 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 used to be known as "Île 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. 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 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 Eurasian birds and Seychelles Bird Records Committee has recorded here many species new to the country.



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