Bird Island (Massachusetts)

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Bird Island, Buzzards Bay

Bird Island is a tiny island in Buzzards Bay at the mouth of Sippican Harbor, less than a mile off the mainland coast of the town of Marion, Massachusetts, United States.


The only landmarks on Bird Island are a flagpole and a historic 36-foot-high (11 m) lighthouse. Bird Island Light was formerly manned but now runs automatically. The Great New England Hurricane caused widespread destruction all along the south coast of New England. High tide in the evening of September 21, 1938, was 14 feet (4.3 m) above normal. The great storm swept away every building on Bird Island except the lighthouse tower.


While still under British rule, Bird Island and Nix's Mate island in Boston Harbor were used for gibbeting pirates and sailors executed for crimes in Massachusetts. Their bodies were left hanging as a warning to sailors coming into the harbor and approaching Boston. [1]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Bird Island is notable as a sanctuary and major breeding ground of the roseate tern, a bird from which the island gained its name.

See also[edit]


  • Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by George Francis Dow
  • The Standard Times newspaper of New Bedford Massachusetts.
  • Rhode Island, Massachusetts & New Hampshire Maptech Embassy Guide, ISBN 0-7436-0617-5

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°40′10″N 70°43′02″W / 41.66944°N 70.71722°W / 41.66944; -70.71722