Video: Visit to Bird Island in Marion, MA


Bird Island, a one-acre chunk of land in Upper Buzzards Bay, is pretty quiet right now, but it was a different story when I visited the place in late May, 2014. At that time, the aptly named island was alive with activity—tern activity to be precise—as thousands of common and endangered roseate terns were returning to breed and lay their eggs.

The terns can be very aggressive in defense of their nests on Bird Island.
The terns can be very aggressive in defense of their nests. Photos/New England Boating, Tom Richardson.

I was given the chance to tour the island and its historic lighthouse (built in 1819) thanks to biologist Carolyn Mostello of MassWildlife and Marion Harbormaster Mike Cormier, whose department manages and maintains the light.

In the accompanying video, Mostello explains how important the island is to the Northeast roseate tern population and how erosion is threatening the site. Meanwhile, Cormier tells a bit about the lighthouse’s history and the rules for visiting the island.