Video: Visiting Bird Island, Marion, MA

Today I noticed the first common and roseate terns of the season, picking off baitfish over the coves of Buzzards Bay. Many of these birds roost and nest on Bird Island, a one-acre chunk of land in the Upper Bay that’s well known to local mariners.

The terns of Bird Island are aggressive defenders of their nests. Photo Tom Richardson

Back in late May, 2014, I got the chance to tour the island and its historic lighthouse (built in 1819) thanks to biologist Carolyn Mostello of MassWildlife and then-Marion Harbormaster Mike Cormier, whose department manages and maintains the light.

Bird Island, circa late 1800s.

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.