Bird Island (South Georgia)
1.2 inhabitants / km²
|main place||(Bird Island Research Station)|
Bird Iceland is a small island off the west coast of the territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands counted Island South Georgia . It is separated from the main island by the 500 meter wide Bird Sound . The South Atlantic island region "South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands" is a British overseas territory that is also claimed by Argentina .
Bird Island, with an area of only 3.4 km², was discovered on January 14, 1775 by a British expedition led by James Cook , who named it because he saw numerous birds on the island. Seal hunters visited the island at the end of the 19th century. In 2010, near Freshwater Beach , below Cave Crag , traces of the hunters could still be seen in Sealer's Cave .
In the years 1957–1964, the otherwise uninhabited island was visited by bird watchers in the Antarctic summers. On November 24, 1958, the government of the Falkland Islands built a permanently usable hut, which was later called the Bonner hut . The United States Antarctic Research Program (USARP) built two accommodations in December 1962 in the east of Jordan Cove on the south coast, from which later the Bird Island Research Station of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) emerged. The permanently manned research station was only evacuated in 1982 during the Falklands War . There are usually four researchers there in the southern winter and around ten in the summer. Among other things, the development of the populations of the numerous seabirds and seals that live on the island is evaluated there. Further expansion took place in 1981, 1995/96 and 2005. In January 2006, the remains of the previous demolition and any rubbish were cleared away and removed.
In 2010 there were ten huts and shelters on the island for watching seals and sea birds.
The island is home to:
- 65,000 Antarctic fur seals (about one every 6 m² of the island)
- 50,000 crested penguins
- 15,000 pairs of black- browed albatrosses
- 12,000 pairs of gray-headed albatrosses
- 1000 pairs of wandering albatrosses
- 500 pairs of giant petrels (10% of the total population of South Georgia)
In contrast to the main island of South Georgia, Bird Island is rat-free.
- Bird Iceland Research Station (British Antarctic research station) , site of the British Antarctic Survey (English)
- Bird Island ( January 29, 2008 memento in the Internet Archive ) on the official website of South Georgia
- Topographic map
- Captain Cook Society, Cook's Log, January - March 1775 (English)
- Bird Island Research Station , on the British Antarctic Survey website , accessed June 8, 2016.