Scilly Seabirds

The Scilly Isles are an AONB and contain a great diversity of habitats.

The coasts include sandy shores and rocky cliffs,

while inland there is heathland covered in heather and gorse,

wetland,

and farmland with its hedges

and walls.

A great variety of habitats attracts a great variety of bird life, but you are never far from the sea and so it is the seabirds who really thrive here.

The islands are home to breeding populations of 14 species, but numbers have declined over the last 25 years, largely due to multiplication of an accidental introduction – the brown rat.

The islands are a globally important site for Manx shearwater and storm petrel.  Manx Shearwater have been breeding on St Agnes for decades, but as they nest in burrows, the eggs and chicks were always eaten by rats.  No chicks had been seen above ground on St Agnes in living memory…until September 2014.

The change in fortune for the Manx Shearwater is a result of the Seabird Recovery Project and this has basically involved the systematic removal of the brown rat.

Everyone is encouraged to be vigilant.

And it seems to be working.