Falcon Island



Falcon Island


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Falcon Island is a small, uninhabited island located about 150 km off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. It is part of the Notre Dame Bay Important Bird Area (IBA), and is an important site for breeding seabirds. The island has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

Falcon Island


The island was first sighted in 1592 by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral. It appeared to be an uninhabited islet, but from 1610 onwards it became known as Falcon Island after a flock of wild Falcons that nested there. In 1778, Captain James Cook named the island “Isla de Falcon” after his ship’s pet falcon, who had become well-known on voyages around the world.


Falcon Island Culture

The island experiences a cold, damp climate. The soils are alkaline and poorly drained, limiting agriculture.


Falcon Island is an important nesting site for seabirds including Canada Geese, Harlequin Ducks, Brant Breeding Ducks and Great Blue Herons. Other wildlife includes snowshoe hares, beavers and grey squirrels.


There is no permanent population on the island, and visitor numbers are limited to preserve its natural environment. The majority of the island is a provincial park. A small replica lighthouse, consisting only of several concrete blocks, was constructed in 1829 and replaced by a taller one from 1960 until 1969.

Humans have been living on Falcon Island at least since 1961 when it was first marked as an IBA under COSEWIC mandate (see links to sources below). Even though lower frequency has lately become apparent within this goal-post date segment, there still remains a very high probability that the island can be considered to have ‘recently’ been inhabited.


As an island within the boundaries of Nova Scotia, Falcon Island is a part of that province. The Scots Gaelic name of the island is Isle o’ Falshaidh. It has a permanent population, and it appears on maps as part of Halifax Regional Municipality.

On 2009/0511 Falcon Island Railways was incorporated by Act Provincial Council to construct a gauge railway using custom-designed British models (1:148 scale [approx 3mm / 16ft] bricks) along with standard 2 ft 6 in rail track from one end of the island to the other.

It is estimated that when completed, they will be able to ship 6-8 carloads of products each week on this humble mode of transportation using a turntable at one end and reloading facility with scale models in another.

Government Services

Falcon Island is not serviced by government services. There are no hospitals, schools or businesses located on the island.


There is no public transportation to get to Falcon Island and visitors must have their own vehicles. Visitors who do have access may find limited camping and hiking opportunities available on the island as well as a few small homes that are maintained by park staff for occasional use by visiting researchers and volunteers from around the world.


There is no tourism currently being conducted on Falcon Island. The Land and Water Conservation Fund has given $1 million to the Nova Scotia Natural Heritage Trust, of which over 7.8% is set aside for management initiatives that focus on Parks at Risk sites (Alexander MacLeod and Baldface Island being two such areas in Cape Breton Highlands National Park). Falcon Island was excluded as it did not meet this criteria.


There are no scheduled transport services to get to Falcon Island. Visitors must have their own vehicles and be able to navigate their way there. A few residents have access, but are not always available to assist.

Finding a way there can be challenging depending on the season as many people find it difficult to get their boats through the narrows at low tide or when ice is present in winter. Wildlife viewers and photographers typically take a fairly roundabout route via West Bay (often travelling down from Ross Inlet) which generally lands them at home base with plenty of time to spare before they need.


There is no food available on Falcon Island, however park staff maintain a small kitchen in the visitor center for occasional use. Energy

There is no power on the island, however during winter months, there are several diesel generators that keep the visitor center and a few of its lower buildings powered. The visitor center itself has running water throughout.

Air conditioning is not available anywhere inside since RV hookups were never installed but rather rely solely on natural ventilation which helps to control humidity levels in overnight times when temperatures drop below freezing (they often rise above twenty degrees Fahrenheit at night).


Falland is home to a wide range of wildlife from bucolic deer and porcupines to the magnificent bald eagles that can be seen swooping down upon their prey on the island’s ridges. The islands’ remoteness makes it difficult for many people to see much wildlife in person, but those who do often remark that they have never seen anything as impressive (and sometimes as close) up close as what can be found on this incomparable point.

Despite its remoteness, there are excellent opportunities for bird watching in this wilderness paradise with a number of species that can only be found on Falland including common loons and sword-billed hummingbirds. Bald eagles may often be seen flying over the lake near the visitor center before diving down to catch their evening meal of small mammals or fish coming out of Otter Lake (during winter months) which Gail Burton from Falland Bays State Park notes is a rare (although feasible) occurrence.


Falcon Island is a small piece of land located in the Eastern Caribbean Sea. The island is home to a number of rare and endangered species of birds, iguanas, and other animals. The island was originally created as a Bird Sanctuary by the United States Coast Guard in the early 1960s. Today, the island is managed by the Department of Environment, Science and Technology (DESTR), which has been working to preserve and protect the environment on the island.


Q: What Is The Size Of Falcon Island?

A: The island is about 3.5 square kilometers in size.

Q: How Many People Visit Falcon Island Each Year?

A: Approximately 2,500 people visit the island each year.

Q: Does The Department Of Environment, Science And Technology (DESTR) Plan On Expanding Falcon Island?

A: No. The island’s size is a sufficient environment for endangered species to live in. There are not any plans at the moment by DESTR or other bodies to expand Falcon Island once it has been developed properly.

Q: How Many Vacant Lots Exist Within Fishers’ Bay National Park Reserve?

A A ranger could not state a precise number due to the fact that many of Fishers’ Bay’s long trails are not marked, but estimates put this figure at around 30.

Q: Is Falcon Island Swimmable?

A A ranger could not confirm whether or alternate sea animals and birds swim in certain areas of the island itself, however they expect all mammals will venture out of Otter Lake during winter months and may be spotted snooping about on Sharks Cove.

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