Albatrosses on Bird Island. Photo: Derren Fox

Where is it?

Bird Island is part of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Isles, a UK overseas territory. It is located in the South Atlantic, in the subantarctic, and is only accessible by ship. 

What's the weather like?

As Bird Island is in the subantartcic, it is exposed to extreme cold. Gale force winds blow frequently and snow and rain are regular visitors. It is a very exposed island, with little protection from the elements. Temperatures tend to range from -10°C to 10°C between winter and summer and often the island is covered in snow from July to October. 

What sort of wildlife lives there?

An array of seals and seabirds call this island home. There are over 50,000 pairs of fur seals, and around 65,000 breeding pairs of penguins. Four of the 22 species of albatross can be found here; the wandering albatross, the black-browed albatross, the light-mantled albatross and the grey-headed albatross. These are the birds we will be following with #AlbatrossStories. Scientists are still unsure of the exact number of albatross which live on the island, however they estimate it is over 20,000 breeding pairs. 

Who lives on the island?

Other than the wildlife, a maximum of 10 people live and work on the Island in the summer and only 4 in winter, and they are mainly scientists studying its nature. Bird Island is heavily protected, and can only be accessed by boat, meaning that very few people can reach it. The number of people who can visit the island is controlled to stop any invasive species, such as rats, reaching the island and harming its native wildlife. 

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