Some 59 bird species have been recorded on North Island: 13 resident species and six seabird species, with the remainder being migrants of varying degrees of rarity. The most notable of the resident species is the Endangered Seychelles white-eye which we reintroduced onto North Island in 2007.
Just 25 of these birds were introduced at the time, at which point it was one of the rarest bird species on Earth, and in very real danger of extinction. The latest population count (conducted in November 2014) took the total to between 93 and 101 individuals on the Island! This is a remarkable conservation success story and one of which we are justly proud. As the Noah’s Ark Project progresses, and still more of the Island is rehabilitated to be home to only indigenous vegetation, we anticipate further growth in our white-eye population.
A number of very rare migrant bird species have been seen on North Island during the last year, including a corncrake – only the fourth-ever recorded sighting of this bird in the Seychelles. Angelin Saunders, a longstanding member of the North Island team, is a serious amateur ornithologist and can often be seen patiently filming hatchlings in their nests. Ang usually has a young hatchling in his care and is currently looking after ‘Fifi’, a moorhen chick that was abandoned by its mother. Fifi was given her first swimming lesson by Ang who, as the former coach of the National swimming team, is supremely well qualified to help a waterbird take to the water!