This rugged islet in Kachemak Bay hosts one the most
productive seabird colonies in the Gulf of Alaska.
As many as
20,000 seabirds build nests in the craggy rock faces and cliffs of
Gull Island, on the south side of Kachemak Bay about three miles from
the Homer Spit. Most years, 8,000 to 10,000 black-legged kittiwakes
dominate the rookery, building mud nests perched in clefts and on
ledges. 5,000 to 8,000 common murres nest amid the kittiwakes. Other
birds seen in smaller numbers include glaucous-winged gulls, pelagic
cormorants, red-faced cormorants, puffins and pigeon guillemots. The
effect stuns the senses—the air is saturated with the odor of fishy
guano and vibrates with the cacophony of crying birds. The sky can
fill when a thousand birds take wing at once. Watch for the fuzzy
offspring peeking from the nests.
scalloped rock of Gull Island offers outstanding nesting habitat for
Owned by the Seldovia
Native Corporation, Gull Island is the most visited seabird rookery in
the bay. To protect the wildlife, the Seldovia Native Association does
not allow the public to go ashore. The use of cameras for remote
viewing of wildlife was pioneered on the island by the Pratt Museum.
in layers for wind and rain.
variety of tours and operators visit Gull Island throughout the
summer. Boat tours crossing Kachemak Bay often include a visit to Gull
Island. Ask when making your plans. Homer tours depart from the Small
Boat Harbor on the spit. Additional information at
www.homeralaska.org or call
Information Center at 907-235-7740.