Feb 162024

Isle of May Nature Reserve, Anstruther KY10 3XB 

White lighthouse on a rocky coastline with greens in the foreground and blue skies and sea in the background.
The Isle of May Bird Observatory
©Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1934 in one of the two lighthouses of the island, the Isle of May Bird Observatory is Scotland’s oldest bird observatory. The Isle of May was and still is a key location for the study of birds, particularly the understanding of bird migration. It is notably where the two ornithologists and founders of the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club, Evelyn V. Baxter and Leonora J. Rintoul, conducted fundamental work in the early 20th century to study birds’ migration. You can learn more about their findings in the 1918 publication ‘The Birds of the Isle of May: a migration study’ in the journal from the British Ornithologists’ Union. The observatory is still running today and contributes to the monitoring of birds migrating over Scotland. 


Individual Researcher Walk; Isle of May Bird Observatory; Scottish Seabird Centre; Scottish Ornithologists’ Club

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