That ‘Bird Island’ Off The Blatnik Bridge Is Actually A Sanctuary
A lot of people have their own names for the island visible from the Blatnik Bridge that's always covered with birds. Our family has always called it Seagull Island, or Bird Island. We never really thought much about the island except for how much bird poop must be on that.
I was looking at St. Louis River and Bay nautical charts last night (fishing related), when I noticed the actual name for this island is the Interstate Island and it is actually managed by The Minnesota DNR as a wildlife management area. This island is a very important breeding ground for different species of birds. Lake Superior water levels have been rising over recent years, causing much of the island to slowly disappear.
There's actually currently a restoration project underway. In fact this youtube video was just posted a month ago in April of 2020, explaining what they are trying to accomplish.
Also an article last year from the MPR brought attention to the efforts to save breeding Terns. If you're like me and had no idea what a tern is, it's a pigeon sized bird that's white and gray. They lay their eggs in the sand on the island where they hatch in early summer. Efforts have been underway for years to protect these birds and help them with their breeding. In fact, this is where two thirds of all common terns in the Great Lakes nest.
You can see that work has already begun on the restoration project with different boats periodically there and fencing up. They will be raising the middle section of the island for nesting grounds, and also filling in some of the flooded areas as well.
So net time you spot this island full of birds, know that it's actually an important part to our wildlife habitat.