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Kettle Island - Manchester


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Can anyone tell me if Kettle Island is designated as a bird sanctuary or if off limits at certain times of year due to nesting birds?



A few years ago when we worked for ERBA, we guided an Audubon trip out to Kettle Island. As my impression was that this was a No-Landing Zone, I contacted MassAudubon and received the following verification this morning from Carol Decker:

'"Thank you for your email regarding Kettle Island. Kettle Island is the most important heron breeding site in MA. As you witnessed on the kayak program, adult birds will feed inland during the day and return at dusk to the nesting colony. Human disturbance is one of the primary factors that could cause abandonment of this site by the birds and so we do ask that boaters not land on this Island. One fire on the beach carelessly left to smolder could also have dire consequences for the colony. One factor that is advantageous for the birds is that I hear from our biologists who undertook the annual nest census is that the poison ivy is quite high. So, it is not an attractive place for humans at this time.

Hope this helps and thanks for asking."'



Carol J Decker

Sanctuary Director

Mass Audubon

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

Topsfield, MA 01983


It's not clear, however, whether one can land there during winter when all the herons, egret, and glossy ibises have packed their bags and gone to South Carolina/Georgia.

BTW, if anyone wants to see an incredible number of these beautiful birds in flight, do a dusk paddle out of the beach by Coolidge Pt to watch them come in for the evening.

Deb M :surf::roll:

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We frequently land at Kettle and never leave the beach/rocks. I would expect anyone who did the same would not run afoul of any authority, etc. There is a pebbly strand more or less at the "shore end" of the island that is certainly not going to bother any birds. The daytime residents have generally been gulls and cormorants. As far as leaving fires smouldering at the beach, this would involve building the fire in the first place which I would discourage.

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my guess is that it is NOT against the law to land there...if it were a bird sanctuary or any kind of mandated, regulated conservation area, then my guess is that mass audubon would take pains to make that very clear - i'd think their mission is in part conservation and to cite an applicable law is better than something along the lines of ...we'd prefer it if you didn't land.

that being said, if i didn't have to land anywhere on the island (emergency) i wouldn't...as she said, we interfere by our presence so why not avoid the whole thing if you can and leave it to the birds.

now thatchers on the other hand...anytime you wanna land and interfere with all those annoying and noxious gulls....

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