Year of compilation: 2001
In addition to providing nesting habitat for cormorants, Basque Island is an important haul-out and pupping area for Gray Seals.
Point Michaud is one of only three or four locations where a variety of shorebirds occur regularly on Cape Breton Island. Semipalmated, Spotted and Least Sandpipers, Willets, Common Snipe, have all been recorded here. Over 100 pairs of Common Eiders breed in the vicinity of Michaud Point (mouth of the Grand River) where dozens of Canada Geese and other waterfowl can be observed during spring and fall migrations.
Cormorants have long had a bad reputation in North America. Due to persecution, in 1900 the Great Cormorant was thought to be extirpated from North America. But some remote colonies found refuge on Anticosti Island, Quebec and it is thought that in recent decades these birds increased in numbers and expanded their range southwards to re-colonize Maritime Canada. In many rural communities, cormorants are still often blamed for the declines in fish stocks. Additionally, many people dislike the white bird droppings that often cover the ground at breeding colonies; these often kill trees and much of the vegetation within the breeding colony. As a result of this negative image cormorant colonies are often raided, resulting in the destruction of many nests, and in some cases, the killing of dozens of birds.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Basque Islands and Michaud Point. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 08/08/2022.