IBA criteria met: -
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here
Area: 1 ha
Site description (baseline)
Awrey Island is a tiny island located in northeastern Hudson Bay about one km from the eastern shoreline of Mansel Island. It is covered by low-lying tundra and has a rocky shoreline, much like the nearby coast of Mansel Island. The island is young, having emerged from the sea less than 2000 years ago. This entire area is still experiencing isostatic rebound as a result of the disappearance of the continental ice sheet within the past 10,000 years.
This isolated island provides excellent nesting habitat for breeding Common Eiders. As many as 1000 pairs of Common Eider were recorded at this site during the early 1980s (more recent surveys have not been completed). The eiders are presumably of the northern borealis subspecies, and the colony likely represent just over 1% of this subspecies' population. The borealis subspecies breeds farther north than the other two subspecies dresseri and sedentaria.
Common Eiders are marine ducks that primarily eat molluscs and other sea-living invertebrates. Their choice of breeding habitat usually consists of low rocky shores on isolated islands, but they also nest inland on tundra near pools and rivers. If the Awrey Island colony is similar to others in the eastern Arctic, the eiders probably arrive at the site in late May. Once the ice has broken up they start to nest. The ducklings hatch through July and early August, and by the end of August the eiders have left for their wintering grounds.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Awrey Island. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/11275 on 10/06/2023.