Middle Lawn Island

Country/territory: Canada

IBA Criteria met: A4iii (2008)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 10 ha

Birds Canada / Nature Canada

Site description
Middle Lawn Island is located off the southern tip of Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula, approximately 4 km south of Lord's Cove. The island measures 370 by 290 metres, and consists of rugged hills that are vegetated with grasses and ferns. The southern coast of Middle Lawn Island faces the full force of the Atlantic Ocean. As a result, ocean ice rarely forms on the south side of the island.

Key biodiversity
Middle Lawn Island supports the largest concentration of nesting Manx Shearwaters in North America. Although nocturnal prospecting has occurred at other islands close by, Middle Lawn is still the only location in North America where this species regularly nests. The only other North American breeding record is from Elizabeth Island on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In the 1980s, approximately 100 pairs, plus an additional 300 non-breeding birds were estimated to occur on Middle Lawn Island. In addition, to the nesting Manx Shearwaters, over 26,000 pairs of Leachs Storm-Petrels nest on the island. Other nesting species include Herring Gull (20 pairs), Greater Black-backed Gull (6 pairs), and Black Guillemot (8 pairs).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Middle Lawn Island. Downloaded from on 02/04/2023.