It is important to note that getting out to the island needs to be booked through our Bookings Secretary (Enquire about booking). The Copeland Bird Observatory is a wildlife refuge and sanctuary for a plethora of birds and other wildlife throughout the year.


One of Copeland Bird Observatory main aims is to undertake the safe ringing of various types of birds species. From our resident birds to migrants passing through to seabirds like our Manx Shearwaters. Our dataset, from ringing Manx Shearwaters spans back to 1954 is one of the biggest ringing datasets in the world, and has taught us quite a great deal of the shearwater colonies on our island. If you are a ringer please do get in touch and book a spot the boat out to the island.

Bird recording

All birds seen on and surrounding the island are recorded. On occasion we have had a few nice rarities turn up such as wryneck, Ring Ouzel, Cuckoo and Lesser White throat. An island like the one Copeland Bird Observatory is like a stepping stone for migrants as they move on passage.

Seabird Watching

The island is in a prime position for watching the movement of seabirds. Bird hides positioned to the north and east of the Island have excellent views in the Irish Sea.

Habitat Management

In order for us to carry out our data collection and research, the island’s habitats needs to be managed appropriately. Accessibility is key (not to mention for health and safety reasons),and paths need to be maintained throughout the season. We are always looking for volunteers to come across on ‘habitat management days’ to help keep the Observatory in working order. If you think you have what it takes please get in touch with us today!

Cetacean watching

You might not think it, but yes Copeland Bird Observatory gets quite a lot of whale and dolphin action. Bottlenose dolphin, Harbour Porpoise are some of the regularly seen species with even sightings of Minke whales on occasion.


Although the island itself is not very big, the network of paths allows for the perfect opportunity to walk around the around, providing ample scenarios where one could have one of those ‘mindful meditation moments’.


The Island offers photographers the perfect opportunity to take the perfect photograph providing serene views, wildlife spectacles and incredible sunrises and sunsets. Check out our Gallery to see for yourself!