Photos of the Long Island Sound

Issues & Actions

Duck Island

Location: Westbrook, CT

Anchor Site(s): Duck Island Natural Area Preserve

About the Site: Duck Island is a 5.6-acre state-owned island that supports the largest egret rookery in eastern Connecticut. Inaccessible to the public, it is a rare undeveloped island along Connecticut’s shoreline. Wading birds nest on Duck Island every summer, and its habitat for the state-threatened snowy and great egret is one reason why it is recognized as an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. It is often considered in connection with Menunketesuck Island, a larger nearby island that supports rare bird life in conjunction with passive recreation activities.

Ecological Importance

      • Duck Island has the largest egret rookery in eastern Connecticut.
      • It is a rare undeveloped island off coastal Connecticut.
      • It is designated by Audubon as an Important Bird Area, supporting numerous birds including 50-100 pairs of snowy egret, over 25 pairs of great egret, nesting glossy ibis, black-crowned night-heron, and little blue heron.
      • The intertidal zone supports healthy populations of fish, mollusks, and other invertebrates, which are important food sources for other wildlife.

Dive Deeper

  • Audubon CT: Menunketesuck
    This Audubon web page describes why Duck Island and its neighboring Menunketesuck Island are a combined Audubon Important Bird Area.

Places to Visit

Menunketesuck Island

While Duck Island is not publicly accessible, the adjacent Menunketesuck Island offers some recreational attractions. It is connected to the mainland via a gravel and shell-bar that is difficult to cross even during low tide. As a result, transport to the island is typically via boat or kayak. The gravel and shell-bars are excellent sites for shorebird viewing during spring and fall migration. The island is closed to the public from April through September, during the nesting season.

Field Notes

  • Duck Island is not accessible to the public in order to protect rare bird habitat.

Credits and Sources

  • “Menunketesuck.” Ct.audubon.org. Audubon Connecticut. Web. Oct.15, 2012. <http://ct.audubon.org/menunketesuck>.
  • “Menunketesuck Island – Manomet.” Manomet.org. Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences. Web. Oct. 22, 2012.

Return to the main Stewardship page

Did You Know?

              • Over 10,000 gulls have been observed around Duck and Menunketesuck Islands in the late winter.
              • Menunketesuck is one of only three CTDEEP-recognized horseshoe crab refuges; the other two are Milford Point and Sandy Point, also Stewardship Areas.

Duck Island and Menunketesuck Island

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