Tuesday, November 20, 2007

South Brother Island

New York City is buying South Brother Island, which lies just south of the Bronx and just east of Hell Gate, for $2 million. Egrets, cormorants, gulls and oystercatchers nest there. South Brothers is one of a number of islands in Long Island Sound and the greater New York Bay area where wading birds nest. Others include Shooters Island in the Kill Van Kull, Huckleberry Island, the Captains, some of the Norwalk Islands in the Sound, maybe even Hoffman and Swinburne off Staten Island's South Beach (I have a vague memory of my grandfather telling me that Hoffman or Swinburne was used to quarantine immigrants from Europe, and I also think I remember reading that one or both was created from rubble or dredged material; but I could be wrong).

In any event, under city ownership South Brother will remain a bird sanctuary. Here's the Times' report. Note, by the way, that the story cites “The Other Islands of New York,” a book by Sharon Seitz and Stuart Miller, and says that the Dutch originally called South Brother and North Brother De Gesellen, or The Companions. DeLaet's New World (1625), which was the first published description of the Sound, refers to De Gesellen as being out near Montauk:

In this great bay [i.e., Long Island Sound] are many islands both large and small, that have no particular names, so far as is known to us, except that on a chart of this quarter made some years since, several small islands near the entrance to this great bay, near Fisher's Hook [a footnote identifies Fisher's Hook as Montauk Point], of which we shall speak presently, are named Gesellen (the Companions)....

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Blogger happening habitat said...

Hello we are A.C.T.I.O.N (Activists Coming To Our Inform Neighborhood) at The Point CDC and together with NYC Audubon we are working on a project to preserve and restore North Brother Island. We enjoyed looking at your blog hopefully you'll take the time to look at ours and support our blog. Our blog link is http://www.happeninghabitat.typepad.com/ or you can contact us at our gmail address happeninghabitat@gmail.com Thank you for your time.

5:39 PM  
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