Flora and Fauna

For its size, Colonsay and Oransay provides an enormous variety of natural habitats. They include both ancient and cultivated woodland, moorland and peat bogs, cultivated farmland, meadows and rough pastures, the machair or raised beaches and tidal flats. The shoreline is also very varied with many sandy beaches as well as rocky shoreline and high cliffs. There are also numerous offshore reefs and islands.


The natural consequence of this variety is an enormous range of bird and plant life which has brought Colonsay to the attention of naturalists and environmentalists. The corncrake, one of Britain's rarest birds, is probably Colonsay's most famous avian resident, and is part of the reason for the RSPB's permanent presence on Colonsay and Oransay, but the list of resident and visiting birds includes many more rarities.


The list of indigenous plants also includes many rarities and these, as well as the famous woodland gardens surrounding Colonsay House, make Colonsay a botanist's paradise.


If you wish to know more about the bird and plant life of Colonsay and Oransay, this site has lists of all the known birds and plants. If you visit Colonsay and spot any bird or plant that is not on the list then please let us know and we will pass your information on to the curator of the list.