Sutton Island hosts a lively summer colony. The island has no roads, just paths.
According to Prof. William Otis Sawtelle, Sutton Island was originally called Somes Island. Marie Therese de Cadillac de Gregoire, the original grant owner, deeded the island to Philip Langley in 1788 for his work as her confidential agent and business manager. But Langley didn't live there; instead he lived on what is now called Greening's Island.
Sawtelle also states that the first settlers on Sutton Island were Joseph Lancaster and his wife, Nancy Rich Moore Lancaster, in 1806.
The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota has set up a program called "Highway to the Tropics" to track various species of hunting birds throughout the U.S.
In Maine the project tracked the male and female Osprey pair nesting in the well-known basket-like nest on the rocks at the northwest end of Sutton Island. In the study, the male is called "FC", and the female "FB." Their travels in 1999, 2000, and 2001 are available on the University's site. In particular, notice that they don't travel together -- rather, they take "separate vacations" while wintering down south.
Passengers on the Beal and Bunker Mailboat ferry from Northeast Harbor to the Cranberry Isles get a good view of this nest on every trip.
A battery-powered satellite transponder was attached to each bird with a teflon belt, and by this means the bird's position as it migrates can be tracked anywhere on the earth. The tracking is no longer being updated for this pair, probably because the batteries have worn out.
photo by Pat Redig