Bailiwick of Jersey

Jersey, officially known as the Bailiwick of Jersey, is an island country and self-governing British Crown Dependency near the coast of northwest France. It is the largest of the Channel Islands at  119.6 km2 (46.2 square miles) and is 23km (14 miles) from the Cotentin Peninsula in Normandy. It is the largest and southernmost of the Channel Islands and part of the British Isles, with a maximum land elevation of 143 m (469 ft) above sea level. The Bailiwick consists of the main island of Jersey and some surrounding uninhabited islands and rocks including Les Dirouilles, Les Écréhous, Les Minquiers, and Les Pierres de Lecq; however unlike the smaller islands of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, none of these are permanently inhabited.

The largest settlement is the town of St Helier, including the built-up area of southern St Helier and neighbouring areas such as Georgetown, which also plays host to the island’s seat of government. The town is the central business district, hosting a large proportion of the island’s retail and employment, such as the finance industry.

Jersey is a self-governing parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with its own financial, legal and judicial systems and the power of self-determination. Jersey’s constitutional relationship is with the Crown; it is not part of the United Kingdom. The bailiff is the civil head, president of the states and head of the judiciary; the lieutenant governor represents the head of state, the British monarch; and the chief minister is the head of government. Jersey’s defence and international representation – as well as certain policy areas, such as nationality law – are the responsibility of the UK government, but Jersey still has a separate international identity.

The island has a large financial services industry, which generates 40% of its GVA. British cultural influence on the island is evident in its use of English as the main language and pound sterling as its primary currency. Additional British cultural similarities include: driving on the left, access to British television and newspapers, a school curriculum following that of England and the popularity of British sports, including cricket. The island also has a strong Norman-French culture, such as its historic dialect of the Norman language, Jèrriais, being one of only two places in Normandy with government status for the language (the other being Guernsey), as well as the use of standard French in legal matters and officially in use as a government language, strong cultural ties to mainland Normandy as a part of the Normandy region, and place names with French or Norman origins.

Birding Jersey

About 24% of the island is built-up. 52% of the land area is dedicated to cultivation and around 18% is the natural environment. It lies within longitude -2° W and latitude 49° N. It has a coastline that is 43 miles (70 km) long. It measures roughly 9 miles (14 km) from west to east and 5 miles (8 km) north to south, which gives it the affectionate name among locals of “nine-by-five”.

Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica) is an invasive species that threatens Jersey’s biodiversity. Other non-native species on the island include the Colorado beetle, burnet rose and oak processionary moth.

Four species of small mammal are considered native: the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus), the Jersey bank vole (Myodes glareolus caesarius), the lesser white-toothed shrew (Crocidura suaveolens) and the French shrew (Sorex coronatus). Three wild mammals are well-established introductions: the Rabbit (introduced in the mediaeval period), the Red Squirrel and the Hedgehog (both introduced in the 19th century). The stoat (Mustela erminea) became extinct in Jersey between 1976 and 2000. The green lizard (Lacerta bilineata) is a protected species of reptile; Jersey is its only native habitat in the British Isles. Jersey is the only place in the British Isles where the agile frog (Rana dalmatina) is found.

Red-billed chough (Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) became extinct in Jersey around 1900, when changes in farming and grazing practices led to a decline in the coastal slope habitat required by this species. Birds on the Edge, a project between the Government of Jersey, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and National Trust for Jersey, is working to restore Jersey’s coastal habitats and reinstate the Chough (and other bird species) to the island.

County Recorder
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 340

Useful Information
  • Protected birds

    All species of birds, their nests and eggs are fully protected under the Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2021 with the exception of the carrion crow, feral pigeon, wood pigeon and magpie.
  • Birds on the Edge

    The Birds on the Edge project is a partnership of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, States of Jersey Department of Environment and the National Trust for Jersey. This project aims to restore Jersey’s coastal lands, to help the recovery of declining bird and other animal and plant species and encourage the return of those that have died out.
  • Jersey Biodiversity Centre

    In 2011, Jersey produced the first red list of bird species for any of the Channel Islands*. A red list is an internationally recognised document aimed at highlighting those species most threatened with local or global extinction. Detailed analysis of each bird species’ distribution, population numbers and threats by local experts allowed us to categorise birds as Red (threatened with local extinction as a breeding species or non-breeding visitor), Amber (species undergoing moderate but long-term decline) and Green (populations secure). Of many things that were considered with each bird species, it’s global status as reviewed by IUCN and BirdLife International and level of threat were looked at first.
  • Jersey Birds

    Despite its relatively small size of 45 square miles, it has an excellent diversity of habitats from large bays which provide good feeding for shorebirds and geese, coastal cliffs, heathlands and dunes, to wetlands, marshes and wooded inland valleys. Its strategic position, mild winter climate and extremely wide tidal range act as a magnet to both migrating and wintering birds and to date, over 340 species have been recorded within the Bailiwick.
  • National Trust Jersey

    Our vision is to permanently protect Jersey's natural beauty, rich wildlife and historic places for everyone to enjoy and experience.
  • Société Jersiase

    We provide a means for birders to enhance enjoyment of their pastime expand their knowledge, meet others with similar interests and participate in field activities undertaken by the Section, often in collaboration with international bodies such as the RSPB and the BTO, while increasing the knowledge of birds in Jersey.

Abbreviations Key

  • The Wetland Centre

    WebpageSatellite View
    The newly opened visitor centre is accessed by a door that opens in to a tunnel through a dune mound. The tunnel then opens out to provide panoramic views of the reed bed and pond. The Wetland Centre’s 16 viewing windows afford truly incredible views of the reserve and its wildlife. The viewing windows are located at a range of different heights, offering adults, children and visitors with disabilities a unique perspective from which to bird watch without disturbing the resident waders and waterfowl. A green roof covers the whole facility, enabling the centre to blend in with its surroundings and providing important habitat for native wildlife.
Sightings, News & Forums
  • Jersey Birding

    Twitter Page
    JB is here to provide you with help and information on bird watching on the island of Jersey
  • Jersey Birding

    Facebook Page
    Welcome to Jersey Birding. This page is here to provide you with news, information and photos...
Guides & Tour Operators
  • Birding Tours Jersey

    Tour Operator
    Visit the best bird watching sites in Jersey (Channel Islands) and see local resident species and visiting migrants.
Places to Stay
  • Millbrook House

    Millbrook House Hotel has operated as a Hotel for many years and has recently been purchased by CCA Galleries International Ltd (CCA). CCA is a commercial gallery at Royal Court Chambers, 10 Hill Street. The exhibition space showcases the best of contemporary British and Jersey art. The gallery is now in its 7th year and was opened by Sir Peter Blake CBE in June, 2013.
Photographers & Artists
  • Jersey Wildbird Photography Group

    Gallery, discussion etc

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