Falkner Island

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Falkner Island (also called Faulkner's Island) is a 4.5 acre (18,000 m²) crescent-shaped island located in Long Island Sound 3 miles (5 km) off the coast of Guilford, Connecticut, USA.

The island is part of the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge and has the fifth-largest colony of nesting roseate terns in the northeastern United States. Originally called Falcon Island until around 1795, today it is known as Falkner Island on most charts and maps. The local population calls it Faulkner's Island.

A lighthouse was constructed in 1802 and commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, warning of dangerous shoals and shallows in the area. This lighthouse is the second oldest in Connecticut (after New London) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is 46 feet (14 m) tall, octagonal in cross-section and built of brownstone lined with brick. The United States Coast Guard built a three-story home at the lighthouse tower in 1871, but it was destroyed by fire on March 15, 1976. The lighthouse was automated in 1978, and continues to operate as a navigational aid to the nearby Intracoastal Waterway.

Much of the island's land mass has been lost to erosion, down to about 2.87 acres (11,600 m2) from its original 4.5 acres (18,000 m2). The United States Army Corps of Engineers recently reinforced the Eastern boundary to slow the advancing deterioration.


  • "The Island Called Faulkner's," Joel E. Helander, Guilford, CT, 1988.(ISBN 0-935600-09-4; LCCCN: 88-91395)
  • "New worry for historic lighthouse fans. (Coast Guard may excess lighthouse on Falkner Island, in Long Island Sound)" by Nick Ravo, the New York Times (August 15, 1993)
  • "Roseate Tern Recovery: Progress and Challenges" by Rena R. Borkhataria, Endangered Species Bulletin, Sept 1998
  • "New England Lighthouses: Bay of Fundy to Long Island Sound" by Bruce Roberts et al., Chelsea House, November 1999

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