Calf of Man (Manx: Yn Cholloo), sometimes known as the Calf of Mann, is a 618-acre (250 ha) island (almost 1 square mile), off the southwest coast of the Isle of Man. It is separated from the Isle of Man by a narrow stretch of water called the Calf Sound. Like the nearby rocky islets of Chicken Rock and Kitterland,
The Calf of Man Island is accessed by small boat operators running return trips from Port St Mary. Sailings are subject to adequate weather conditions, tide and the availability of the boatmen and all journeys must be booked in advance with the boatmen.
Located amidst spectacular scenery half a mile off the southern tip of the Isle of Man, the Calf of Man is a small island extending to approximately 600 acres. Its primary purpose is as a Bird Observatory and Nature Reserve with wardens living on the Island during the spring and summer months only. The traditional style 1870’s Calf of Man Observatory farmhouse is the only habitable property on the Island and this hostel is available to overnight guests from April to mid-September. The Observatory self-catering accommodation comprises of three rooms with a combined sleeping occupancy of 8 people. The accommodation includes a guest sitting room/dining area and a communal kitchen.
This island is an ideal place to study many aspects of bird life with around 33 species breeding annually and it is located on one of western Britain’s major migration routes. Breeding seabirds include Manx Shearwater, Kittiwake, Razorbill and Shag. Other species normally observed on the island include Peregrine, Hen Harrier, Chough and Raven.
The Calf has an interesting history and evidence of the once thriving community includes the two lighthouses built in 1818, a recently decommissioned modern lighthouse building built in 1968, a mill and a smithy. Signs of earlier habitation of the island ranges from prehistoric worked flints and early Christian graves, through to defences dating from 1651-1713 such as the gun emplacement on the Burroo.