The island received its name for the fact little penguin burrows were mistaken for rabbit holes and the island has also been historically referred to as Rabbit Island. In 1936 and 1938, the penguins of Mistaken Island became victims of deliberately lit fires. Following the latter event, some were discovered with their feet "burned off". As of 2011, the penguin colony on Mistaken Island is the subject of scientific study.
Mistaken Island is an island located approximately 5 kilometres south-east of Albany, Western Australia in King George Sound