Icelandic Birds~


Icelandic waters are teeming with over 300 species of fish, and many marine mammals, but they have only a handful of terrestrial wild animals including reindeer, mink and arctic fox, and 85 species of birds.

The Northern Fulmar is a pelagic bird, meaning they spend their lives at sea, and are capable of diving several meters in pursuit of prey.

They resemble albatross, and have tubular beaks for processing sea water like other pelagic birds, including albatross and petrels.

Very handsome Tufted Ducks are common breeders all over Iceland. This is a female.

Ocean swimming Greylag Geese breed in Iceland, Finland and Scandinavia, and winter in the British Isles.

The Northern Common Sea Eider is the producer of eider-down which is harvested in Iceland by special eider farmers.

Black Headed Gulls are common in Iceland.

This one is a juvenile.

Adaptable Starlings first settled in Iceland in the 1940’s, and now can be seen nesting in Akureyri and Reykjavik.

Cheers to you from beautiful Iceland and her very hardy birds~

212 thoughts on “Icelandic Birds~

  1. Thanks for the tour of Icelandic birds, Cindy. I spent my afternoon writing outside while being entertained by nuthatches, chickadees, western tanagers and Stellar jays. A good time was had by all. 🙂 –Curt

        • I miss deer. The coyote packs out here make them unwelcome. I have learned to respect the coyotes. They are such adaptable and survivable wild wolf dogs. Now we know they share much of their DNA with wolves. They sing me to sleep every night, multiple times, as they kill things. At least they are honest about it.

          • I like coyotes, Cindy. Once I sat down and howled with one. We were playing peek-a-boo on the American River Parkway. It would come out on the trail and stare at me and I would hide. Then I’d come back out and it would hide. Finally it sat down on the trail and just began howling. So I sat down on the trail and howled back. We had quite a discussion. 🙂 –Curt

            • Ha Haaaah!! Sounds like yotes! When I first moved to The Holler I was terrified of them. 10 years later, I respect them, and know how to live amongst them. We howl back and forth regularly. I have a pretty decent howl I will have you know.

              • Grin… probably better than mine, Cindy! I suspect we have one around here now, since the deer and the turkeys have made themselves scarce over the last few days. Or possibly a cougar. –Curt

  2. Cheers back to you from Canada, growing colder, but not quite Iceland, and with Canada Geese.
    Cindy, I always learn a lot from your blog. Thank you!!

  3. Great light for those birds (most of the folks whom we know who traveled to Iceland enjoyed rain, rain, rain.) We are exchanging Fall for Spring in Peru. See you in photoland soon. – Oscar

    • Iceland was anticipating winter when we were there. Too late to see the puffins. I was blown away by the eider, a juvenile, she still had some down left, and with careful, pauses and very slow steps, she let me get close. I was even more amazed by getting close to pelagic birds. I shouldn’t have been so surprised. In Antartica the wild birds and animals are not at all afraid of us, because they don’t see us. In Iceland, the birds don’t see many of us, so they know enough to be afraid, but not too much. This says too much about us for me to want to think about.

  4. Bonjour ou bonsoir BELLE CINDY
    Que le temps passe vite
    Il nous dépasse
    On voudrait parfois qu’il s’arête
    On ne peux le contrôler
    Ca ne sert à rien de le défier
    Le temps est là pour nous dire que l’on prends de l’âge
    Il nous reste qu’à l’accepter
    De profiter des beaux moments de la vie
    Et de vivre chaque instant présent
    Moi je profite de te dire
    Belle journée ou belle soirée
    Gros bisous , Bernard

  5. Beautiful bird photos, Cindy! I didn’t have much luck even seeing birds on our trip to Iceland last year, but my friends and I met a guy whose family owned the islands where the eider ducks live, and they harvest the down. He didn’t volunteer to take us on a tour, darn it. I would love to return to Iceland, hoping for a lot less rain. I really wanted to see puffin most of all.

    • Yes, we missed the puffins too. They leave mid-August and we came just after they left. I think we’re going back, but we’ll be too late for the puffins again, but maybe we’ll see them earlier farther south. Puffins are now on my agenda too!

  6. HI Cindy, I like your pictures very much and showed them to my wife.
    We were in Iceland some years ago and it was impressive.
    We saw some of the birds and they are really exotic compared with birds in Germany.
    Thanks for providing the pictures.

    Viele Grüße
    Bernd

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