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Fulmar Mandarin duck Ravens Ptarmigan Snipe


Its northerly latitude and isolation (800km from Scotland), has meant that relatively few species of bird have colonised Iceland. There are 73 different bird species that regularly nest in Iceland with another 25 or so nesting there occasionally.

Black tailed Godwit

However, what Iceland lacks in variety it more than makes up for in numbers. Vast flocks of seabirds, wild fowl and waders make it one of the best bird watching destinations in Europe.

Arctic Tern

Many of Iceland’s nesting birds are migrants, some travelling great distances to spend the summer there. The best months to see the birds in their full breeding plumage are May and June. Although many leave in the autumn and winter the harsh weather often forces birds down to the coastal regions making this a good time to catch sight of falcons and sea ducks.


All the photos on these pages are of wild birds and have been taken in Iceland unless otherwise stated.

For more information about Iceland’s birds see Birding Iceland.


Harlequin duck