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Photo gallery
Photo gallery

There are relatively few songbird species that breed in Iceland. This is probably due to the country’s isolation and harsh winters which restrict food supply. The meadow pipit (anthus pratensis) is the commonest of the passerines with as many as 1 million distributed throughout the country. They are the main prey of the merlin.

Meadow pipit

Redwings (turdus iliacus) arrive in spring and their cheerful call and bright red flanks are unmistakable. White wagtails (motacilla alba) - a sub-species of the pied wagtail - dart and flit around the water’s edge and wheatears (oenanthe oenanathe), which travel all the way from western Africa, survey their territories from rocky outcrops.


Redpolls (carduelis flammea) occupy the birch woods and remain throughout the winter as do snow buntings (plectrophenax nivalis) which change colour from brown to white to match the snow. Ravens (corbus corax) can be seen everywhere from crags to car parks. In addition, there are many sightings of other species that have been blown off course or lost their way.

Images of passerines