The bébé birds of Iceland

Pink-footed Goose and Goslings

We arrived in Iceland prepared with our sleeping masks, but when you’re not Icelandic, it’s still an adjustment when there’s essentially no night. You have to pace yourself when birding, because we found ourselves going and going before we realized that the daylight isn’t going away. Plus it made me want to have another big meal post dinner. All that moving around and being alert made me hungry.

“This is exactly why birds migrate to where the sun is out for long periods of time,” Steve told me one day when I said I needed to eat again. “The young can feed all day and grow fast to prepare for their trip to their wintering grounds.”

There are also fewer predators in this area. The arctic fox is a concern, as are some predatory birds, but for the most part, the young have a better chance here.

Iceland is a land of powerful terrain. Large mountains jut out of the earth, forming fjords, the earth is still steaming in many areas (and currently erupting lava at the time of this post), and rain and winds during the summers can be harsh and even dangerous. Yet, nestled in this wild, ever-changing land, is a creche for these birds.

If your plan is to visit Iceland to see birds, might I suggest you plan your trip for June, where you will see goslings, chicks, ducklings and cygnets. Not only because they are adorable, but it’s a reminder why the birds are here in this northern country.

Whooper Swans and Cygnets
Eurasian Oystercatcher and chick
Common Redshank with chicks hiding under her wings
Common Eider – Male and female with ducklings
Common Eider – Male and and multiple females with ducklings
Black-headed gull with chick

Besides Iceland being a nursery for all these baby birds, it’s also the land of waterfalls. I thought I’d leave you with the impressive and bad-ass Aldeyjarfoss waterfall. The waterfall is 20 meters (about 66 feet) high.

Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall