Bird Watching in Faroe Islands

Binoculars and sunglasses should be part of the outfit of any visitor to the Faroe Islands. Sunglasses are needed when the brilliant sun bursts forth from the clouds; binoculars to enjoy the brilliant spectacle of birds soaring along the sea cliffs. During the long days of summer, the many cliffs on the northern and western coasts of the islands teem with huge flocks of birds. Cold arctic currents merge with the warm Gulf Stream in the waters off the Faroes, resulting in a particularly rich food environment for the nesting birds.
Ornithologists have identified approximately 300 species of birds in the Faroes. Of these, 40 species are common breeding birds and about 40 are rare or irregular visitors.

All have travelled vast distances to raise their families in these remote islands. The guillemot is one of the first breeding birds to return to the islands, and from the end of May until the end of July, you can see guillemots up on the cliffs. On the wider ledges, you can spot the adults standing with their backs to the sea, protecting the single egg at their feet.
Any tiny projection or bit of rocky outcrop is adequate for the kittiwake to cement its nest firmly on the cliff. Nesting pairs raise three young ones before leaving the islands in August.

Colonies of puffins inhabit the ledges and grasslands above the cliffs. You can spot their breeding areas by the distinctive blue-green colour – the result of natural fertilizing. To distinguish the puffin from the other birds in the swirling flocks along the cliffs, look for the small bird flying low above the crests of the waves, flapping its tiny wings like an overgrown hummingbird.
A bird that nests only on Mykines and Mykinesholm is the gannet. It can be seen in small flocks diving for food. The island of Nolsoy hosts the largest colony of storm petrels in the world. A night excursion to witness these nocturnal birds is an extraordinary experience.

Boat trips to view the various seabird colonies and the soaring sea cliffs around the Faroes are available. Consult the tourist offices for details. It’s really a BIRDWATCHERS PARADISE

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