Meet the Puffins

Borgarfjörður eystri - CAPITAL of the Puffins


About 10,000 pairs of puffins nest every summer in Borgarfjörður. This is probably the easiest and safest place to watch puffins in Iceland. There are a shelter and wooden platforms where you can get really close to the puffins without the risk of falling into a burrow or down a cliff. You can see puffins nestling here from mid-April to mid-August.

At Hafnarhólmi marina are among Iceland's best facilities for birdwatching, in particular to see puffins and kittiwakes. The island Hafnarhólmi is an excellent place to go birdwatching and you can get very close views of species such as Puffin, Fulmar, Kittiwake and Common Eider. In recent years the local authorities and the landowners have worked hard to develop birdwatching and recreational facilities for visitors.

The population size and distribution of the species breeding at Hafnarhólmi in Borgarfjörður eystri have been well documented. All species are protected by law during the breeding season. The people of Iceland have made use of birds in various ways for hundreds of years although the consumption of bird meat and eggs is almost certainly declining these days. Eider down has been long harvested in Iceland and is now an important and sustainable export item. One kilogram of eider down fetches as much as 100,000 krónur and requires down from 50-60 nests.

Many species of bird have benefited from the Icelandic fishing industry although there may be some competition for food between man and Puffins. Fulmars and Kittiwakes soar around fishing vessels, snapping up anything cast over board. The increase in mussel farming in recent years might lead to a conflict with the Common Eider but we should be able to live in harmony with all these birds in the future.


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