Birding in Iceland

Birding Trails in North Iceland

The rich bird life of North Iceland, distributed over widely varying habitats, displays a diversity seldom surpassed in Iceland and accessible areas for seeing species such as the Barrow’s Goldeneye, Harlequin Duck, Gyr Falcon, Rock Ptarmigan, the Great Northern Gannet and the Guillemot. Wetlands are important as a habitat for many Icelandic breeding species, and of the Icelandic wetlands which are famed for rich bird life, several of the most renowned are in North Iceland.

Three Birding Trails have been mapped out for North Iceland, each one having its own character. North East Iceland including the famous Lake Mývatn regions provides you with more species than anywhere else found in Iceland, one of the best duck area in the world where you easily find the Barrow’s Goldeneye and Harlequin Ducks and areas of unique density of the Gyr Falcon and Rock Ptarmigan. You have the only breeding spots of the Northern Gannet in mainland Iceland in Skoruvíkurbjarg and accessible puffin areas in a nature boosting of volcanic activity.

In Northwest Iceland many species of birds are accompanied by rich wildlife in the area. You can come up close to seals in Vatnsnes peninsula without disturbing them, either from see or land. Skagafjörður is often named the cradle of Icelandic horsemanship as it has the highest number of horses per capita in Iceland. In Drangey Island you find a protected area with flocks of seabirds such as the puffin and the Brünnich Guillemot to name a few. In Gauksmýri Lake you find the Horned Grebe and the Red-Necked Phalarope.

Eyjafjörður and Tröllaskagi Peninsula is characterised by high mountains surrounding deep valleys. Birding areas include the protected wetland areas of Húsabakki, calm oceans for seabirds and the tranquil islands Hrísey Pearl of Eyjafjörður, where the Rock Ptarmigan behaves like tame, and Grímsey Island crossing the Arctic Circle providing excellent areas for seabird watching and great flocks of Puffin.   

This website is not hosted by the Birding Iceland Community. This website only contains information about the 3 birding trails of North Iceland and information about travelling around the area. For information about the Icelandic Birding Community please visit

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