Birds of Svalbard – A Guide to Svalbard Birds

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Birds Svalbard Birdlife Birdwatching Spitzbergen Black Guillemot Alkefjellet Herring Gull, Arctic Tern, Explorers Club, Gannet, Migratory Birds, Svalbard, Birdwatching, Invertebrates, Sea Birds
Birds of Svalbard – A Guide to Svalbard Birds
Learn about the birds of Svalbard in this guide. Svalbard is great for bird watching. See Svalbard birds on our wildlife cruises - 12 guests. Read more >> #birds #birdwatching #birdlife #svalbard #spitzbergen #alkefjellet #birdphotography #birdsafari
Arctic Birds Wildlife Photography Svalbard Great Auk, Extinct
Razorbill I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
A black and white seabird with a thick blunt beak, Razorbills can be seen on the west coast of Svalbard – but there aren’t too many. Unlike some Arctic auks, they don’t tend to travel too far for winter, making it to southern parts of Norway and northern parts of Scotland. It’s the closest living relative of the great auk, which is now extinct and itself is threatened by overfishing and pollution. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Arctic Birds Wildlife Photography Svalbard White Bird
Northern Gannet I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
The largest gannet, the Northern Gannet is a speedy sea bird which dives fast into the sea to catch its food from heights of up to 30 metres at speeds of up to 60 mph. A white bird with a yellow head and black tips on its wings, this type of gannet can be seen on the West coast of Svalbard. It breeds on the cliffs in very noisy and smelly colonies before heading south for the winter. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Arctic Birds Svalbard Wildlife Photography Bird Species, Archipelago
Rock Ptarmigan I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
The rock ptarmigan is the largest and only land bird that stays in Svalbard all year round and it can be seen across the archipelago. They are very territorial, with the male cock establishing nesting space in the Spring, protecting it with diversions and burping sounds. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Arctic Birds Svalbard Wildlife Photography Orange Red, Bright Orange, Molluscs
Common Redshank I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
The redshank – commonly-used shortened version of its name – is a type of sandpiper wading bird with bright orange/red legs. Their long legs and long beak are perfect for foraging for insects, worms, molluscs and crustaceans. Like many Arctic migratory birds, they spend summers in Svalbard and Iceland and head south to the UK and Europe for winter – living around four years on average. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Gull Arctic Birds Wildlife Photography Svalbard Gulls, Rare Birds
Sabine’s Gull I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
One of the smaller gulls, the Sabine’s gull has a black head making it easy to identify as there aren’t many others in Svalbard with those colourings. An elegant bird with pointy wings, it’s flight style isn’t dissimilar to that of a swallow’s. There are a few breeding pairs in Svalbard but it is quite a rare sight on the archipelago – one of the rarest birds in fact. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Arctic Birds Svalbard Wildlife Photography Plover
Ringed Plover I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
This short rotund wading bird is light brown with black and white markings on its head and an orange beak. Living off flies, spiders and molluscs, they breed in the Arctic before heading south to the UK and mainland Europe for winter. They have an interesting way of foraging for their food, standing in the water, running forwards, pecking then standing again – it seems to work for them though! Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Gull Arctic Birds Svalbard Wildlife Photography Beak
Great Black-Backed Gull I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
A very aggressive gull, this is the largest gull in the world with a big powerful beak which helps it fend off other birds and snatch their food. They eat shellfish and other birds as well as scavenging on the floor for scraps of bigger meals. As the name suggests, they are white with dark grey or black colouring on their backs and can look hunched over when perched. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Gull Arctic Birds Wildlife Photography Svalbard Pale White, White Wings
Glaucous Gull I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
The second largest gull in the world, behind the Great Black-Backed gull, the glaucous gull has light colourings with pale white wing tips. Like most birds on Svalbard, it is migratory – spending summer in the Arctic and heading south to mainland Europe for winter. A few birds sometimes reach the southern USA and northern Mexico. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Arctic Birds Svalbard Wildlife Photography Gyr, Hunts
Gyr Falcon I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
The largest falcon, this bird of prey is also known simply as a Gyr. It’s large and stocky with a long tail and hunts other birds – and is often seen perching on the ground. Breeding in Svalbard in the summer, it then heads to Europe and North America for the winter. Their plumage varies in colour – from white through to black with all shades in between. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Iceland Gull Arctic Birds Wildlife Photography Svalbard
Iceland Gull I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
Sometimes referred to as the ‘white-winged gull, along with the Glaucous gull, the Iceland gull is medium-size – smaller than a herring gull. It has a small head and beak and doesn’t look dissimilar to a dove, facially. Iceland gulls like their own company and are usually seen individually rather than in flocks. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Svalbard Arctic Birds Wildlife Photography Bird Watching
Greater White-Fronted Goose I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
The bigger brother or sister of the smaller Lesser White-Fronted Goose, this bird is also known as the ‘greater whitefront’ – less of a mouthful. Around 70cms long on average, they can have a wingspan of up to 165cms. Unlike most geese whose young flee the nest sooner, some young Greater White-Fronted Geese will remain with their parents until the next breeding season. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Sandpiper Arctic Birds Wildlife Photography Svalbard Sandpiper Bird, Rock Pools
Purple Sandpiper I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
Larger than a dunlin, but not dissimilar in colouring, the purple sandpiper has long slightly downturned beak. They wade in shallow waters looking for insects, winkles, spiders and plants. A fairly common sight in Svalbard in the summer, the purple sandpiper spends winter in Scandinavia. Interestingly, the purple sandpiper can often be seen stretching one wing up into the air – to ward off predators or as it begins its flight. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Northern Fulmar Arctic Birds Svalbard Wildlife Photography Cliff Edge, Albatross, Crustaceans
Northern Fulmar I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
A common sight in the northern oceans, the Northern Fulmar is sometimes known as the Arctic Fulmar. A distant relative of the albatross, the gull-like seabird flies close to the water to catch fish, crustaceans and eels. It is an elegant gliding bird, which shoots up the cliff edge with ease. It has an odourous defense mechanism where it spots out a disgusting smelling oil. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>
Svalbard Birds Arctic Wildlife Photography Brant, Red Colour
Red-Throated Diver I A Guide to Svalbard Birds
A common site in lakes, ponds and sheltered coastal areas, the red-throated diver has a long neck – particularly visible in flight – with a red colour visible in summer. They jump up to dive underwater, where they can stay for up to a minute and a half at a time. Red-throated divers are migratory birds that make Svalbard their home in summer – from May to October – heading south for winter. Learn about the birds of Svalbard in our guide on our blog. >>