Birdwatching and bird exhibition

Puffins in Grímsey
Puffins in Grímsey

The birdlife in Grimsey is unique with numerous different species and unusually dense populations. The birdlife is flourishing due to several reasons; rich fishing grounds are close by, no rats or mice are on the island and hunting of the birds and collection of their eggs has been reduced to a minimum since earlier times.

During summer is Grímsey a home to nearly all of the main wader, moorland and seabirds that visit Iceland each year.

Grímsey is one of the best places in Iceland for watching cliff nesting birds like; Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica), Razorbill (Alca torda), Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle) and Murre, both Common Murre or Common Guillemot (Uria aalge) & Thick-billed Murre or Brünnich's Guillemot (Uria lomvia).  Grímsey has one of Iceland’s largest Tern nesting sites and one of the largest Puffin colonies in Iceland.  Commonly seen in Grímsey are also birds like e.g. the White Wagtail (Motacilla alba), the Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) and the Northern Wheatear or Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe).Grímsey a nest

The best season for watching birds is from April till August. After that time Migrating birds start to leave the island for warmer places and sea birds head out for the sea.  Most of the sea birds stay out on the open sea during the winter, but start returning in the end of February to secure a nesting spot in the densely populated cliffs. Best time to view the Puffins is from the end of April till the beginning of August.

A small exhibition of stuffed birds owned by local collectors is situated on the island beside the restaurant Krían. Open upon request phone: (+354) 898 2058.

Note! Take good care not to go too near the edge of the costal line as the nest burrowing of the puffins has made the ground loose and hollow in some places.