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Birds on Vigur Island, Isafjord Bay, Iceland

Discussion in 'Birds' started by bobhoge, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. While walking on the family farm on Vigur Island, Isafjord Bay, Iceland, we were able to see lots of birds there. The family collects bird eggs, birds (Puffin seems to be eaten a lot in Iceland :confused: :mad: ), and also has Eider Down as a big earning crop. They also raise sheep but move them to the mainland during the Eider nesting season.

    Puffins were mostly off-shore in good-sized rafts. Sometimes you could get a group flying in the distance (70-300VR @300mm uncropped):

    There were rare closer passes (both 18-200VR @200mm)


    The Eider seem to nest anywhere and everywhere:


    You had to be careful where you stepped (and not just because of the sheep :biggrin:) 

    Here is a nest with eggs and down:

    They can collect about 10% of the down from the nest each week, the parents will replace it with new. At the end of the season, they can collect all that remains.

    Still a couple of days to go,
    Bob & Nan
  2. TimK


    Apr 17, 2006
    Hong Kong, China
    OMG, they really eat these lovely birds? You mean they are like game Puffin? Or are they like farm birds?
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Not to eat Puffins:>))))

    They are to cute...

    Nice shots
  4. Hi William & Gale,

    Yes, Icelanders catch and eat wild Puffin. I don't think you would find it on the menu at many restaurants, but the people who live in the rural areas catch and eat them.

    It is a harsh life out there and until recent times they had to live on what nature gave them. The season is too short for most crops, they can raise sheep on the grasses, but birds, bird eggs, and fish are a significant part of the rural diet.
    The rural population is low and there are millions of Puffin and other birds. The Puffin are probably the easiest to catch since they nest in burrows at the cliff top. They can easily put a net over the burrow opening a catch the Puffin when it tries to leave.

    I sure would not eat one, but I guess I can understand their circumstances. At least it is a sustainable catch.

    Bob & Nan
  5. Niecy

    Niecy Guest

    WOW these are great! I cannot imagine eating those lovely birds either, but...as you say it is understandable why they do. Lovely series of images.
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