Birds in Iceland Undisturbed by Volcanic Ash Skip to content

Birds in Iceland Undisturbed by Volcanic Ash

The eruption in Eyjafjallajökull doesn’t appear to have impacted the bird life in Iceland much, according to Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson, chairman of the bird preservation society Fuglavernd. Only the fulmar was a bit confused to begin with but quickly found its way.

The ash from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption turned day into night. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Hilmarsson said the birds were quick to discover that there was enough food underneath the layer of ash. The ash warmed up the soil, which encouraged worms to move closer to the surface, Morgunbladid reports.

People were concerned that birds would refrain from nesting in the areas that have been subject to the most ash fall. However, an oystercatcher laid its eggs in a pile of ash in Fagridalur valley outside Vík—the bird usually chooses gravel or sand for nesting anyway.

Other birds might try to find new ash-free areas for nesting or decide not to lay eggs this summer. But as long as the eruption doesn’t continue forever, it won’t have a severe impact on the birdlife in south Iceland, Hilmarsson concluded.

Click here to read more about the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull.

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