Rare Bird Spotted in Iceland Skip to content

Rare Bird Spotted in Iceland

A quail was spotted near the farm Hóll in Önundarfjördur in the West Fjords in early July and it has dwelled there since. A quail has only been spotted on one other occasion in Iceland since sightings of birds were first registered in the late 19th century.

Farmer at Hóll Magnús Hringur Gudmundsson said he had noticed the quail’s strange cackle early last month. Since the noise it made was different from the sounds birds in Iceland usually make, he knew immediately that it was a stray bird, Morgunbladid reports.

“It is difficult to catch a picture of it; I haven’t managed to do it yet,” Gudmundsson said. The quail dwells in scrubs a short distance away from the farmhouse but it keeps away from humans.

Therefore, Bödvar Thórisson at the West Fjords Nature Institute concluded that even though only one other quail has been spotted in Iceland, it is likely that more have drifted to the country. The bird is small and good at hiding.

Thórisson believes the quail on Hóll originates from the European mainland. He does not expect it to live long in Iceland because of the cold climate and lack of food. Quails usually feed on seeds, but sometimes catch insects.

European quails sometimes fly to northern Europe when temperatures are high. The bird is popular in French cuisine.

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