Reykjavík Pond Birdlife Recovering Skip to content

Reykjavík Pond Birdlife Recovering

This summer’s nesting season at Tjörnin, the Reykjavík Pond, in the Vatnsmýri bird reserve in the city center, is looking to be successful. The local birdlife is on the mend after many years of poor results. Three new duck species have appeared there in recent years.

Two new duck species nested in Vatnsmýri this season: a widgeon and a red-breasted merganser, as discovered during inspection in late July. Two years ago a teal appeared in Vatnsmýri for the first time and has nested there since, as reported on

The regular nesting species mallard duck, tufted duck and scaup are recovering, as well as the Arctic tern. However, no eider ducks have nested around the pond this year, possibly because the water is no longer partly salty, as it used to be. Eider ducks prefer saltwater.

A number of other nesting birds were also sighted in Vatnsmýri.

Five years ago the conditions in the bird reserve were improved. New ditches were made and soil and vegetation were removed, resulting in an increase in wetland vegetation and aquatic plants, as well as sticklebacks and other sources of food for the birds.

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