Tourists spotted a snowy owl at the nature reserve Thjórsárver by Hofsjökull glacier in the central highlands on Saturday. The snowy owl is extremely rare; only five to ten snowy owls are spotted in Iceland every year.
According to bird expert Ólafur Karl Nielsen, snowy owls don’t usually breed in Iceland. “There are three years since we saw any evidence of a snowy owl breeding in this country,” Nielsen told Fréttabladid.
Nielsen said the reason snowy owls don’t breed in Iceland is because they primarily feed on rodents, which do not live wild in Iceland.
Snowy owls are common at the northeastern shore of Greenland and sometimes they drift over to Iceland. On the rare occasion that snowy owls are spotted in the country, they are usually in the central highlands or in the Eastfjords.