The staff of the Icelandic Institute of Natural History (NÍ) discovered a golden plover nest containing four eggs on the young volcanic island of Surtsey—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—during their expedition from May 19 to 21.
From Surtsey. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The scientists were surprised at the discovery—the golden plover is the first wading bird to nest in Surtsey, as stated on NÍ’s website. Surtsey was created in a volcanic eruption that lasted from 1963 to 1967 and has since been preserved as a living laboratory.
The golden plover is the 15th bird to nest in Surtsey and the sixth land bird. It feeds on insects, especially beetles and flies, which it catches from the ground. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in insects in Surtsey.
During the expedition, an automatic weather station was established on the island.
Click here to read a feature about Surtsey.