The recent cold spell in north Iceland seems to have had bad consequences for the eider duck nesting colonies. According to local news website in Siglufjördur, siglo.is, up to 60 percent of eider duck nests in the town were abandoned.
An eider duck. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Birds of other species have also abandoned their nests and to prevent the nesting season from being an absolute failure, some bird enthusiasts have shot seagulls that might otherwise have stolen eggs from nests, Fréttabladid reports.
According to Morgunbladid there is some uncertainty about what consequences the cold spring will have on the birdlife in north Iceland.
“People are mostly concerned about the small birds, the passerines and the birds that nest in moors. Larger birds such as ducks and geese usually manage to shake it off,” said Yann Kolbeinsson, a biologist at the Northeast Iceland Nature Center.
In southwest Iceland the recent cold spell shouldn’t have had much of an impact on the nesting season. However, in the past few years the lack of food for seabirds has been a growing problem and the consequences are now evident.
“The cliffs are almost empty. The Arctic tern has hardly arrived and hasn’t started nesting. It hasn’t happened this late as far back as the oldest men can remember,” commented Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson, chairman of bird preservation association Fuglavernd.
Everything seems to be going on as usual among all other bird species in that region.
Click here to read more about the cold spring.