The remote location of the 18 islands constituting the Faroe Islands functions virtually as a magnet for birds migrating over the North Atlantic Ocean.

The Faroes are exceptionally located for getting birds from the east, but several North American species have also been recorded there. There are just a handful of local birders, so the chances of finding rare birds yourself are excellent. Rare birds can appear everywhere, but depending on the dominant winds, they tend to concentrate at the northern, southern, eastern, and westernmost points. This is because these places are the first bits of land the birds see. This makes islands such as Svínoy, Fugloy, Mykines, and Suðuroy some of the best hotspots for migrants.


  1. Breeding Birds of the Faroes is a short description of the most common birds in the Faroe Islands.
  2. Birds of the Faroe Islands is a booklet that helps you enjoy our country's rich birdlife. It includes helpful information, guidelines, and an overview of the many different types of birds found in the Faroe Islands.
  3. Fuglar okara is an extensive collection of all birds registered in the Faroe Islands, described with photographs and text.
  4. An overview to go — a laminated sheet with the most common birds of the Islands. Perfect for bringing on your hike!
  5. The Faroe Islands' European Storm Petrel, description of the situation in the most significant European Storm Petrel colony in the world, located in Nólsoy

Here, you can find birds people elsewhere travel miles and miles to see!


In spring, the Faroes primarily receive spring overshooters, birds that fly further north, away from their breeding grounds. This means birds from central and southern Europe can show up at the Faroes given the right weather conditions in spring. Some birds that arrive in May linger here and make breeding attempts. For instance, a male and a female Subalpine Warbler were seen from mid-May until at least June. The male was displaying, and the birds favoured one particular scrub in a garden at Trongisvágur, Suðuroy.

If there are consistent southeasterly winds in May, passerines can be seen all over. Rare birds can be seen among the common migrants in every garden and every tree. Some magnificent birds that have shown up in spring include a Green Warbler, a Rüppell’s Warbler, and no less than five Subalpine Warblers in just two weeks.


Perhaps the most exciting time to search for rare birds is the autumn. Autumn migration includes both drift migrants from Scandinavia and far eastern birds performing the so-called reverse migration – flying, for instance, northwest instead of southeast. This means that good numbers of, for example, Yellow-browed Warblers are recorded yearly – a small warbler originating no closer than 3.500 km to the east. Other common reverse migrants include Barred Warbler – about 1 of every 10 Sylvia-warblers recorded in the Faroes is a Barred Warbler.

Most eastern birds arrive during days with easterly winds. Easterly winds from August to November are almost guaranteed to bring some migrants. The best places are, as in spring, the points that the birds see first when flying in from the ocean. Some good spots are Svínoy, Mykines and Suðuroy, but rarities can be everywhere. Due to the lack of forests and trees, many birds seek to the villages, gardens and plantations. Some good records of eastern vagrants in autumn include 3 Pechora Pipits in one day, 2 Red-flanked Bluetails in 3 days, Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler and 2 White’s Thrushes.


Join us in preserving our feathered friends' habitats and contributing to global bird research with the eBird app!

Whether you're a seasoned birder, a nature enthusiast, or just starting, your sightings are valuable. With just a few taps, you can record where and when you spot birds, helping scientists and conservationists better understand bird populations and migrations in the Faroe Islands.

Download eBird and become a citizen scientist! Your observations will contribute to a growing database of over 500 million sightings, providing crucial information for bird conservation efforts worldwide.

Together, we can make a difference for birds!

If you are interested in the eBird report 2023, it is available in English here.

American birds have also been recorded in autumn. American Bitterns, Common Nighthawk, American Coot, and Sandhill Crane are a few of them. Quite interesting, a Tennessee Warbler and a Yellow-browed Warbler—one originating in North America, the other in Siberia—were caught almost simultaneously in a ringing net at Sumba, Suðuroy. The arrival of American passerines demands certain weather conditions. A fast-moving low pressure is heading north along the eastern coast of North America, then east from Newfoundland and reaching the Faroes, preferably within 48 hours.


The Faroes Islands are among the least explored countries in Western Europe regarding birdwatching in spring and autumn. No regular counting has been conducted—just occasional ringing, e.g., with a Heligoland trap at Nólsoy. Therefore, we know there is vast potential where many new bird species have been recorded in Europe.

Jens Kjeld, Nólsoy

Jens-Kjeld is an expert on living and deceased birds. He is known for his excellent knowledge in this area and for his ability to stuff birds. Jens-Kjeld has a keen interest in everything related to nature, and he has published several articles and books on the subject, including "Breeding Birds of the Faroes" and "The Faroe Islands' European Storm Petrel", which has become one of his greatest passions.

The newest addition to Faroese bird literature is 'Fuglar okkara', a large photography book by Silas Olafsson. It includes fantastic imagery and text about every wild bird registered in the Faroe Islands.

Silas Olafsson, Black-tailed godwit