A film by Kevin Krautgartner


Thousands of puffins flying over your head, black sea cliffs painted white by the sheer number of birds breeding there, the constant and powerful roar of thousands of kittiwakes calling at the same time, the power of a gannet as it dives and penetrates the water like a torpedo in the hunt for fish—these are all but a few of the things you can experience when watching the birds of the Faroe Islands.

When you visit the Faroe Islands during the summer, the first thing you might notice is the many breeding birds. Thousands of birds come to the Faroe Islands each summer to breed. 305 bird species have been recorded in the Faroe Islands (2012). Around 50 species regularly breed on the islands, and another 60 are regular visitors, while almost 200 of the recorded bird species are either scarce or rare visitors.

Find out how the 18 islands attract birds migrating over the North Atlantic and learn about spring and autumn migration here.

Puffins, which usually pair up for life, can age up to well over 20 years on average. 


Sea cliffs in the Faroe Islands are home to several species of seabirds, such as Guillemots, Razorbills, Fulmars, and Kittiwakes. These cliffs are mostly found to the north and west of the islands. Høvdin, a sea cliff on Skúvoy, is visible from the land and is also home to the largest colony of Manx Shearwaters. During summer nights, these shearwaters can be seen in large numbers towards the island's east. The other well-known sea cliffs in the Faroe Islands include Vestmannabjørgini on Streymoy, Enniberg, and Settorva on Viðoy.


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.


Where to watch seabirds

Boat trips go daily to Vestmannabjørgini and sometimes to Enniberg and Settorva, weather permitting. Mykines is where you can observe various seabirds like Gannets, Puffins, Kittiwakes, Manx Shearwaters, and European and Leach's storm petrels. You can also spot Arctic and Great Skua on Mykineshólmur, while a walk west of the village lets you see storm petrels at night. On the island of Nólsoy, they provide regular storm petrel tours. Seabirds thrive on islands without rats like Fugloy, Svínoy, Kallsoy, Nólsoy, Mykines, Hestur, Koltur, Sandoy, Stóra Dímun, Lítla Dímun, and Skúvoy.

For more information on sea travel, find providers and trips here.

The island of Skúvoy is named after Skúgvur, the Faroese name for Great Skua – some even say that the bird might be named after the island.


Birds dominate the heathlands and mountains during summer. The Oystercatcher is the national bird of the Faroe Islands, and it fiercely protects its nest and young. 


Where to watch landbirds

The heathland and moorland are the dominant habitats of birds in the Faroe Islands. Lakes attract many birds, and Toftavatn on the southern end of Eysturoy is a vibrant area. Visitors can spot Oystercatchers, Whimbrels, Common Snipes, and Golden Plovers, while rare bird species such as Ring-necked Duck and Mediterranean Gull have also been spotted. On Sandoy, visitors can spot Barnacle Geese, hybrid geese, and rare bird species, including Blue-winged Teal, Lesser Scaup, and American Wigeon. Islands without cats or rats, such as Svínoy, tend to have more land birds, including Wren and Common Snipe and are also a good place for migrants, such as Arctic Warbler and Lesser Grey Shrike.


We have produced a booklet named Birds of the Faroe Islands to help you enjoy our country's rich birdlife. The booklet focuses on both seabirds and land birds and includes helpful information, guidelines, and an overview of the many various types of birds found in the Faroe Islands.

Read the Birds of the Faroe Islands booklet online.


The Faroe Islands have a rich birdlife, but it is not taken for granted that it will stay this way. Therefore, the government has appointed three Ramsar areas. Ramsar is an international treaty in which governments promise to protect areas particularly significant for birdlife and biological diversity from a national and global perspective.
The areas that have been appointed as Ramsar areas are the islands of Mykines, Skúvoy and Nólsoy.


Birdwatching in the Faroe Islands does not necessarily require a lot of equipment. In places like Mykines, you can get close to birds like puffins, gannets and kittiwakes, and birdwatching can be done easily with the naked eye. However, most birds do not allow such close observations, and to get satisfactory views of most birds, we recommend using binoculars. Seven to ten times magnification is good and will allow you to enjoy the birds differently than without binoculars.

A telescope is recommended for seawatching or watching birds at greater distances. It is also possible to study breeding birds from a distance for longer periods without disturbing them.

There are no watch towers dedicated to birdwatching in the Faroe Islands. As such, birding is mostly done by walking around in nature or by finding natural hills from where an area can be overlooked.