From Iceland — Bird Of The Year: White Wagtail

Bird Of The Year: White Wagtail

Published September 16, 2022

This year, seven bird species competed for the title Bird of the Year in a competition organized by BirdLife Iceland for the second year in a row. A white wagtail won the competition with a landslide, receiving 21% of the votes. Common loon and common redpoll came second and third, respectively, with 14% of the votes each.

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A white wagtail spends winters in Africa but can be spotted in Iceland, mostly around human settlements, from spring to autumn. She hunts smaller animals, catching them on the fly or run. A white wagtail stole the hearts of Icelanders a long time ago. For instance, Guðfinna Jónsdóttir dedicated a poem to this bird.

The aim of the competition is to highlight and introduce several bird species found in Iceland and discuss population sizes, habitats, food choices, and conservation status. BirdLife Iceland aims to promote education, conversation, and discussion about the state of bird populations and the importance of birds in the ecosystem.

BirdLife Iceland says there are several species they especially want to draw attention to. According to the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, the following species are in danger: puffin is in immediate danger, parasitic jaeger is in danger, common loon, raven, arctic tern, northern gannet and European shag are in some danger, and finally, rock ptarmigan and European herring gull are in imminent danger.

The bird families with the largest population include common redpoll, common snipe, black-tailed godwit, dunlin, Eurasian wren, rock ptarmigan and redwing.

The results of the competition are announced on the occasion of the Icelandic Nature Day.

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