Seven new bird species have made Iceland their home over the past 25 years, according to RÚV. Close to 30 other species have laid eggs in Iceland on one or more occasions, flying further north than before due to a warmer climate.
The Eurasian Wren, weighing in at a mere 15 grammes, has long held the title of Iceland’s smallest bird species, but now, goldcrests have dethroned it. Goldcrests are the smallest birds found on the European continent, weighing six grammes. They have been laying their nests in the spruce forests of Iceland since around 1995.
The long-tailed jaeger, long-eared owl, the common shelduck, the Eurasian woodcock and the red crossbill are all among the species which have widened their habitat to include Iceland, since approximately 1990. The Eurasian siskin, the fieldfare, the little gull, and the wood sandpiper are all also succeeding in establishing roots in Iceland and may be soon considered native birds, according to Jóhann Óli Hilmarsson, chairman of Iceland’s Bird Protection Organisation. Jóhann told RÚV that the influx of new species is a result of both a warmer climate and more forested land. “Some species are shrinking in numbers, however, such as the thick-billed murre and many sea-birds,” he added.