Six new species of birds have settled in Iceland since the turn of the century. Being a settler is not a well-defined term, but when a bird returns for nesting for 10 years or so, it seems fairly safe to say that it settled.
The six bird species are: The barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis), the shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), the eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), the blackbird (Turdus merula), the goldcrest (Regulus regulus) and finally the red crossbil (Loxia curviriostra).
According to Yann Kolbeinsson, biologist and bird enthusiast, it is a big change for a bird to decide coming to Iceland, a far-away island. Winds can play a role, and birds on their way somewhere else may stop in Iceland and decide to settle. A warmer climate might also play a role.
Eurasian woodcock. Photo: Brynjúlfur Brynjólfsson
Blackbird. Photo: Benedikt Jóhannesson