Birdwatching in Hornøya and Vardø
A visit to Hornøya is something you will never forget. About 80,000 seabirds live here side-by-side in the summer. In other words, birdlife here is indescribably teeming. This was well captured in the popular television program about Hornøya, which Norway’s national TV station, NRK, broadcasted. If the island wasn’t well-known before this series, it surely is now. Hornøya og Reinøya Naturreservat (Hornøya and Reinøya Nature Reserve) is the official name of the reserve, which also includes the neighbouring island.
Birds in Hornøya and Reinøya
A trip around Hornøya will almost guarantee you all of the traditional bird-cliff species. The exception is the Northern Gannet, which does not breed here. Northern Fulmars are also scarce. However, there is a real bonus waiting for you—a colony of about 500 pairs of Thick-billed Murres! The island Reinøya is home to one of Europe’s largest Herring Gull colonies of about 50,000 pairs! And Black-legged Kittiwake colonies of many thousand pairs breed on both islands, making an infernal racket. The most dedicated birdwatchers should be aware that, in September, there are good chances of finding European Storm Petrels in Hornøya. They will not breed until autumn, after the seabirds have left. However, to increase your chances of seeing these petrels, be prepared to go out at night.