Birds of Spitsbergen

One of the best seabird regions in the Arctic, Spitsbergen is home to many beloved and rarely seen species

Birds of Spitsbergen

Region: Arctic

Destinations: Svalbard

The spectacular bird species of Spitsbergen

​The huge bird cliffs along the Spitsbergen coasts are a major attraction. Spitsbergen is a breeding ground for large numbers of seabirds that feed in the food-rich Arctic waters. During the summer, the steep bird cliffs throng with thousands of seabirds.

Brunnich’s guillemots, black guillemots, northern fulmars, kittiwakes, little auks, and many other birds prefer the steep ledges in order to stay out of reach of predators, such as the Arctic fox. Arctic terns, ringed plovers, purple sandpipers, and four species of skua stay down on the tundra, where they depend on their camouflage or aggressive behavior for protection.

Spitsbergen is also home to ivory gulls, Sabine’s gulls, and Ross’s gulls. Although the first two are frequently spotted in the far north of Spitsbergen, Ross's gulls are rarely seen.

Oh, and a little more on Arctic terns

As mentioned, Spitsbergen is home to one of the world’s most beloved long-distance travelers, Arctic terns.

Arctic terns arrive in mid-May after migrating about 20,000 km (12,000 miles) from the Southern Ocean, spend about three months around Spitsbergen, and then return to their wintering grounds at the other side of the world.

Related cruises

Arctic Ocean Expedition, Aberdeen - Fair Isle - Jan Mayen - Ice edge - Spitsbergen - Birding

Sail the East Greenland ice edge north of Spitsbergen in search for whales, and other Arctic wildlife

HDSXa22 Search for whales, and other Arctic wildlife of the land, sea, and air on an adventurous voyage from our home port of Vlissingen to our favorite Arctic island group.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

15 May - 26 May, 2022

Price:

2850 USD

Arctic Ocean Expedition, Fair Isle - Jan Mayen - Ice Edge - Spitsbergen - Birding

Sail the East Greenland ice edge north of Spitsbergen in search for whales, and other Arctic wildlife

HDSXb22 Search for whales, and other Arctic wildlife of the land, sea, and air on an adventurous voyage from the Scottish port of Aberdeen to our favorite Arctic island group.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

17 May - 26 May, 2022

Price:

2600 USD

Arctic Ocean Expedition, Bremerhaven - Fair Isle - Jan Mayen - Ice edge - Spitsbergen - Birding
Up to 400 discount

Arctic Ocean Expedition, Bremerhaven - Fair Isle - Jan Mayen - Ice edge - Spitsbergen - Birding

Sail the East Greenland ice edge north of Spitsbergen in search for whales, and other Arctic wildlife

JNS02a22 Search for whales, and other Arctic wildlife of the land, sea, and air on an adventurous voyage from our home port of Vlissingen to our favorite Arctic island group.

m/v Janssonius

m/v Janssonius

Cruise date:

26 May - 7 Jun, 2022

Price:

3100 USD

North Spitsbergen, Arctic Spring - Hiking Special

Explore the shores and seas of an amazing Arctic island

HDS01-22 The focus of this voyage is shore hiking. Hikers can choose hikes that best suits their fitness and ability level.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Cruise date:

26 May - 2 Jun, 2022

Price:

3850 USD

Arctic Ocean Expedition, Helgoland - Fair Isle - Jan Mayen - Ice Edge - Spitsbergen - Birding
Up to 350 discount

Arctic Ocean Expedition, Helgoland - Fair Isle - Jan Mayen - Ice Edge - Spitsbergen - Birding

Sail the East Greenland ice edge north of Spitsbergen in search for whales, and other Arctic wildlife

JNS02b22 Search for whales, and other Arctic wildlife of the land, sea, and air on an adventurous voyage from the German port of Bremerhaven to our favorite Arctic island group.

m/v Janssonius

m/v Janssonius

Cruise date:

28 May - 7 Jun, 2022

Price:

2900 USD

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