Myvatn (Mývatn) Bird Watching

Myvatn (Mývatn) Bird Watching

Lake Myvatn and its surrounds are a birding hot spot with around 60 species including 13 species of duck of which tufted duck, scaup and wigeon are most numerous. 

Most of the birds seen at the lake are migratory, arriving in late April/early May but the rare Barrow's goldeneye, numbering just 200 breeding pairs, is there year round and is a North American species that nests nowhere else in Europe.  

Look for them on the lake and small ponds around Höfði. In Icelandic, they're known as 'husönd' (house duck) as they have been known to nest in hollows in farm buildings.

Other rarities are Slavonian (horned) Grebe, which builds a floating nest in vegetation around the lake edge and great northern diver, known for its plaintive call. Both species are often seen around the pseudo craters at Skutustaðir. 

Where the river Laxá flows from the lake lookout for colorful harlequin ducks whose only European breeding ground in Iceland. Another good spot to observe birds is from the lake shore at Reykjahlid. 

Short-eared owl, merlin and gyrfalcon can also be seen in the Myvatn area.  

Sigurgeir's Bird Museum at Ytri-Neslond farm is the place to go for more information on the bird life of the region.  

There are telescopes on site, cameras with live footage of nesting birds, bird books to peruse, a huge collection of stuffed birds and informative exhibits.