Bird Watching at Hornøya

Bird Watching at Hornøya

Easternmost in Norway you will find the island Hornøya. The island is located in the Barents sea, approximately one kilometer from Vardø, just a 10 minute boat ride from Vardø Port. Already on the way up there you will get a feeling of what you are about to enter into. Looking up you will see full traffic with birds flying in and out as they are looking for food in the ocean.

From the dock on the island, the bird mountain will be seen right above you. Here you will find a wide variety of birds. For instance, you can catch colonies of polar lomvi, a known bird that only hatches in the arctic environments. Other birds you can spot include seabirds, puffins, auk, common murre, grebe, great cormorant, teal, crested cormorant and storm petrel.

Moving towards flatter areas, you will find the hatching grounds for lots of grey gulls, seagulls and great black-backed gulls. Hornøya and Varangerfjorden are also one of the most important winter dens for the arctic ducks.

Opposite to the arctic scenery on the north side of Varangerhalvøya, Hornøya has more flourishing vegetation as a result of fertilization from the birds on the island. The island is a protected nature reserve, therefore all areas are not available to the public. Some areas are restricted. Luckily, you can follow a path that lets you see nearly all of the birds up front.

Be sure to bring food, a warming beverage and of course your camera! Use the path and do not irritate the birds.

We wish you a happy stay on this spectacular island.