Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Faroe Islands

Sabine's Gull Larus sabini ©Nigel Blake Website

The Faroe Islands or Faeroe Islands or simply Faroe(s) or Faeroes are a group of islands in Northern Europe, between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. They have been an autonomous province of the Kingdom of Denmark since 1948.

The Faroe Islands are an island group consisting of eighteen islands off the coast of Northern Europe, between the Norwegian Sea and the north Atlantic Ocean, about halfway between Iceland and Norway; the closest neighbours being the Northern and Western Isles of Scotland. Its coordinates are 62°00′N 06°47′W. Its area is 1,399 square kilometres (540 sq. mi), and has no major lakes or rivers. There are 1,117 kilometres (694 mi) of coastline, and no land boundaries with any other country. The only island that is uninhabited is Lítla Dímun.

The islands are rugged and rocky with some low peaks; the coasts are mostly bordered by cliffs. The highest point is Slættaratindur, 882 metres (2,894 ft) above sea level. There are areas below sea level. The Faroe Islands are dominated by tholeiitic basalt lava which was part of the great Thulean Plateau during the Paleogene period.

The climate is technically defined as Maritime Subarctic according to the (Köppen climate classification:Cfc). The overall character of the islands' climate is determined by the strong cooling influence of the Atlantic Ocean, which here produces the North Atlantic Current. This, together with the remoteness of any sources of warm airflows ensures that winters are mild (mean temperature 3.0 to 4.0°C) while summers are cool (mean temperature 9.5 to 10.5°C). The islands are windy, cloudy and cool throughout the year with over 260 rainy days in the year. The islands lie in the path of depressions moving north eastwards and this means that strong winds and heavy rain are possible at all times of the year. Sunny days are rare and overcast days are common.

The natural vegetation of the Faroe Islands is dominated by Arctic-alpine plants, wild flowers, grasses, moss and lichen. Most of the lowland area is grassland and some is heath, dominated by shrubby heathers, mainly Calluna vulgaris. The Faroese nature is characterised by the lack of trees, and resembles that of Connemara and Dingle in Ireland and the Scottish islands. A few small plantations consisting of plants collected from similar climates like Tierra del Fuego in South America and Alaska thrive on the islands.

The bird fauna of the Faroe Islands is dominated by sea-birds and birds attracted to open land like heather, probably due to the lack of woodland and other suitable habitats. Many species have developed special Faroese sub-species: Eider, Starling, Wren, Guillemot, and Black Guillemot for example. The Pied Raven was endemic to the Faroe Islands, but has now become extinct.



GNU Free Documentation License


Number of Species

Number of bird species: National Bird – Oystercatcher

[Tjaldur] Haematopus ostralegus


iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

Rare birds in the Faeroe Islands in 2001 and 2002

S?ren S?rensen & Jens-Kjeld Jensen [In Danish with a summary in English]

The Faroese Bird Migration Atlas

By: Sjúrđur Hammer, Jesper J Madsen, Jens-Kjeld Jensen, Kjeld T Pedersen, Dorete Bloch & Kasper Thorup | 264 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour illustrations, colour distribution maps | Paperback | Faroe University Press | Jan 2014 |

ISBN: 9789991865522

Buy this book from NHBS.com


Føroya Fuglafrødifelag (Faroese Orginithological Society)


FOS is the BirdLife Affiliate - Postssmoga 1230, FR-110 Torshavn, Faroe Islands

Forums & Mailing Lists



To subscribe to list: webmaster@faroenature.net

This is a forum NOT a mailing list… Any subject relating to the Faroese nature is welcomed, but the subject is primarily birds. The language is Faroese, but everyone understands english… English info on the siate at: http://www.faroenature.net/index.php?page=66&pid=66

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Vestmannabjørgini Sightseeing

Tour Operator

When you are on a trip with our boats you can see the Faroe Islands from the inside in the various grottoes we are sailing into. You will also view the sea, the birds, and the cliffs in a different way…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2006 [07 July] - Gunnar Pedersen


pdf Danish

Other Links

Birdwatching in the Faroe Islands


During the long days of summer, the many cliffs on the northern and western coasts of the islands teem with huge flocks of birds. Cold arctic currents merge with the warm Gulf Stream in the waters off the Faroes, resulting in a particularly rich food environment for the nesting birds…