Winter birds

Spitsbergen Ptarmigan
Spitsbergen Ptarmigan

In winter things are different on Spitsbergen. Not only it does get dark, but also most birdlife has gone. In the week I was on Spitsbergen, I only saw four different bird species. Surprisingly, I also saw four different species of mammal (excluding humans).

In summer there are around 25 to 30 species of bird that occur regularly in the archipelago, in winter this is drastically reduced. Only one species stays all year round, the Spitsbergen Ptarmigan. They move to the more windswept mountain ridges, so they have a little bit of seeds they can feed on to survive the winter.

In the meantime I”ve also finished writing the trip report about this trip and placed in my journal on my website. Enjoy!

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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