Arctic Species

Apart from the stunning scenery, Spitsbergen also has a lot of wildlife to offer. But which species can you actually expect on a trip to this High Arctic archipelago? In this series of blog posts, I try to give an overview of all the species that you can expect to see on an expedition cruise to Spitsbergen in summer. We start with the bird species, later the mammals will be added as well.

When you’ve more interested in a trip to Antarctica, here is the overview of the bird species you can expect down there (we will continue with this series at the start of the Antarctic season).

Barnacle Goose family at a bird cliff

Geese and ducks
King Eider
Common Eider
Long-tailed Duck
Pink-footed Goose
Brent Goose
Barnacle Goose

Pomarine Skuas attacking Kittiwakes in the pack ice

Gulls, terns and skuas
Long-tailed Skua
Pomarine Skua
Great Skua
Arctic Skua
Arctic Tern
Ivory Gull
Sabine’s Gull
Glaucous Gull
Black-legged Kittiwake

Thick-billed Murres at their colony

Thick-billed Murre (Brünnich’s Guillemot)
Little Auk (Dovekie)
Black Guillemot
Atlantic Puffin

Male Red Phalarope in Liefdefjord, Spitsbergen

Purple Sandpiper
Common Ringed Plover
Ruddy Turnstone
Red/Grey Phalarope
Red-necked Phalarope
Red Knot

Northern Fulmar

Other species:
Red-throated Diver
Northern Fulmar
Spitsbergen Ptarmigan
Snow Bunting

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.


  • Nou ja, gisteren vroeg ik me af waar die blogs van jou nou bleven.
    Fijn dat je de draad weer oppakt!


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