The birds – the sound of the Archipelago

The incredibly rich bird life in the South Funen Archipelago is one of the archipelago’s major attractions. This is why, THE BIRDS – THE SOUND OF THE ARCHIPELAGO is naturally picked as one of Øhavets Smakke- og Naturcenter’s Big Five.

Why so many?

The Archipelago has largely two things to offer, which makes it a birds paradise:

A varied landscape. In such a vast area with many versatile islands there are lots of birds. The uninhabited islets with their spacious salt marshes are a sanctuary to the colony-nesting birds. The inhabited islands with their more diverse landscapes offer varied birdlife
and thanks to the interaction between the sea and the land, coastal birds are found in particularly great numbers everywhere

Lots of food. The large-scale primary production in the shallow waters is fertile soil for life of any kind. There are lots of worms, clams, crabs and fish in the Archipelago. And this is something good for the birds.

There is ample opportunity to watch coastal birds in the Archipelago. We distinguish between breeding and roosting coastal birds.

Breeding birds

In spring breeding birds are found in large numbers on the small islands.
Many breeding birds, such as terns, breed in colonies with nests directly on the ground. Nests, eggs and young ones are impossible to detect and if you go ashore without knowing where they are, you could scare the adult birds away. They would not dare approach the nest, as long as there are strangers around and if the spring is cold, there is a risk that the young ones would die because of the cold. In a warm spring, young ones could die from heat and thirst. Another risk is that gulls spot the nests with young ones from the air. If this happens, many young ones can end up eaten.

Eiders lay completely green eggs while the greylag goose’s eggs are white. Both hatch in the high grass, and can be difficult to see from a distance. If ducks or geese leave the nest, it is a good idea to cover the eggs with down or grass. Gulls will immediately see the exposed eggs from the air and attack. Parent birds will surely find their nests again.

Some of the breeding birds lay eggs as early as in March and others have their young far into July, after which the young ones can take care of themselves. Therefore, the period from 1 March to 15 July, is a very vulnerable time for the breeding birds.

Nesting birds

The rest of the year there are many thousands of birds nesting or moulting in the Archipelago. You must be very respectful and keep your distance, so they can remain as undisturbed as possible.

Birds can be seen all year in the Archipelago, which has been appointed an international bird protection area.

Put your knowledge about birds to the test:
Try the bird card game from the Danish Society for Nature Conservation

Learn fun things about the birds of the Archipelago in Nørderiet here below. Visit the exhibition “Over Ø og Hav” (Above Island and Sea) with us on Strynø and learn even more. Get a sneak peek of the other themes from the exhibition here:

The The shallow waterStrynøNatureThe work of ice