Research released into Icelandic birds’ preferences

The results of a survey on birdlife in Iceland suggest that snipes and meadow pipits enjoy large areas of lupines, where a different selection of insects can be found. The golden plover, however, dislikes the blue flowering introduced flower species and the insects that live in it.

Last summer, for the first time, a survey was conducted by scientists to find out what sort of birds visit different types of land. The results showed that more birds visit areas covered in lupines than loess soil fields which have been preserved for grazing or had grass seeds sown.

Biologist Brynja Davíðsdóttir says that some birds avoid lupines, including the golden plover and the dunlin; while others like the redwing, meadow pipit and snipe go out of their way to visit the lupines, which are a fast spreading flower introduced from Alaska early last century. Brynja told RÚV that nobody knows precisely why the golden plover is so anti-lupine.

The difference between the bug-life in grasslands and among lupines is striking. In grasslands mites make up a big majority, and red ants and spiders; while snails and beetles rule the roost in the lupines.