The number of bird species on Svalbard may be somewhat limited compared to more southerly climes, but many of them visit in incredible numbers. This is particularly clear when you see thousands of seabirds nesting on a single bird cliff.
One of the most popular species, the Brünnich’s guillemot, has several colonies with over 100,000 nesting pairs. In the bird cliffs, the close symbiosis between life on land and at sea becomes more obvious, as you see bird after bird return home to their chicks with small fish and shellfish.
Most of the birds that nest on Svalbard migrate south in the late summer. Most of them spend the winter in regions with more comfortable climates and easily accessed food sources. The Svalbard grouse is the only bird that lives all year on land on Svalbard. Generally, only a very small number of eider ducks, long-tailed ducks and black guillemots stay for the winter, around the coast of Svalbard.
Here is an (incomplete) list of birds you can look for when visiting Svalbard: