The image shows a group of tourists fending off attacking Arctic Terns on the island of Vigur; one of three islands that lie in Ísafjarðardjúp.
Ísafjarðardjúp is a large fjord in the Westfjords region of Iceland.
Vigur island is about 2 kilometres long and 400 metres wide and is home to many historic buildings including the only surviving windmill in Iceland, built in 1860.
The sticks shown in the image were meant to be held above your head so that the birds would attack the flag on the stick rather than you. The man with the orange back pack seemed to have worked out that the purpose for the stick was to whack the birds as they attacked. I saw him whack one to the ground. It was only trying to protect its nest.
There was a mowed path through the grass and tourists were supposed to stay on that path. When a nest with a couple of eggs was spotted just off the path, the herd of mental giants thronged around the nest without regard to the possibility that other nests might be underfoot. So disgustingly thoughtless.
Arctic Terns mate for life, and in most cases, return to the same colony each year. It is one of the most aggressive terns, fiercely defensive of its nest and young. It will attack humans and large predators, usually striking the top or back of the head. Although it is too small to cause serious injury to an animal of a human's size, it is still capable of drawing blood, and is capable of repelling many raptorial birds and smaller mammalian predators such as foxes and cats. The species is strongly migratory, seeing two summers each year as it migrates along a convoluted route from its northern breeding grounds to the Antarctic coast. Studies have shown average annual roundtrip migrations of about 70,900 km for birds nesting in Iceland and Greenland
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snunney (89138) 2014-05-26 5:45
Could be a scene from the Hitchcock movie:-) But, as you say the birds are only trying to protect their nests and their young. Nevertheless, makes for an entertaining composition. The line of walkers with their sticks help draw the viewer deep into the scene. Light and colours are both very attractive and the clarity excellent.
emilbo (22616) 2014-05-26 6:26
Le titre est bien pensé et va bien avec la photo qui est très intéressante. Beaucoup d'oiseaux dans le ciel et l'on pourrait croire à une attaque. Le paysage est magnifique et ça semble être un bel endroit pour une excursion. Belle brochette de personnages et excellente note.
Tous mes compliments et bonne journée,
Royaldevon (33123) 2014-05-26 7:23
A most interesting photograph and one which highlights a very moral issue.
Excellent viewpoint with good leads, a fine sense of perspective and drama all around!
My warm regards,
rbassin (19679) 2014-05-26 8:18
C'est assez impressionant, bon angle de vue avec les toursites en file, et l'attaque des oiseaux.
saxo042 (37604) 2014-05-26 8:52
An interesting and also a very good picture. I like the message here, birds defending themselves against careless intruders. A beautiful landscape here and a capture with fine colours. The human presence id maybe too obvious for the birds!
cargus (9405) 2014-05-26 9:02
Interesting idea,a very nice place , especillay an excellent shot with a perfect composition, magnificent colors, clear and bright..well done.!!
All the best,
emka (85407) 2014-05-26 9:05
Hello Trevor, What an interesting note and amazing scene. Almost like taken from Hitchcock movies. But of course, it is disgusting that the humans who are intruders thre behave like you dscribe it. Excellent shot. Warm regrads MAlgo
chawax (19768) 2014-05-26 12:07
I saw people attacked by Arctic Terns protecting their eggs, but no so many at the same time ! Quite impressive !
Kielia (24073) 2014-05-27 9:16
your TE title describes the photo very well!
You have captured the situation excellently. And an interesting note is accompanying this fascinating documentary shot. Thanks for sharing!
- Copyright: Trevor Moffiet (trevormoffiet) (3112)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-07-03
- Categories: Nature
- Camera: Olympus OMD EM5, Olympus M Zuiko 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3
- Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1250 seconds
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Travelogue: Iceland
- Date Submitted: 2014-05-26 5:13