Bird Paradise Heligoland

Every year in March the breeding season of many bird species starts on the guillemot rock of Heligoland. In addition, Heligoland is used as a resting place by numerous bird species throughout the year. Guillemot, gannet, fulmar, kittiwake and razorbill are just a few of the migratory birds that can be seen every year on Germany's only high seas island. Here we provide information about the different species and tips for observation.

Heligoland breeding ground

The more than 1,000 breeding pairs of gannets can be recognized by their characteristic appearance: a cream-colored head, black wing tips and otherwise white plumage are their trademark. Always from March to September, they breed on Heligoland. The kittiwake can be seen on the cliffs from the end of March. It is smaller than other gull species and is especially recognizable by its black wing tips. The fulmar is particularly notable for its unique flying skills during storms, but its population has halved in recent years on Heligoland.

basstoelpel in front of water and grass

In contrast, the guillemot can usually only be found until mid-July on the guillemot rock named after it. The black-brown and white feathered birds breed exclusively on Heligoland and have now reached a population of about 3,000 pairs here. From the beginning of June to the beginning of July, the guillemot jump takes place: here, the young jump from the cliffs to then be taken to the North Sea by their fathers. Razorbills also breed on Heligoland, but there are only about 50 pairs.

Rest area Heligoland

From the end of March to mid-May and from the end of August to the beginning of November, the most migratory birds can be observed on Heligoland. But migratory birds also rest on the island during the summer months, making it a birdwatcher's paradise. Especially many birds can be seen on Helgoland when the weather at sea is bad and the birds have to interrupt their journey. At this time, bird species can be observed that are otherwise rarely seen in Germany.

Spots to observe

Breeding pairs can best be observed from the cliff edge path. This leads once around the island and also allows close-up photos of birds without disturbing them. Good photos can also be taken on the dune, but care must be taken not to leave the jetties so as not to disturb the seals during the whelping season. The association "Jordsand" also offers information events and guided tours to the individual breeding sites.

Book now