Orientation of vagrant birds on the Faroe Islands in the Atlantic Ocean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Migratory birds are frequently found far outside their normal range but the phenomenon is poorly understood. We used radio telemetry to track individual migratory flights of several species of songbirds on the Faroe Islands, far west of their normal migration route. Birds with expected easterly and south-easterly migration direction departed westwards out over the Atlantic Ocean, indicating that these birds are actively flying in the "wrong" direction and that their occurrence is not caused by wind drift. This is in contrast to the apparently normal south-westerly to easterly departure directions in birds expected to migrate south or southwest.


External organisations
  • University of Copenhagen
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • Max-Planck Institute for Ornithology
  • University of Konstanz
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Zoology
  • Ecology


  • Migration, Orientation and navigation, Songbirds, Vagrancy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1261-1265
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Ornithology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Oct
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes