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Saltholm is an island located in Øresund between Denmark and Sweden. 16 km² (6 square miles) of mudflats, marshes, and open grasslands with a few small groups of wind-swept trees. A paradise for waterfowl, shorebirds and a lot of other birds.
The island and its surroundings are protected. Access to the southernmost part of the island (south of the red line) is prohibited all year. During the birds' breeding season from April 1 to July 15, access to the central part of the island (between the orange and the red line) is prohibited too. Only the northernmost part is accessible all year.
Birders on a field trip arranged by
Dansk Ornitologisk Forening
(Danish Ornithological Society) to Saltholm.
Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) on Saltholm.
Saltholm once had Europe's largest colony of Common Eider, 7000 pairs. But the construction of the Øresund Bridge destroyed many of the mussel banks the Eider's were depending on, and the population has now decreased to 4000 pairs.
The females rely on camouflage. A breeding bird don't leave the nest even if you pass just one meter from the bird. You have to walk carefully, and if a bird nevertheless leaves the nest you have to hide the eggs with the eider-down surrounding the nest.
Text and photos: Stig Linander, created: 1997-05-26, links checked: 2011-02-14, last revised: 2012-04-27