The birdcliffs of Vedøya (March 2010)


Since this soundscape was recorded on the 31.3.2010, the decline in the seabird population on Røst has escalated. During the summer of 2020 the bird mountain of Vedøya became silent. Statistically speaking there are no more Kittiwakes and Guillemot breeding on Vedøya. In 1980 there were approximately 1.5 million pairs of Puffins breeding in all of the Røst archipelago and on Vedøya only, 12000 pairs of Guillemots and 25.000 pairs of Kittiwakes. Nowadays, the overall Puffin population is down to around 200.000 pairs and the few Guillemots left are hiding in small caves and crevices. The last Kittwakes of Røst are now clinging on in Kårøya and Gjellfruvær. If the decline continues, there will be no Puffins left in Røst by 204o.


Vedøya bird moutain (2010) (Track nr 4 on the album Soundscape Røst – Spaces and Species Vol I)

Vedøy is the most famous of the bird mountains on Røst. No more than thirty years ago there was more than 20000 pairs of Kittiwakes nesting in the steep cliffs of Vedøy. The soundscape was so loud it could be heard on the neighboring islands. In late March of 2010, I experienced a vague shadow of what it must have sounded like back then when a white cloud of elegant kittiwakes vocalised and moved in and out of the bird cliffs simultaneously. Today there are only a few thousands of Kittiwake pairs left, and they are listed as critically threatened on the Norwegian red list.