Lake Mývatn is famed for it´s bird-life, with the only breeding colony of Barrow´s Goldeneye in Europe, the beautiful Harlequin Duck and many other rare waterbirds. As such, this is the perfect location for a bird museum, and with 330 stuffed specimens, an extensive egg collection, an aviary, and more, Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum does not disappoint.
The Mývatn Bird Museum was opened in 2008, sadly created in the wake of the collector, Sigurgeir Stefansson´s death. Sigurgeir had been amassing the collection his entire life, gathering eggs when he was a young boy and buying his first taxidermied bird at the age of fourteen. Tragically, in 1999, he died, capsizing his boat in a storm on the lake whilst trying to repair an underwater telephone cable.
In the years preceding this, he had been renovating a small shack to house some of the museum, but ultimately, he was yearning for something bigger. After his death, his family fulfilled his dream and created Sigurgeir’s Bird Museum in his honour.
Inspired by the traditional Icelandic turf houses, Sigurgeir´s Bird Museum is also renowned for its unique architecture. Designed by one of Iceland’s most respected architects, the entrance features a glass floor, where you can view the fish swimming in the lake beneath.
Outside, there is a telescope and hides from which to view the locale. Inside, there is a logbook detailing recent observations, a camera showing live birds and of course, a host of bird identification books readily available for your perusal.