Text by Nicole Bouglouan


Avibase (Denis Lepage)

The Canadian Encyclopedia

Baffin Island Peaks

Hurtigruten - Expeditions

New World Encyclopedia

Quark Expeditions


Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia


Species list:

American Golden Plover – Pluvialis dominica – Pluvier bronzé

American Purple Gallinule - Porphyrio martinica – Talève violacée

American Robin – Turdus migratorius – Merle d’Amérique

Arctic Redpoll or Hoary Redpoll - Acanthis hornemanni - Sizerin blanchâtre

Arctic Tern - Sterna paradisaea – Sterne arctique

Atlantic Puffin – Fratercula arctica – Macareux moine

Baird’s Sandpiper - Calidris bairdii - Bécasseau de Baird

Barn Swallow - Hirundo rustica - Hirondelle rustique

Black Guillemot - Cepphus grylle - Guillemot à miroir

Black-headed Gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus – Mouette rieuse

Black-legged Kittiwake - Rissa tridactyla - Mouette tridactyle

Brant Goose - Branta bernicla - Bernache cravant 

Buff-bellied Pipit - Anthus rubescens - Pipit farlousane

Cackling Goose - Branta hutchinsii - Bernache de Hutchins

Canada Goose - Branta canadensis - Bernache du Canada

Common Eider - Somateria mollissima - Eider à duvet

Common Raven – Corvus corax - Grand corbeau

Common Redpoll - Acanthis flammea - Sizerin flammé

Common Ringed Plover - Charadrius hiaticula - Pluvier grand-gravelot

Dunlin - Calidris alpina - Bécasseau variable

Eurasian Teal - Anas crecca - Sarcelle d’hiver

Glaucous Gull - Larus hyperboreus - Goéland bourgmestre

Golden Eagle - Aquila chrysaetos - Aigle royal

Great Black-backed Gull – Larus marinus – Goéland marin

Great Northern Diver or Common Loon - Gavia immer - Plongeon imbrin

Grey Plover - Pluvialis squatarola - Pluvier argenté

Gyrfalcon - Falco rusticolus - Faucon gerfaut

Harlequin Duck - Histrionicus histrionicus - Arlequin plongeur

Herring Gull – Larus argentatus – Goéland argenté

Horned Lark - Eremophila alpestris – Alouette hausse-col

Iceland Gull - Larus glaucoides - Goéland arctique

Ivory Gull - Pagophila eburnea - Mouette blanche

Killdeer - Charadrius vociferous - Pluvier kildir

King Eider - Somateria spectabilis - Eider à tête grise

Lapland Longspur - Calcarius lapponicus - Bruant lapon ou Plectrophane lapon

Little Auk or Dovekie - Alle alle - Mergule nain

Long-tailed Duck - Clangula hyemalis - Harelde boréale

Long-tailed Jaeger - Stercorarius longicaudus - Labbe à longue queue

Northern Fulmar – Fulmarus glacialis – Fulmar boreal

Northern Gannet - Morus bassanus - Fou de Bassan

Northern Pintail - Anas acuta - Canard pilet

Northern Wheatear - Oenanthe oenanthe - Traquet motteux

Pacific Loon (Diver) - Gavia pacifica - Plongeon du Pacifique

Parasitic Jaeger or Arctic Skua - Stercorarius parasiticus - Labbe parasite

Pectoral Sandpiper - Calidris melanotos - Bécasseau tacheté

Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus - Faucon pèlerin

Pomarine Skua or Jaeger - Stercorarius  pomarinus - Labbe pomarin

Purple Sandpiper - Calidris maritima - Bécasseau violet

Red-breasted Merganser - Mergus serrator - Harle huppé

Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus - Phalarope à bec étroit

Red Phalarope - Phalaropus fulicarius - Phalarope à bec large

Red Knot - Calidris canutus - Bécasseau maubèche

Red-throated Diver (Loon) - Gavia stellata - Plongeon catmarin

Rock Ptarmigan - Lagopus muta - Lagopède alpin

Ross’s Goose - Chen rossii – Oie de Ross

Ross’s Gull - Rhodostethia rosea - Mouette de Ross

Rough-legged Buzzard - Buteo lagopus - Buse pattue

Ruddy Turnstone - Arenaria interpres - Tournepierre à collier

Sabine’s Gull - Xema sabini - Mouette de Sabine

Sandhill Crane – Antigone canadensis – Grue du Canada

Semipalmated Plover - Charadrius semipalmatus – Gravelot semipalmé

Semipalmated Sandpiper - Calidris pusilla - Bécasseau semipalmé

Short-eared Owl - Asio flammeus - Hibou des marais

Snow Bunting - Plectrophenax nivalis - Bruant des neiges ou Plectrophane des neiges

Snow Goose - Chen caerulescens - Oie des neiges

Snowy Owl - Bubo scandiacus – Harfang des neiges

Steller’s Eider - Polysticta stelleri - Eider de Steller

Thick-billed Murre - Uria lomvia - Guillemot de Brünnich

Tree Swallow – Tachycineta bicolour – Hirondelle bicolore

Tundra Swan - Cygnus columbianus - Cygne de la toundra

White-crowned Sparrow – Zonotrichia leucophrys - Bruant à couronne blanche

White-rumped Sandpiper - Calidris fuscicollis - Bécasseau à croupion blanc

Willow Ptarmigan - Lagopus lagopus - Lagopède des saules 

Yellow-billed Loon or White-billed Diver - Gavia adamsii - Plongeon à bec blanc


Arctic Tern

John Anderson
John Anderson Photo Galleries



Baffin Island is the largest island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, with an area of 507,451 km² and a population of 13,039 inhabitants (mostly Inuit) in 2021. This large island is located in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. It sits above the Arctic Circle.

The name of this island pays tribute to William Baffin, an English navigator cartographer and explorer. He was the first European to discover Baffin Bay while searching for a Northwest Passage from Atlantic to Pacific. He charted the east coast in 1616. However, several other seafarers reached the island between 1576 and 1631.
Baffin Island, 1,500 kilometres long and 200-700 kilometres wide, is just west to Greenland from which it is separated by Davis Strait and Baffin Bay. This island is an extremely remote place, far from roads and large towns.
The huge cliff walls rise to more than 1,000 metres above the ocean that freezes for over half of the year. Baffin Island is an amazing combination of deep valleys, spectaculars fjords, glaciers, rolling tundra, steep granite peaks and limestone cliffs. The Mount Odin is the highest peak with 2,143 metres.

In these beautiful landscapes, the wildlife enjoys ideal habitats. Here we can find polar bear, caribou, hare, fox, lemming and the tundra grey wolf endemic to Baffin Island. Narwhal, walrus and seals are usual marine inhabitants.   
But we can also observe numerous bird species such as Snowy Owl, falcons, hawks, ptarmigans and puffins. The island is also ground of Thick-billed Murre, kittiwakes and fulmars. The nesting species are summer visitors to the island.

Thick-billed Murre

Otto Plantema
Trips around the world

Several geese such as Canada Goose, Snow Goose, Cackling Goose and Brant Goose are present.
Shorebirds include the Red-necked Phalarope, various sandpipers, murres including the Thick-billed Murre, and plovers.
Several gull species also nest on the island, such as Sabine’s Gull, Glaucous Gull, Herring Gull and Ivory Gull.

The long-distance migratory birds such as the Arctic Tern which migrates from Antarctica in spring, and a variety of aquatic nesting species such as coots, loons, Mallard and several other duck species also nest on this island.   

Baffin Island has an extremely cold climate and sea ice surrounds the island for most of the year. The sea is frozen with only a few months above freezing.

The summer nesting areas for migratory birds are protected by the Dewey Soper Migratory Sanctuary and the Bowman Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Some National parks, but also historical and provincial parks are a good way to preserve the dramatic environment.

Canada Goose

Tom Grey
Tom Grey's Bird Pictures