Dynamic Variation:

There was not an exact match for the language you toggled to. You have been redirected to the nearest matching page within this section.

Choose Language
Toggling to another language will take you to the matching page or nearest matching page within that selection.
Search & Book Sponsored Links
  • Accommodation

    Scandic Hotels – in all major cities from north to south

    Nordic Choice Hotels – a different hotel company

    Thon Hotels – with fantastic breakfast

    Radisson Blu Hotels – discover your favourite destinations

    Citybox – modern and affordable hotels in a central location

    DanCenter – your specialist in holiday homes in Norway

    Norgesbooking – book your perfect cabin stay in Norway

    Campcation – book camping all across Norway with Campcation

  • Getting Here & Around

    Vy – travelling by train has never been easier

    SJ NORD – the adventure starts on the train

    Vy express – travel with bus throughout Norway

    NOR-WAY Bussekspress – experience amazing scenery by bus

    Widerøe – the largest regional airline in Scandinavia

    DFDS – Europe’s leading ferry operator 2012-2021

    AutoEurope – always a smooth car rental experience

    Rent-A-Wreck – the smart car rental alternative

    Arctic Campers – Norway’s camper van rental

    Cabin Campers – your cottage on four wheels

  • Tours & Round trips

    Hurtigruten – "The World’s Most Beautiful Sea Voyage"

    Fjord Tours – Home of Norway in a nutshell® - Norway’s most popular tour

    Authentic Scandinavia – Travel created by locals

    Up Norway – Bespoke luxury tailored by insiders

    Norrøna Hvitserk – expeditions and adventure holidays

    Booknordics.com – hundreds of activities, tours and day cruises in Norway

    Brim Explorer – silent fjord tours by electric catamaran

    Fjord Travel – let us show you the beauty of Norway!

    Go Fjords – tours and activities all over Norway

    50 Degrees North – unforgettable tailor-made and small group tours to Norway

    Discover Norway – skiing, biking and hiking tours in Norway

    Norwegian Holidays – low-price package holidays with Norwegian. Flight, hotel and rental car

    Stromma – sightseeing, excursions and experiences with bus, boat and train

  • Alpine mountain resorts

    Rauland – Skiing holidays in stunning mountain scenery


  • Offers

or search all of Norway

Northern Norway Nordland VEGA

Eider ducks, luxurious down and the bird guardians of Lånan

  • Lånan, Vega
  • +47 45272654
  •  /  km From You

The largest eider duck nesting site on the Helgeland coast is situated in the Vega World Heritage area. You can join us on a visit to the island of Lånan, where the nesting eider ducks and their bird guardians have a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship.

A unique heritage
Each year the bird guardians prepare the nesting huts and seaweed nests for the arrival of the eider ducks. And the guardians protect the nesting ducks from predators such as eagles, otters and mink. When the eider and their hatchlings leave, the bird guardians can harvest their reward from the nests: the world’s finest down! Visitors who come to Vega in June or July have the privilege of witnessing this fascinating interaction.

The islanders are proud of their cultural heritage and they welcome you to experience this ancient tradition. It’s a unique and unforgettable experience.

This amazing interaction between the birds and the islanders, a tradition that dates back to the Stone Age, is the reason why Vega gained status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The UNESCO recognition is also a tribute to women’s contributions – for they are the ones who since time immemorial have taken on the role as bird guardians, caring for the eider ducks, and collecting and cleaning the down. In addition the women tended the farms and the fields, while men were out at sea fishing. Even today the bird guardians continue to fulfil their role as caretakers for the nesting eider ducks.

The bird guardians
Every April, the bird guardian head out to Lånan to prepare the nests for the eider ducks. And all through May and June, which is the nesting season, the bird guardians host up to a thousand birds, protecting them from danger. The female eider duck is a bird with personality, and the bird guardians make sure she has plenty of choice; at Lånan she can choose to nest in a single-nest hut, one of the little “townhouses”, a collective, or in the high-density “favela”. Given such good care, the eider ducks return to nest at Lånan year after year – leaving behind their valuable down, and giving lucky visitors an unforgettable experience.

The treasured down
As mentioned, after the eider ducks and their offspring have left the nesting site, the bird guardians collect and clean the eider down. It is a time-consuming process and everything must be done by hand. The quality of the eider down in incomparable. For this reason, eider-down duvets and down-filled mittens were in times past treasured gifts to royalty, while today they are sold as exclusive products to discerning customers throughout the world.

When you visit the bird guardians of Lånan, you can gain insights into this and more.

A special safari – in July every year
By the beginning of July, most of the eider ducks have left Lånan and people can once again walk the island freely. Upon arrival you will be greeted by some of the bird guardians, and like a good friend they will take you up to the main house. This will give you a peek into the daily life of the islanders. In the barn is a must-see exhibition, and either here or outside if the weather is good, you will be served coffee and the traditional lefse.

When: throughout July.

Be a bird guardian during the nesting season!
During the month of June, when the eider ducks are nesting at Lånan, access to the island of Lånan is restricted. Between 500 and a thousand eider ducks will be brooding on their eggs or feeding their hatchlings, in nests outside or in the distinctive nesting huts. The bird guardians must be forever watchful, so this is an incredible way to form a very special bond with the eider ducks. For accomodation on the island Lånan, please check on www.lanan.no.

When: throughout June.

  • Last Updated:
  • Source: Helgeland Reiseliv as
Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS
TripAdvisor Reviews
Traveler Reviews in partnership with TripAdvisor
Your Recently Viewed Pages