Animals and Plants in Kalvebod Fælled


Picture: Martin Rivero


Vestamager is a paradise for ornithologists, and because of the location of one of the important migratory routes between northern Scandinavia and southern Europe, rare birds also visit this area. Vestamager has been designated as a Natura 2000 site because of the presence of marsh harriers, Eurasian curlews, pintails, dunlin, Arctic terns and short-eared owls, most of which are critically endangered, as well as tufted ducks, goosanders, smew and mute swans, that all spend the winter here. The mute swan is Denmark’s national bird, and almost a third of the total population gathers in and around Vestamager.

It is also possible to see or hear nightingales, bittern, white-tailed eagles, common buzzards, cormorants, harriers and many breeding wading birds, gulls and terns.

A small area in the southwestern part of Vestamager is a closed-off bird sanctuary with no admission, but with good bird towers and bird hides on the perimeter.


During the summer, Vestamager is invaded by more than a thousand heifers, calves and bullocks, which take care of the area by keeping down vegetation. There are also horses in paddocks and hardy sheep roam the landscape throughout the year.

The area is also home to a population of wild fallow deer, which is kept down to the 400 animals the area can sustain.

Other animals

In recent years, the rare blue butterfly, Apatura ilia, has bred in Pinseskoven forest - the only place in Denmark. Common water frog, toads and the rare European green toad also live in this area - some of them end up in the stomach of the largest, non-venomous snake in Denmark; the grass snake.

Fauna in Kalvebod Fælled


Pinseskoven is the only large birch forest in Denmark. The forest grew without human intervention from seeds blown over from Sweden, and since birch is a pioneer species, the trees started to grow as soon as Vestamager had firm soil. Pinseskoven is a natural forest, which is self-sustaining and benefits the plants and animals in Vestamager.

Picture Kurt Pedersen


The rare herb, Oresund-chickweed, grows in the soil of Vestamager. The soil is nutrient-poor, which is perfect for wild orchids such as the spotted orchid, which grows along the roads, but also unimpressive plants such as club moss.

Blue iris

Vestamager and Saltholm island are the only places in Denmark where blue iris grow in the wild. Like the orchids, this is a protected plant. The same goes for Selinum dubium, an umbelliferous plant that thrives on beach commons. Selinum dubium is very rare, in Denmark, it only grows here.