Internationally well-known location for migratory birds
Ottenby and the southern cape of Öland are one of Sweden’s most visited areas of nature and is the country’s most internationally renowned location for migratory birds. A large number of waders, ducks, geese and small birds rest and breed here every year and a ringing and bird migration research programme has been carried out here since 1946.
Birds thrive at Ottenby and Öland’s southern cape because the cape has a south-eastern facing location by the sea, as well as a mild climate and varied nature that provides many different environments for foraging, sheltering, resting and breeding. Important bird species that can be seen at Ottenby include gadwall, black-tailed godwit, ruff , pied avocet, the southern type of dunlin, corncrake and the Eurasian golden oriole. Most of Sweden’s 470 bird species have been seen at Ottenby.
Metropolis for migratory birds
The southern cape acts like a magnet for migratory birds. After a long flight across the Baltic Sea, land is finally sighted at southern Öland. Here, the small birds can rest and find food in the lighthouse garden during spring migration, before they move on to Ottenbylund and then north across Öland and Sweden. During autumn, thousands of arctic waders and geese migrate south from the Russian tundra and taiga. They rest at Ottenby for a while before embarking on the long journey across the Baltic to central Europe or Africa.
Nature and culture
People have lived around Ottenby since the Stone Age. Öland’s finest fishing and trading market was located here in the Middle Ages. The area includes burial sites, one of northern Europe’s largest hay meadows, extensive pastures, a valuable hardwood grove and interesting geological formations. On the northern part of Schäferi meadows (Schäferiängar), hay harvesting has been resumed on an area of 40 ha. Species that depend on hay harvesting flower here, such as the eyebright and the grass-of-parnassus. Conservation is carried out on the large pastures by allowing sheep and cattle from Ottenby demesne to graze there.
Nature experiences suitable for people of all ages
In the exciting Naturum visitor centre, you can learn more about migratory birds, plants and the southern cape’s nature and culture. Or why not visit the lighthouse village (fyrbyn) and climb the 197 steps of the winding staircase in Sweden’s highest lighthouse, Långe Jan, which is 42 metres above sea level? Ottenby offers nature and cultural experiences for both young and old!
Size: 995 ha, (2459 acres), of which 900 ha, (2224 acres) is land
Year of creation: 1970
Purpose: To protect and nurture the area due to its “importance with regard to knowledge of Öland’s nature and wildlife, its beauty and its otherwise remarkable condition.” The area is part of Natura 2000, the EU’s ecological network of protected areas.
Drive south on route 136 on Öland. Just east of Ottenby demesne (kungsgård), turn right towards Öland’s southern cape (södra udde) and drive 4 km. Parking and information is located next to the lighthouse and the visitor centre. There is a restaurant, guided tours, a bird watching tower, the Långe Jan lighthouse and pathways suitable for disabled people.
GPS coordinates to the parking lot WGS 84 decimal (lat, long): 56.19765 , 16.39946
Map: Naturcentrum AB, Stenungsund.
Download: the County administrative boards brochure over (in Swedish only) (913 kB): Ottenby
Download: the entire brochure (in Swedish only) (19 MB): Utflyktsguide Öland
© Lantmäteriverket, Ur Geografiska Sverigedata, översiktskartan Dnr. 106-2004/188”
Source: County Administrative Board, Kalmar