Amager Fælled

By Peter Petersen


This is a male Orange-Tip Butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines cardamines) or Aurora sommerfugl in Danish. Females are similar but without the orange.  

The area called Amager Fælled is a green paradise in the middle of the city of Copenhagen. This is one of only a few places near/in copenhagen that the public can visit and enjoy native flora and fauna. The place is "The lung of the Danish capital".


The Great Tit (Parus major) is called Musvit in Danish. This species is very common in Denmark and will stay all year.

The Great Tit  (Parus major) can produce 12 eggs in one batch.

This European Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io) has survived the winter. This species is called: Dagpåfugleøje sommerfugl in Danish.

After waiting patiencely at this nest I discovered that it belonged to Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus). A species called: Spurvehøg in Danish.

The male Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) guarding the nest.

The Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) normally breeds in May in Denmark (in my experience). But this pair started in March.

The stripes/pattern of the Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) makes it perfectly camouflaged for a life in the trees.

Looking closely at the Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) from behind you will see the stripes in the wings which can confuse predators during an attack.


I spotted this pair of European Toads (Bufo bufo) the 1st of April in amplexus. This species is called: Skrubtudse in Danish. Like all other amphibians in Denmark, this species is protected and may not be harmed or collected.

The Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is called: Tårnfalk in Danish.

The Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) breeds in this area.

Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) belong to the falcon family (Falconidae)

The Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) is called: Skovhornugle in Danish.

The Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) breeds in this area. This small area seem to have at least 6 specimens.

The Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata) is a regular guest in Grønjordssøen a shallow pond in the area. This species is called: Skeand in Danish.

The specialized bill Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata) is used to forage for aquatic invertebrates and plant food. This species seem shy and is difficult to get close to. Photos above is males.

A female Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata) skimming the surface-water for crustaceans and plankton.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) or Lille Lappedykker as it is called in Denmark is the smallest European member of its family (Podicipedidae). Only 23-29 cm with a weight of approxemately 170 grams.

In the other end of the scale we have here the national bird of Denmark. The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) in Danish called: Knopsvane. This species is the heaviest bird species here with a weight of 10-12 kilos.

The Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) feeding on fresh leaves.

The Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) is called Skovskade in Danish.

The Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) is called: Fuglekonge in Denmark. This bird species is almost exclusively insectivorous, feeding on small arthropods like springtails, aphids and spiders. Here they seem to feed on ticks as well.

The Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) is Europes smallest bird with a lenght of only 8.5–9.5 cm and a weight of 4.5–7 grams

The Common Wood-Pigeon (Columba palumbus) is called: Ringdue and sometimes: Skovdue in Danish.

Cyanistes caeruleus) is feeding on pollen. This species is called: Blåmejse in Denmark.

The Western Marsh-Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) is one of the birds of prey that feeds in this area. This species is called: Rørhøg in Danish.

The Common Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax) is an important pollinator of the early flowering trees in this region. This species is called Droneflue in Danish.

The Common Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax) can stand completely still in the middle air but also move extremely fast when escaping predators. It is almost impossible to follow with your eyes but fortunately this one decided to rest of a leaf.

The average wingspan of a Common Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax) is around 15 mm. 

The Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) is called: Fasan in Danish. This is a male.

This is the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo). This species feed on fish like roach and perch in the small ponds here. This bird is called: Skarv in Denmark.

A male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) or Gråand as it is called in Danish. This is the most common duck in Denmark.

The male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) in full view. 

A female Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

European Comma (Polygonia c-album) is called: "Det hvide C sommerfugl" in Danish. This species is relatively rare in Denmark but is found in this area.

This is the Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) called: Halemejse in Danish.

The Eurasian Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) is a very common species in Denmark. This species is called: Allike in Denmark.

Another common species here is the Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica). This bird species is called: Skade in Danish.

The Greylag Goose (Anser anser) is feeding on grass. This species is called Grågås in Danish.

A Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) enjoying the last sun of the day. A species called: Blåmejse in Danish.

This Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) is feeding on insects and buds. 

The Colt's-Foot (Tussilago farfara) is called: Følfod in Danish. This flower is a sign of Spring. This is one of the first spring flowers.

The Western Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) is called: Rådyr in Danish.

The Western Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) is living in this small area in the middle of Copenhagen.

The Grass Snake (Natrix natrix) is the only snake species in this area. This species is called: Snog in Denmark.

The Grass Snake (Natrix natrix) out of hibernation in April. To my knowledge this is the only reptile in this area.

The Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) is called: Svaleklire in Danish. This is one of only a few species of wader present in Amager Fælled.

The Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is the most common heron in Denmark. This species is called: Fiskehejre in Danish. They feed mostly on fish and amphibians.

The Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) is called: Taffeland in Danish. This is a female from Grønjordssøen a wedland in the area. This species is regarded as VU (Vulnerable) by the IUCN.

A closely related species is the Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) or Troldand as it is called in Denmark.

The Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) is another species I have come across here. This species is called: Hvinand in Danish. Above is a male.

This male Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) is acting up to get the females attention.

This is the female Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula). 

Greenish Warbler (Phylloscopus trochiloides) is called: Lundsanger in Danish. The Warblers have an amazing song which you normally can hear from April. 

The Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) is also present in this area. It is called: Løvsanger in Danish. The warblers seem to feed mainly on small insects.

The Green-veined White Butterfly (Pieris napi) is called: Grønåret kålsommerfugl in Danish. The plant here is the edible Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) which is called: Løgkarse in Denmark.

The Green-veined White Butterfly (Pieris napi) is very similar to a female Orange-Tip Butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines cardamines). But a large difference is that the Pieris napi is white under the wings as you can see here in flight.  

As the name suggests the Common Flesh Fly's (Sarcophaga carnaria) larvae feeds on carrion. The species is called: Almindelig kødflue in Danish.

Common European Yellowjacket (Vespula vulgaris) also known as a common wasp. In Danish the species is called: Almindelig Gedehams and commonly: Hveps. 

Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla). It is called: Munk in Danish. This bird seem to feed mainly on insects and spiders. 

Natures diversity is simply amazing. Areas like this is crucial for bio diversity.

The Common Greenbottle Fly (Lucilia sericata) is actually used for maggot therapy. Larval secretions have been shown to help in tissue regeneration in humans.

The Common Greenbottle Fly (Lucilia sericata) is called: Grøn spyflue in Danish. 

The abdomen of the Humped Orbweb Spider (Gibbaranea gibbosa) has a scary smiley face on the back. Probably to scare off predators.

The three dimensional shape of the Humped Orbweb Spider's (Gibbaranea gibbosa) back makes the face visible from many angles.

The Humped Orbweb Spider (Gibbaranea gibbosa) belong to the Orbweaver family (Araneidae). These have 4 eyes forming a square in the middle of their face and two eyes barely visible on the each side of the square.

This female Humped Orbweb Spider (Gibbaranea gibbosa) has made an egg sac of her strong silken thread and natural materials found near by.

The female Humped Orbweb Spider (Gibbaranea gibbosa) will often turn her back (the face) towards the assumed predator. In this case me the photographer. 

This stick is actually the tool my friend Linett used to guide the Humped Orbweb Spider (Gibbaranea gibbosa) during the photo session but this female spider was eager to move on to the new "branch".


The Two-spotted Lady Beetle (Adalia bipunctata) is common in this area. This species is called: Toplettet Mariehøne in Danish. They feed on aphids and other small insects.

The Pellucid Hover Fly (Volucella pellucens) is called: Hvidbåndet humlesvirreflue in Danish. This species is quite large. Usually around 15-16 mm in lenght. 

The Pellucid Hover Fly (Volucella pellucens) seem to prefer the flowers of teasels.

The Wild Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) is called: Gærdekartebolle in Danish.

The seeds of the Wild Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) are an important winter food resource for some birds, notably the European goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis).

The flowers of the Wild Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) in early bloom.

The Wild Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) have spines all over the leaves and stem.

The Wild Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) is an important hatchery for insects. The leaf sheath contain water after rain and small insects lay their eggs here after hatching their larvae develops in these pools. 

The area of Amager Fælled is the only pristine nature within the capital of Denmark. The biodiversity here is amazing and this area should be preserved at all costs in my opinion.

The Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina) is called: Grøn Bladtæge in Danish. This species lay green eggs in hexagonal batches of 25 to 30.

White-letter Hairstreak (Satyrium w-album) is called: Det hvide W in Danish. Notice the white W on the wings.

The Tree Bumble Bee (Bombus hypnorum) is called: Hushumle in Danish. This species is an important pollinator for many species including plum trees.

The Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) is called: Peberrod in Danish. The root of this plant is edible and can be used in many dishes. It has a strong taste and can be used grated in salads, dips, soups, sauces etc. Horseradish contains more than twice the amount of vitamin C compared with oranges. 


A special thanks to

Nikolai Filskov 


Nikolaj Kirk