Fetlar is known as the Garden of Shetland due to its exceptionally green appearance. The Vikings were so impressed with the island's fertility that the name they bestowed on it was the Viking version of "fat land", from which the present name derives. Only around 70 people share the island with the birds and animals which include the much sought-after red-necked phalarope whose "modern marriage" style of living has the male looking after the chicks while the female goes off and does her own thing, including playing the field! Other birds include arctic skuas and storm petrels, and there are otters and seals around the island, while if you're really lucky you could spot killer whales out at sea.. A seminal moment in the island's ornithological history came in 1967 when a pair of snowy owls started breeding there, an event which led to a large part of the island being declared an RSPB reserve. Sadly, there are no longer any owls resident on Fetlar. The main settlement on the island is Houbie, where the Fetlar Interpretive Centre has exhibitions on the history, heritage and archaeology of the island.
Map of the island.