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Hawk Owl Oulu, Finland
ABOUT FINNATURE

Our Staff

Finnature is a friendly working community and we believe that this shows in all of our actions. We respect our staff because they make us what we are! We choose our staff carefully. Our guides have expertise in birds, mammals or plants, or they are keen photographers ready to share their vast knowledge about photography or our unique northern nature. One thing is common for all – we are nature lovers. Meet our staff!

STAFF

Jari Peltomäki

Chairman of the board, wildlife photographer 

Jari is the founder and co-owner of Finnature Oy Ltd. He is a professional wildlife photographer whose images have been awarded in numerous international photo competitions. He has also judged many of the international wildlife photography competitions. Jari is the author of several bird and wildlife books and articles, and his images have been used in magazines and books worldwide.

Jari is an OM SYSTEM Ambassador and a passionate bird photographer. He is always ready for new adventures! His extensive photo material from Finland and abroad represents all wildlife and landscapes. Jari leads most of Finnature’s photography tours abroad and wintery Hokkaido is his favorite destination.

Jari’s photos can be seen at:
www.jaripeltomaki.com
www.birdphoto.fi

Kaisa Peltomäki

Managing director, wildlife photographer

Kaisa is a nature lover through and through. Her backgrounds are in economics but she has photographed through all of her life, first as a hobby and then as an event photographer. After joining Finnature, she has focused only on nature photography. Kaisa is OM SYSTEM Ambassador and a passionate nature photographer.

Kaisa is the co-owner and managing director of Finnature since 2015. She has strong experience as an EU project manager and in regional marketing projects. While she mostly stays behind the scenes, at times you can find her leading Finnature’s photography tours!

Kaisa’s photos can be seen at on her Facebook and Instagram pages.

Irene Hiltula

Sales specialist

Irene is our newest addition and has worked within the tourism field for many years. She loves traveling and enjoys nature in many ways, at times by hiking, biking or skiing, and at times relaxing at her summer cottage by a river. You will meet her at our office and via email – she is passionate to create quality tailored tours and make your tour successful!

Pirita Latja

Principal guide

Pirita is always happy and always ready to help. She has worked with us for almost fifteen years already, guiding birdwatching and photography groups. Her passion for nature led her to academia and she has a Ph.D in ecology – her studies took her to the heart of Africa. Lucky for us, her father Ari Latja, a long-term guide for Finnature, guided her into the world of birds already in early childhood. Since then, birds and nature have always been close to her heart. Nowadays, when she is not guiding, she can be found at our office.

Jukka Sainio

Maintenance

Juke is Finnature’s maintenance master. Wherever we have something to be fixed, whether it is at our Villa Finnature Guesthouse or at one of our hides, Juke will fix it before we even know! Our hides in Oulu are built by Juke.

Sunna Oksala

Chef and housekeeper at Villa Finnature

If your group is staying at Villa Finnature Guesthouse, you will meet Sunna – our chef and housekeeper! She has a 30 years long history in the restaurant industry, her own restaurant in Lapland and as a chef in Ireland and has worked as a chef and waitress in various restaurants for over 10 years. She uses these special doctrines in his food preparation. She will make you feel at home at Villa Finnature and prepare tasty meals from local ingredients for the group!

GUIDES

Antti Peuna

Antti has been fascinated by nature and birds since his childhood in Kuusamo. Even today the northern Taiga forest with its skulking birds it the place where he feels most at home! Antti likes to keep his birding versatile: he enjoys migration watching, ringing, bird races and photography – the feeling of improvement and learning keeps him addicted to birdwatching and photography! He has continued his hobby into guiding for Finnature and likes to share his enthusiasm for nature and birds with our clients.

Ari Latja

Ari is one of our most long-term guides. He has been guiding our popular birdwatching tours since 2000 – quite respectable, don’t you think?

Ari has birded all of his life and is glad to see her daughter continue his work with Finnature. His birding passions have always been migration watching and ringing at the local bird observatory in Eastern Finland. Ari is also going to guide his grandchildren to the world of birds.

Jarmo Manninen

Jarmo is a professional photographer and fascinated especially by northern nature. He moved to Kuusamo 10 years ago to fulfill his dreams as a professional photographer. Since 2014, he has guided photographers and shared his passion for birds, wildlife and landscapes of the north.

Jarmo has photographed elsewhere in Europe as well, and received awards in several nature photo competitions both in Finland and abroad. His images have been published in many magazines and books.

Jyrki Makkonen

Jyrki is a professional exercise instructor and licensed massage therapist.

And the birds… whenever he goes outdoors, he must watch and listen to the birds. Jyrki knows how it feels to fly because he goes paragliding as a hobby. The birds are his role model and Jyrki admires their ability to fly thousands of miles, find the best air currents and rise upwards. Their beauty also fascinates him, and he loves to take photos of them with his cameras whenever he can.

In his spare time, Jyrki likes to visit his favorite places in Northern Finland and Norway. Varangerfjord, Lofoten, and Båtsfjorden are some of the favorite locations with their unique sceneries and birds. Hiking in the old woods and listening to the birds sing, especially during springtime are among his favorite activities at home.

Kalle Meller

Kalle is a biologist and keen bird watcher. Originally, he is from Joensuu, but has lived in Helsinki for the past 20 years. He has been aware and somewhat interested in birds for his whole life but got more seriously involved with birds when he started his biology studies.

Kalle has worked with birds in many ways: by doing a PhD about birds, teaching bird ecology and identification in a university, managing the bird wetlands of Helsinki, coordinating national bird census schemes, working with bird protection in a birding society, counting birds from Åland to Kilpisjärvi, and also occasionally working as a guide. In his free time Kalle likes to watch bird migration, but also enjoys some non-bird-related things, preferably with friends and with a quality beer in hand.

His favorite areas to watch and count birds are the wilderness areas in Lapland, and in them, especially the largest mires.

Kari Engelbarth

Kari has been a nature lower since a young boy. As a youngster he visited with his father the  nature areas around Helsinki.

Birding he started when he was 22 years old and since then it has been his passion. For 25 years ago when birding he started to carry a camera with him  and nowadays when in nature birds, camera and Kari are always together. Kari has been working as a Finnature guide for 14 years and has been guiding german and english speaking groups. Hi is a Management Consultant specialized in headhunting, assessments and coaching.

Markus Sirkka

Markus is a man of many: he is a tour leader, nature photographer and a freelance journalist who has been busy working around Finland for the past 20 years. Nature, birds and nature photography are his life-long passions. His knowledge comes from his many tours, when snowshoeing, kayaking or watching birds, from Finland and abroad.

Matti Komulainen

Matti is celebrating 20th anniversary in guiding for Finnature in 2019 together with our other guide Ari! Komu, as we call him, comes from southern Finland but the north has a special draw to him. He has been birding all of his life and enjoys showing Finnish birds to visitors.

His life has taken him around the world, when in UN-forces or when with friends, but always focusing on birds – at least in part. Usually you can see him guiding Finnature’s German groups.

Mikko Oivukka

Mikko is one of our newer additions to our guide reserve. While he lives currently in the birding hotspot of Kuusamo, the beautiful archipelago of the Baltic Sea remains always close to his heart – it is there where he started his life-long birding hobby.

Mikko is an active member of the birding society in Finland, participating in various bird research, ringing and counting projects and leading kids’ clubs. He also enjoys bird and landscape photography, and has traveled all around the world. He has spent a lot of time in Panama and Costa Rica with his Panamanian wife.

Niko Björkell

Niko has been interested in nature since childhood when his parents took him to the nearby nature areas in the capital city of Helsinki. Birdwatching came into picture quite soon after although for a long time birds were not the center of attention. During his years of studying biology, however, the interest in birds bloomed. Niko has since participated in many bird events and trips, held courses about birding for beginners, worked as a guide for the local birding society and helped in bird monitoring in valuable nature areas.

Although being a southerner through and through, the northern nature still has a very special place in Niko’s heart. He likes to travel north to enjoy the silence, the vast wilderness and the gorgeous northern nature.

Olli Lamminsalo

Olli is a passionate naturalist, birder and photographer living in Kuusamo. He enjoys all aspects of nature but spends most of his time behind his reliable Canon. He loves to photograph birds but the winter landscapes of beautiful Kuusamo have really stolen his heart.

Olli is our Kuusamo expert and we can trust him in all Kuusamo-related topics. He runs Kuusamo Nature Photography company. Anyone who has met with Olli cannot avoid his catching enthusiasm he has for life!

Pentti Kallio

Pentti   has a long experience in birding overseas and in Finland. Art of finding and identifying birds is based on longstanding continuous training, boosted by skilled good friends. Pentti loves to participate several birding competitions annually. Birding and competing in a team, in various habitats, in all four seasons, in all sorts of weather, has been the birding high school, college and university of him.

His special interest and passion is focused in birds and  wildlife of  Kuusamo.  Early morning walk in a taiga forest may make an  immemorable experience. Suddenly, a relative silence under tall trees may sometimes turn into a raucous concert of birds after bird call mimicking by Pentti.

Pentti´s background is in medicine and surgery. He is still practicing part time – excluding the Finnish birding high season of spring and early summer!

Petri Tamminen

Petri used to be an IT man for almost 15 years before realizing that birds are his true passion. This made him move out of the hectic Southern Finland and settle down to Oulu, where he can follow his photography and birding dreams. He focuses on landscapes and birds in his photos. Petri is a steady guiding professional.

Taru Suninen

Taru is one of our younger guides and passionate about birding and photography. Her mind is always tuned in towards the north and the beauty of the Arctic. She has a special interest in bird studies as well and has spent numerous nights at different bird observatories ringing birds and enjoying the migration. She thinks the best thing about birdwatching is that there are never two days alike – and we couldn’t agree more!

Tero Linjama

Tero is nature recordist, artist, and although he claims to be a little bit of a photographer too, we think he is a lot! He is an active member of Finnish birder and twitcher societies. He has been guiding birding tours to Asia and Europe, and we are glad to have him aboard!