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Great Grey Owl and birders Finland


Birdwatching Tours with Finnature

See which tour operators come to Finland with Finnature

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Birdwatching Excursions in Finland

Guided one-day birdwatching excursions in the birding hotspots of Finland

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Self-drive Tours

Explore Finland's birds, wildlife and landscapes independently by car

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Finland is a dream destination for a birder

Finland is a land of diverse habitats but it is the location that makes it an exciting destination for birdwatching. Being the easternmost country in Europe and one of the most northern in the world, Finland is still accessible for many birders dreaming of seeing exotic northern birds. Location and the variety of habitats produces a truly diverse mixture of very special birds rarely encountered elsewhere in Europe. Furthermore, Finland serves as a gateway to the Arctic, and together Finland and Northern Norway offer some of the best birding north of the Arctic Cirle!

Variable landscapes for birdwatching

Finland’s habitats range from the Baltic Sea to the Siberian Taiga forests, and from the southern lush lands to the barren fell tops in the north. Altogether 478 bird species have been met in Finland, including 240 regularly breeding species – a number not so high yet including the most interesting species. Here, the range of many arctic birds and birds of the eastern Taiga overlap with those of southerly species: Terek Sandpiper, Pallid Harrier, Red-Flanked Bluetail, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Pine Grosbeak and Little Bunting are just some of the birding highlights found in Finland.

Finland is known for northern Owls

Finland’s biggest attraction are the northern Owls. As many as 10 species of Owls may breed in Finland in a good year. The most spectacular is the Great Grey Owl, followed closely by Ural, Hawk, Boreal and Pygmy Owls. Snowy Owl is an extremely rare breeder and is actually easier to find overwintering in Finland. Owl densities and distributions depend largely on nature’s food supply, voles. Also, regional differences between years are not uncommon either. The birding hotspots in Oulu and Kuusamo are good areas for northern Owls.

The mosaic of vast areas of coniferous forests, peat bogs and mires form large wilderness area for birds to reside. Finland is an important home to a wide range of forest birds: Capercaillie, Black and Hazel Grouse, Black and Three-toed Woodpecker, Parrot Crossbill, Siberian Jay and Siberian Tit all occupy Finland’s forests. Open mires hold Whooper Swan, Common Crane, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Jacksnipe, Yellow Wagtail, and Rustic Bunting, while agricultural landscapes offer homes to Ortolan Bunting and many decreasing birds such as the Eurasian Curlew and Barn Swallow.

Northern Finland offers different birdwatching altogether: the bird species here are adapted to the harsh conditions of northern Mountain Birch forests and barren fell tops. Smew, Dotterel, Ruff, Temminck’s Stint, Rough-legged Buzzard, Willow Grouse, Rock Ptarmigan, Siberian Jay, Siberian Tit and Lapland Bunting are the birding gems of the north.

A gateway to the Arctic

Finland is a gateway to arctic Norway. Together, Finland and Norway form a certainly incredible birding experience. Easily accessible from Finland, Northern Norway is home to a truly long list of arctic bird species. Indeed, the variable landscapes of Varanger Peninsula hold an impressive list of arctic seabirds and tundra species. Thousands and thousands of seabirds nest on the cliffs of the famous bird island of Hornøya, including Atlantic Puffin, Black-legged Kittiwake and Brünnich’s Guillemot. The experience is overwhelming. Elsewhere, Bar-tailed Godwit and Red-necked Phalarope are found on the shores and lakes, while White-billed Diver, King and Steller’s Eiders and Gannet stay on the seaside.

The highlands of Varanger Peninsula offer absolutely wonderful birding. The species diversity here is truly appreciable: Bluethroat, Arctic Redpoll and Willow Grouse occupy the river valleys, while Lapland Bunting, Shore Lark and Long-tailed Skua are found on the hillsides. Most adapted are the Rock Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting and Dotterel. In addition, roadside lakes provide excellent chances for Red-throated and Black-throated Divers and Long-tailed Duck.

Easily combined with a Finland birding adventure, Northern Norway offers some of the best birding north of the Arctic Cirle!

Finnature offers the best birding in Finland and Northern Norway

Finnature organizes birdwatching tours ranging from one-day trips to week-or-two long birding holidays with tour operators. Local help is essential when birding in Finland because our forests are vast and the birds are thinly spread. In Norway, our expertise comes from the long history of arranging tours to Varanger Peninsula. We have seen the change in the Arctic and are always prepared with the update information. Certainly, with our expert guidance and over 25 years of experience in organizing birdwatching tours, you have the best chances to see a wide selection of northern birds!

The best time to see Finnish bird highlights is the breeding season in May and June. For Norway, the best times are the breeding season May- July but early spring in March as well.

Birdwatching Tours with Finnature

See which tour operators come to Finland with Finnature - we have arranged iconic bird tours already for over 25 years

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Birdwatching Excursions in Finland

See the most attractive birds of Finland in just one day - join our excursions in the birding hotspots of Finland

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Self-drive Tours in Finland with Finnature

Easy way to combine birdwatching and wildlife watching in Finland - explore Finland independently by car

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