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Republic of Finland

Ural Owl Strix uralensis ©Arto Juvonen Website

Why come birdwatching in Finland?

As the easternmost country in Europe, Finland has many species of birds that are not easy to get to see elsewhere, e.g. Blyth's Reed Warbler, Red-flanked Bluetail, Arctic Warbler, Pine Grosbeak, Yellow-breasted Bunting and Little Bunting.

The fact that Finland is located in the coniferous forest zone means that there are good chances of seeing many of the northern forest species. Of the game birds, the Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Hazel Hen, Willow Grouse and Ptarmigan are frequently to be seen, and of the woodpeckers one finds the Grey-headed, Three-toed, White-backed and Black varieties. The most interesting species of all, however, are owls, of which there can be as many as 10 species nesting in Finland in a good year, ranging from the tiny Pygmy Owl to the huge white Snowy Owl. The pine forests and mountain birch zone of Northern Finland have numerous species with a markedly northern distribution, such as the Parrot Crossbill, Lapland Bunting, Siberian Jay and Siberian Tit.

Many birds of open habitats, e.g. the Ortolan Bunting, have become rarer in other parts of Europe but are still relatively common in Finland, while the largest of our terns, the Caspian Tern, is an example of the impressive range of seabirds. The waders that nest on our bogs are also of interest, as many of them are seen in other parts of Europe only in the course of migration or in their winter plumage. These include the Broad-billed Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Jack Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Temminck's Stint and Ruff.

The sight of a Crane or a Whooper swan, the Finnish national bird, building its nest is something one can never forget. Similarly diurnal birds of prey such as the Gyrfalcon; that magnificent master of the wildernesses, the Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle and Rough-legged Buzzard of Forest Lapland abound. Finland's popularity with ornithologists is also greatly enhanced by the incomparable sights provided in late May and again in September-October by the mass migration offshore and water birds over the country on their way to and from the arctic. The best times for seeing this are the middle of May in Southern Finland and the end of May in the Oulu area, while the summer migrants and eastern rarities reach Lapland some time in the middle of June. July and August are usually somewhat quieter nesting months. There are often interesting rare eastern species such as Richard's Pipit or Yellow-browed Warbler to be seen in September or October. Autumn is also the best time for seeing eastern migrants such as the Waxwing, three species of crossbill, the Pine Grosbeak and the nutcracker on their invasion.

A virtual birdwatching tour of Finland

Unspoiled nature and the peace of the countryside. When you arrive in Finland on a birdwatching tour you will be coming to a country with an unspoiled natural environment, to enjoy the wind sighing in the forests, the light sparkling on the surfaces of the lakes and the freshness of the clean air. Finland has 69% of its area covered by forests and 10% by water (a total of 187,888 lakes). The majority of the forests are owned by ordinary private citizens, and the Right of Common Access allows everyone to benefit from nature by walking, skiing, hiking, canoeing, rowing, gathering mushrooms or berries or watching the birds in the countryside wherever they please provided they do not cause any damage to the environment or any inconvenience to the landowners. Separate permits are required for hunting and fishing.

You will also find peace and quiet in the Finnish countryside. As the country is very sparsely populated (only 17 inhabitants per square kilometre on average); it is easy to find a peaceful spot where you can hear nothing but the sounds of nature itself without any human disturbance. You can study the birds of the area entirely on your own if you so wish - by hiring a cottage in the depths of the countryside and sitting out on its porch. It is in the countryside that you will meet up with the historical roots of everything that is Finnish. The whole panorama of the peasant farming culture will be there before your eyes. You can enjoy tasty Finnish food prepared from high-quality, pure local ingredients, and will have the opportunity to experience the closeness to nature that is characteristic of the traditional Finnish way of life.


Jouni Riihimäki

Hämeen ympäristökeskus

PL 131 (Birger Jaarlin katu 13); 13101 Hämeenlinna, puh: 03-2420 446, gsm: 0503 657 391, fax: 03-2420 556


Teemu Lehtiniemi

Järjestösihteeri, development officer

BirdLife Suomi ry, BirdLife Finland rf, PL 1285, 00101 Helsinki Puh. (09) 685 4700, Fax (09) 685 4722



Number of Species

Number of bird species: 436

National Bird: Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus


iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

Finding Birds in South Finland

by David Gosney - Booklet: 40 pages, maps. ISBN Booklet 9781907316258 DVD 9781907316265 both published by Easybirder

ISBN: 9781907316265

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

Finland Mailing List

To join the mailing list for Finland (and automatically receive EuroBirdNet postings) send a request to Martin Helin, martin.helin@hut.fi.

National Bird

Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus


Ålands Fågelskyddsförening rf


BirdLife Suomi-Finland


Annankatu 29A, P0 Box 1285, FIN-00101Helsinki. + 358 9 685 4700; toimisto@birdlife.fi
BirdLife Finland is an organisation of 28 Finnish bird societies. It aims to promote bird watching, bird research and protection of birds, their habitats and biological diversity. (See above for contacts) The Finish partner in Birdlife International and the website is in English too. The site also hosts the Finish Rarities Committee.

Bongarilitto Twitchers Club


Latest sightings, trip reports etc. etc…

Central Finland Bird Club


The aims of the Central Finland Bird Club are to connect birdwatchers, to promote bird watching, common knowledge on birds as well as the protection of birds and the environment of birds. The club collects, stores and publishes records of birds of the area. Red-throated Diver is the symbol of the club. The club is a member in BirdLife Finland. There are about 400 members in the club…

Etelä-Karjalan Lintutieteellinen Yhdistys


Etelä-Savon Lintuharrastajat Oriolus


Finnish Ornithological Society


The Finnish Ornithological Society promotes scientific research of birds in Finland and publishes the scientific ornithological journal Ornis Fennica. Finnish Ornithological Society is a member of BirdLife Finland, the Finnish partner of BirdLife International. The Society was established in 1924.

Finnish Rarities Committee


Committee etc…

Kainuun Lintutieteellinen Yhdistys


Kesä on jo vaihtumassa syksyksi ja lintujen laulukausikin on päättynyt. Vaikka maastoon menisi heti auringon noustua, ei äänessä ole kuin yksittäisiä pajulintuja. Kahlaajien syysmuutto on ollut jo pitkään menossa. Heinäkuulla on nähty pieniä määriä sirrejä, mutta niiden suuret joukot ovat karttaneet Kainuuta. Meillä ei ole yhtään hyvää kahlaajarantaa, kun Otanmäen vesi on liian korkealla…

Kanta-Hämeen lintutieteellinen yhdistys


Kemin lintuharrastajat Xenus Ornithological Society


Keski- ja Pohjois-Uudenmaan Lintuharrastajat Apus ry


Keski-Pohjanmaan Lintutieteellinen Ornithological Society

Kuusamon Lintukerho Ornithological Society

Kymenlaakson Lintutieteellinen Ornithological Society


KyLY on Kymenlaakson lintuharrastajien yhdistys. Jäsenenä tuet linnustonsuojelua, opit lisää linnuista ja pääset mukaan monipuoliseen toimintaan…

Lounais-Hämeen Lintuharrastajat Ornithological Society


Merenkurkun Lintutieteellinen Ornithological Society


Latest sightings, rarity photos etc…

Päijät-Hämeen Lintutieteellinen Ornithological Society


Pirkanmaan Lintutieteellinen Ornithological Society


Pohjois-Karjalan Lintutieteellinen Yhdistys [North Karelian Ornithological Society]


North Karelian Ornithological Society was founded in 1974. The aim of the society is to promote birdwatching, research and protection of birds in the province of North Karelia. This includes systematic gathering, filing and publishing of bird observations, arranging meetings and excursions. Society, a partner of BirdLife Finland, has more than 200 members…

Pohjois-Pohjanmaan Lintutieteellinen Ornithological Society

Porin Lintutieteellinen Ornithological Society

Porvoon Seudun Lintuyhdistys ry

Includes Atlas project, digiscoped photographs etc.

Södra Österbotten Ornithological Society


Latinises its name to Ostrobothnia Australis

South Karelia Ornithological Society


The Ornithological Society of South Karelia - in Finnish Etelä-Karjalan Lintutieteellinen Yhdistys r.y. or EKLY - is a local society of BirdLife Finland. EKLY was founded in 1969. The society is a bond between the South Karelian bird-watchers and a connection to the mother society. South Karelia is located in Southeastern Finland.

Suomenlinna Ornithological Society


At the core of "Suomenlinna Ornithological Society" is the invention of new bird species with electronic birdsongs. The concrete sources of these birdsongs are samples taken from a museum film about the history of the island of Suomenlinna, a Finnish sea fortress witness to scenes of conflict since the 18th century.

Suupohjan Lintutieteellinen Ornithological Society


Some English Text. Includes sightings, photos, local checklist, local hotspots etc.

Tringa Ornithological Society


Tringa is the ornithological society for the Uusimaa province in southern Finland. With its over 2000 members, Tringa is the largest member of BirdLife Finland…

Turku Ornithological Society


Turun lintutieteellinen yhdistys, The Ornithological Society of Turku, is a chapter of Birdlife Finland. It covers the geographical area of the South-Western Finland. Some of the information in Finnish on these pages contains: Recent observations in the area . List of contact persons of the Club. Birding sites of South-Western Finland. List of the Birds of Ruissalo, Turku

Valkeakosken Lintuharrastajat ry



Abbreviations Key

Finland's Protected Areas


In August 1998, Finland's Council of State decided to propose to the European Union Commission the inclusion in the Natura 2000 Network of a total of 1,457 areas compliant with the EU Habitat Directive or Bird Directive.

North Karelia Nature Reserves and National Parks


It has been estimated that 52,250 hectares (3.4%) of the forest land in North Karelia are protected by law. This area includes the national and nature parks, the conservation areas of groves, old forests and swamps and the private nature reserves…

Siipyy Observation Tower


Satellite View

The Siipyy tower (photo) is the only Finnish observation tower located on the open sea. Observations are made from nearly 17 metres above the sea, and thus visibility is excellent - tens of kilometres. In addition, the nearby trees are shorter, which makes it possible to see in all directions…



Finland presently has 11 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 138,746 hectares…

Forums & Mailing Lists


Mailing List

To post to list: laniusverkko@yahoogroups.com

To subscribe to list: laniusverkko-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Mailing List – Discussion Group - Valkeakosken Lintuharrastajat ry:n sähköpostilistalintuhavaintojen ja muiden lintuharrastusta sivuavienasioiden tiedottamiseen.

Osprey Nest Forum



Mailing List

To post to list: sslty@yahoogroups.com

List contact: sslty-owner@yahoogroups.com

To subscribe to list: sslty-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Mailing List – Discussion Group It says Suomenselän lintutieteellisen yhdistyksen postituslista. which I assume is something in Finnish about birding?

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birdfinders - Owls in Finland

Tour Operator

These tours are specifically designed to find the northern owls. Numbers fluctuate from year to year depending on the rodent populations, so there is no guarantee that we will see any particular species. However, with the assistance of a local guide, the chances are very good. These tours are arranged through Jeff Price of Ibis Excursions…

Birding Ecotours

Tour Operator

Oulu is a famous area for breeding owls and we will find other forest species. We then visit Finland’s most important wetland, the Bay of Liminka, where lots of shorebirds will be seen and perhaps find some exciting migrants, before continuing to the expansive taiga forests in Kuusamo and the pristine Oulanka National Park.

Birding Pal


Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…


Tour Operator

Finnature offers travel arrangements and itinerary services for groups in Finland, Norway and Estonia, Highly trained English speaking birding guides, Brown Bear watching and photography opportunities, Wildlife and landscape photography tours and Wildlife photos and lectures…

Rockjumper Birding Tours

Tour Operator

We offer a short birding tour of Finland to the forests and coastal area of the Oulu region, with the highlights being the numerous owls to be found in the area. Other targets include Smew, Black Grouse, Western Capercaillie, Red-flanked Bluetail, Siberian Jay, Grey-headed Chickadee, Bohemian Waxwing, Pine Grosbeak and Two-barred Crossbill.

Skaftung Nature

Tour Operator

Unforgettable experiences in northern archipelago, wetlands and boreal forests. See how thousands of birds arrive to north, experience the intensive life of short breeding season and hear the talented singers of light summer nights. Meet visitors from large eastern forest and masses of migration birds in autumn…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2007 [02 February] - John Van Der Woude


…At Oulu itself we tried a few times to find Pine Grosbeak near the hospital, as it had been seen there regularly. We got one, singing at the treetops, but this was just after we had brought our friends to the train station for their travel back home…

2007 [02 February] - Mark E P Hows


highlights before we contacted Juha to go and see the now famous owl. The hawk owl was there on arrival showing very well and we stayed until we were cold. Juha put us on to a friend of his Eero. We met up and drove down a very snow covered road which our Nissan Note struggled with…

2009 [05 May] - Ken Musgrove


…. However, it did overlook part of the bay and from here we had shelduck, goldeneye, goosander, merganser, goldeneye, ruff (in breeding plumage) redshank, arctic and common tern, marsh harrier, swifts, sand martins and swallows…

2009 [06 June]- David Mason - Finland & Arctic Norway


Finland has always been a destination high up on my wish list with the mouth-watering possibility of more lifers than most other European destinations. High costs relative to other similar trips, plus the potential for 24 hour birding has, in the past, left it on the back burner. With Amanda not really wanting to undertake a full-on birding trip, when our son Nick suggested he accompany me instead, the die was cast…

2009 [07 July] - Lutz Lücker


…Lots of species were rare or seemed absent like Skuas (Raubmöwen, Labbes), Buntings (Ammern, Bruants),or Willow Grouse…

2010 [05 May] - Stephen Burch


… The main objective was to connect with as many as possible of the northern owls, which has been one of my ambitions for some time now. Getting some reasonable photos would also be a nice bonus…

2010 [05 May] - Toni Eskelin


…Birding the forest was great but without doubt pride of place goes to extended views of Tengmalm’s Owl peering out at us from its nesting cavity. He, or possibly she, was the second tenant of what was originally a Black Woodpeckers hole – the previous tenant being a Common Goldeneye…

2010 [07 July] - Colin & Alison Parnell


…Having withstood blizzards, gales and torrential rain in late May 2000, we felt it was about time we returned to see if the weather in Finland was always that bad. This time our visit coincided with the hottest summer for 75 years…

2010 [07 July] - Dave & Sammy Langlois


…First two rough leg buzzards hovering by the road soon after leaving Kirkenes, with red throated divers in the roadside lochs just outside the town. Fieldfares in the roadside trees. Willow warblers abundant and in full song. Hoodies everywhere….

2011 [05 May] - David Hoddinott


Our inaugural trip to Finland was, to say the least, a remarkable success! We had a great number of highlights that included all possible grouse species, together with stunning views of the elusive Hazel Grouse, a magnificent four male Western Capercaillie, fabulous Black Grouse….

2012 [07 July] - Uffe Gjøl Sørensen & Hans Jørgen Bruun Pedersen

Report PDF

…We saw two wolves – one only briefly but the alpha female in her pale summer-coat was seen well, see photo. Twice she was seen at a slow pace crossing the open bog: All ears and observant…

2013 [05 May] - Antti Vierimaa & Peter Lansdown

Report PDF

…our sightings of Eurasian Capercaillie, Willow Grouse, Red-necked Grebe and particularly the star bird, a stunning singing male Rustic Bunting, more than compensated for the discomfort…

2013 [05 May] - Mike Neale


…We made a tour around Lentiira and came through the tiny village of Niva. Near this village we had prolonged views of a pair of Black-throated Diver. The road between Niva and the main road (the "912") was unsurfaced and yielded quite a few female Capercaillies and also a few Hazel Grouse. In the evening we drove again to Viiksimo and saw a few female Capercaillies, a few Black Grouse (both male and female) and a few Hazel Grouse along the unsurfaced road….

2013 [05 May] - Sief Ollers

Report PDF

2013 [06 June] - Simon Boyes

Report PDF

…There are six Black-throated Divers swimming in close formation and diving together, all in best breeding plumage. Wood Sandpipers display overhead, a wonderful sight and sound evocative of the Arctic. We also have many Muskrat to watch: mini-Beavers in appearance, originally introduced from North America….

2013 [07 July] - Thomas Kuppel

Report PDF

…Since some nights a real Lanceolated Warbler has been singing between Saario and Värtsilä..

2014 [07 July] - Karl Overman - Finland & Arctic Norway


...A Corncrake was busy calling from a relatively small field. An unfamiliar song that was soon to be a very familiar song was tracked down to a Yellowhammer. The other birds I had on my first foray into Finnish birds turned out to be standard fare for the rest of the trip -Fieldfare, Barn Swallow, White Wagtail, Chaffinch. You have to start somewhere....

2015 [05 May] - Antero Topp

Report PDF

...Venturing along unsurfaced roads into thicker forest, no target birds were seen at a local Ural Owl nesting area, but then a Three-toed Woodpecker appeared near its tree-hole nest. It was, however, being harassed by a pair of Pied Flycatchers, and didn’t stay in sight for long, diving into its nest whilst the photogenic male flycatcher kept guard.

2015 [05 May] - Antti Vierrimaa

Report PDF

2015 [06 June] - Stephen Burch - Lapland


...Careful research in advance showed that I had realistic chances for just four lifers - Pine Grosbeak, Arctic Redpoll, Brunnich's Guillemot and Arctic Warbler which was by no means guaranteed. Note that fortunately Stellar's Eider is already on my list...

2016 [04 April] - Wim Heylen - Norway & Finland

PDF Report

...After an uneventful flight from Helsinki to Ivalo, we picked up our rental car and started heading north towards Varanger. Our first major stop was at Neljän Tuulen Tupa, the famous roadside restaurant with bird feeders. We had lunch there and saw Pine Grosbeak, Arctic Redpoll, Siberian Tit and Siberian Jay...

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Erä Eero's Wildlife Lodge


Erä Eero's Wildlifelodge is located near the easternmost corner of the European Union. We are the on the edge of the endless taiga forest that span from Finland crossing Siberia all the way to the Bering Strait. Our wildlife is part that vast area and only a narrow brim of the taiga extends to the Finnish side of the border…


Raasio Ringing Station

The area is an important regional breeding site and more importantly a staging site for migrating birds, especially water birds, gulls and waders. The site`s unique nature is shown during spring and autumn migration times when many species of regionally rare sandpipers and stints stop over in quite large numbers…

Tankar Bird Station

Satellite View

Contact Details: Tankarin lintuasema, Harri Hongell, Raahenkatu 46, 67200 KOKKOLA, puh. 06-8314903 tai 050-5110047 e-mail: harri.hongell.ymparisto.fi


Finnish Museum of Natural History


he Finnish Museum of Natural History is an independent research institution functioning under the University of Helsinki. It is also one of the three central national museums in Finland and responsible for the national collections in its field…

Turku University Zoological Museum


The new English web pages of Turku University Zoological Museum collections are under construction…


Finnish Birding


Welcome to follow my occasional birding in Finland and other countries around the Western Palearctic...

Remote Birding


I'm interested in almost everything in this planet -I'm eager to learn something new every single day. I'm interested in almost everything in this planet – I'm eager to learn something new every single day…

Other Links


Sadly the Magazine closed down

Bad Finnish Birdwatcher


Timo Janhonen's BLOG - Fabulous birding adventures on the south coast of Finland…

Bird House Boys


Birds and Birdwatching


At the moment only the front page is in English.

Birds of Inari Lapland


Checklist [& more] of Inari Lapland bird species etc…

Jared Goes to Finland


Student discovers Finnish birding



Tarsiger.com is a new Finnish birding website. Our target is to provide bird pictures around the world and recent observations of rare birds from Finland, Estonia and the Western Palearctic region.

Photographers & Artists

Artist - Johannes Nevala


Welcome to an artistry with birds in the focus. In oil-colours and water-colours I create paintings from the inspiration that days at the Gotlandic seashore gives me…

Artist & Photographer - Hanna & Janne Aalto


Some excellent photograhs [Janne] and paintings [Hanna]

Bird Photography with Finnature


Finnature Ltd is a ground tour operator specialized in wildlife- and birdwatching tours and wildlife photography. Finnature's company philosophy is to raise public perception of the value of Finland's natural environments and to help preserve them for future generations. Finnature's tours offer clients opportunities to enjoy the wonders of nature under expert guidance…



Excellent material from Finnish photographer Juho ja Jukka Könönen and sons…

Gallery - Pictures of Finnish Birds


Top quality images from Markus Varesvuo, Tomi Muukkonen, Jari Peltomäki and Arto Juvonen.

Gallery - Tarsiger


Tarsiger.com is a new Finnish birding website. Our target is to provide bird pictures around the world and recent observations of rare birds from Finland, Estonia and the Western Palearctic region. You can search the pictures easily and efficiently from our database. If you are interested in purchasing rights of a picture or willing to send your own recent rarity picture to our website - please contact via e-mail. Be sure to remember that all pictures are copyrighted by the authors and are not to be used without their permission. -Tarsiger team

Photographer - Antti Below


…My pages consist mainly of bird photos but other nature photos are also included in a smaller amount. At this moment, there are about 2300 bird photos about almost 300 species. The situation lives continuously when the scanning of old slides proceeds and new digital photos are taken. I have tried to offer a wide range of bird photos but still to sustain a good quality in pictures…

Photographer - Arto Juvonen


Some excellent images from this Finnish photographer…

Photographer - Harri Vainola


Bird photographs and essays, portraying birds as individual beings…

Photographer - Harry J Lehto


Some selected bird photographs from Harry J Lehto, Henry Lehto

Photographer - Petri Kuhnon


Many fine pictures.

Photographer - Vesa Huttunen


Unusual and brilliant bird images…