Birding Factoids

419 species
in 49 families

None of the 5 European
endemics are 
represented here. 
No national endemics
4 speciality species
4 endangered species

Checklist of Finland BirdsTours and GuidesRare Bird AlertsSpeciality BirdsMap and General Country Information

Check out the Gallery Of Finnish Birds
or visit Giuliano Gerra and Silvio Sommazzi's Finland Birding Page
as well as Juha Niemi's Finnish Birds

Finland Specialities
Whooper Swan - Finland's National Bird - Photo copyright Hannu Hautala
Photo copyright Hannu Hautala

Ural Owl - Photo copyright Vaughan Ashby

Photo copyright Vaughan Ashby

Spotted Redshank - Photo copyright George McCarthy

Photo copyright George McCarthy

Lapland Longspur - Photo copyright Jeremy Barker

Photo copyright Jeremy Barker

Wood Sandpiper - Photo copyright Eric Van Poppel

Photo copyright Eric Van Poppel
    ....Finding Birds in Finland - The first edition of this book probably 
      gives the impression that finding Finland's special birds is easy. However, don't despair. Finland's forest birds are hard to find but not impossible. So here is the latest news on how to find the best species. Don't assume you can just turn up, tick them off and drive on but be prepared to make several visits, sometimes at unsociable hours and, with the help of these notes, you could be lucky.
    ....Finland's National Parks - Treasures of Finnish Nature - 
      Nature Protection is the primary function of national parks.They are protected areas exemplifying the more valuable and characteristic habitats and land forms in the country, such as archipelago, lakes, forests, peatlands and fells. Birders should pay particular attention to: 
      • Eastern Gulf of Finland
      • Ekenäs Archipelago
      • Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas
      • Liesjärvi
      • Oulanka
      • Puurijärvi-Isosuo
      • Torronsuo
    ....Siikalahti Conservation Area - The wetland of Siikalahti is recognized
      as Finland's best lake for birds. Siikalahti is especially renowned for its nocturnal bird–song, with nightingales being the most prominent members of the night–time chorus.
    ....Exploring nature in Rantasalmi - this is the location of the Putkilahti
      bird sanctuary.
    ....Raaso Wader Ringing Station - the introduction section outlines 
      this 150 acre site, and the likely (and unlikely) birds to be seen. Waders are know as shorebirds on this side of the Atlantic.
    ....Birding at Hanko - Hanko Bird Observatory is kept by Tringa R.Y. 
      which is a bird society in Helsinki. This bird observatory is situated in extreme south west point of Finland, end of Hanko penisula.
    ....Short birding trip to Porvoo (Southern Finland) on March 22 – 27, 
      2002, by Natalie Groenez and Nico Geiregat. Our main goal (Hazel hen) was not too hard to find. However it seems for most of the other species you do need some more local information about the best places to visit and even then it’s not too easy. For example, we only
      had one three-toed woodpecker, one White-backed woodpecker, one Ural owl, one Tengmalm’s, one Pigmy and one Eagle owl while we were birding all the time, so birding there has to be rather intensive and it’s hard work walking in rocky forests with 20-30 cm. of snow, but in that environment it‘s certainly worth it!
    ....Trip Report: Scandinavia (Sweden, Finland, and Norway), 
      July 1 - 30, 1987 - by Gerard Joannes. Scandinavia has changed a lot recently. Finding food at a reasonable price was very difficult during my first trip from 1 to 30 July 1987. I did a lot of sight-seeing then only watching birds when I saw them. During my second trip in 1996 which was entirely devoted to bird-watching, we found food very easily at supermarket prices.....
    ....Trip report - Finland - Birds and Music - hosted by John Girdley (follow
      the Europe, then Finland link). This report by Ann Barker gives a fascinating insight into both the birds and the culture of this remote area of Northern Europe.  Her trip, organized by Sunbird, also visited parts of Russia, Estonia and Norway......
    ....Trip Report: Finland, June 10-17, 1992 by Rob Goldbach
    ....Seen Any Pygmy Owls ? A Report on a Trip to Finland in June 1994 -
      by Chris Bradshaw. This trip report documents a trip to Finland from 4th-26th June 1994. We travelled throughout most of Finland and spent a couple of days at Varangerfjord, Norway. We had an excellent time, and saw 199 species including all our main targets. 
    ....Trip Report: Isosaari (Finland). 1994 - 1995. Isosaari - Great Island
      - A little bird paradise in Finnish Bay - Isosaari in Finnish means "Great Island". The island is not great by size, but very well a great place for birds - unfortunately not for birders, because the island is a military fortress island and not allowed for visitors. I had the extreme pleasure to spend there one year, and the following observations are made from autumn 1994 till summer 1995. 
    ....Trip Report: Seven Hours in Heinä-Suvanto (Finland). May 17, 1997.
      This is a trip report of seven hours which we spent in Heinä-Suvanto, a bird paradise in Viitasaari, northern part of Mid-Finland. 
    ....Trip Report: Northern Scandinavia (Finland, Sweden, and Norway) 
      June 13-28, 1998 by Gruff Dodd. In June 1998 I was finally able to satisfy a long outstanding ambition to travel to this wonderful part of Europe in search of some of its most magical birds. I had wanted to visit this region for many years
    ....Finland and the Varanger Fjord, Norway (20 June - 5 July 1998) by
      Roberto Garavaglia & Federico Bonicelli.  The main target of our summer birdwatching trip was the famous Varanger Fjord in Norway. We combined this destination with a tour of the main birding spots in both south-eastern and northern Finland.
    ....Trip Report: Finland and Northern Norway, May 31 - June 12, 1999 by
      by Barry Cooper & Gail Mackiernan. This report describes a trip we made to Finland and arctic Norway in June 1999. Our targets were the many species which are more characteristic of regions to the east, which in Europe are easiest to find in Finland, as well as the excellent suite of owls, raptors, grouse, waders and seabirds which frequent the vast forests, wetlands, tundra and fjords of these two beautiful countries. 
    ....Trip Report: Finland, May - June 2000. From UK Birding.
    ....Trip Report: Northern Scandinavia, May-June 2000, by 
      Simon Woolley and Julia Casson.
    ....Trip Report: Eastern and Central Finland, June 10-24, 2000, by
      Georges & Mireille Olioso. The first week, we stayed in the very small village of Hoilola, very close to the Russian border; the second in Kivijärvi. 
    ....Trip Report: Birding through Finland (and a bit of Norway) - by 
      Stefano and Daniela Fantini - Italy. May 26 - June 9, 2001. We have chosen this time for the trip because we intended to get the best from spring singers and hoped to avoid mosquitoes. We have not been very lucky with weather (often cloudy and sometimes raining and snowing), but we enjoyed very much the untouched Finnish wilderness and we got a very good day in Norway (Varanger). At the end we have had 135 species with more than 50 new for us.
    ....Trip Report: Arctic Norway and Finland - June, 2001. By Rob and
      Evelien Goldbach. After several visits to more southern areas in Norway, Sweden en Finland, and a productive trip to the Varangerfjord in 1992, we decided to make a trip completely focussed on the extreme northern part of Fenno-Scandinavia, far above the polar circle, to enjoy the arctic specialities. The top 5 target species were this time Gyrfalcon, Snowy Owl, Hawk Owl, Brunnich's Guillemot and  White-billed Diver.
    ....Trip Report: Northern Scandinavia June 1999 - by Teus Luijendijk.
      In June 1999, Pieter van der Luit and I set out for a trip through Northern Sweden, Finland and Norway. In this report I have summarised our findings, mostly regarding to the birds (and mammals) we observed. Our goal was to find as many of the 'Northern speciality birds' as possible. Any birder will know what I mean with this: the (North-)Scandinavian forests and tundra's host a number of bird species that are difficult, or even impossible, to see elsewhere.
    ....Trip Report: Finland/Norway, 2nd  - 13th June   2002, by Steve Bird
      and Ari Latja. 186 Species seen. Great company, excellent bird sightings with everything seen well by everyone and all backed up by very good weather and fantastic scenery.A Birdseekers Tour Report.

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Tours and Guides

...>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Finland Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
    **..Owls in Finland with Birdfinders Holidays - 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. May 16 - 19, May 23 - 26, or May 29 - June 2, 2003.
    **..Finland and Norway with Birdfinders Holidays - This holiday combines
      the bird rich forests, lakes and marshes of Finland with the tundra of Norway and the Arctic Ocean in the land of the midnight sun and northern lights. We will look for species that are difficult to find elsewhere in Europe as well as those that reach their westernmost outposts in northern   Scandinavia. June 4 - 15, 2003
    **..The Baltic, Finland and Arctic Norway with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours
      (VENT). Here, in the Baltic/Scandinavian northeast, we find a good number of rarely seen birds: specialties of eastern Europe; Russian/Asiatic species on the western edge of their range; and high Arctic birds-and all on their breeding grounds. We have worked closely with expert Finnish birders to devise a special itinerary concentrating on species of particular interest to American birders.  VENT offers nearly 140 tours to over 100 land-based destinations each year and is the largest tour company in the world specializing in birding and natural history.


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Rare Bird Alert


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European Endemics and Specialities

in Finland

Information on endemics and specialities is derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists and bird distribution lists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.05. Speciality birds, while not endemic, are those that can only be found in three or less countries of Europe. Species printed in bold italic have only been found in Finland. Information on endangered birds is derived from the IUCN Red List, Birdlife International, and supporting data bases developed by Ian Patton, of Merlin Species Watcher.  The endemic, endangered and speciality birds may be uncommon, extremely rare vagrants, may be extirpated in the country now or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of each species noted below have been made in Finland. 

No European Endemics in Finland - No National Endemics

Endangered Birds in Finland

Breeding Birds

Non-Breeding Birds

___ Corn Crake
___ Greater Spotted Eagle
___ Lesser White-fronted Goose  ___ Steller's Eider

Other Speciality Birds in Finland

___ Black-throated Accentor
___ Daurian Jackdaw
___ Steller's Sea Eagle ___ Willet 

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