Bird Watching in Norway is an experience you will never forget.
Norway is home to a wide variety of bird species and diverse habitats. Here are some things you might want to know about bird watching in Norway:
- Bird species: Norway is home to more than 500 bird species, including many migratory birds that breed in the country’s northern regions during the summer months. Some of the most iconic species include the white-tailed eagle, the gyrfalcon, the puffin, and the Arctic tern.
- Habitats: Norway has a diverse range of habitats that support a wide variety of bird species, including forests, mountains, wetlands, and coastal areas. Each of these habitats offers unique bird watching experiences, from watching migratory birds in the Arctic tundra to spotting seabirds along the rugged coastlines.
- Seasons: The best time for bird watching in Norway depends on the season and the specific bird species you’re interested in. Spring and summer are the best times to spot breeding birds in Norway, while fall and winter are the best times to spot migratory birds passing through the country.
- Bird watching spots: Norway has several popular bird watching spots, including the Varanger Peninsula in northern Norway, which is known for its Arctic bird species, and the island of Runde, which is home to a large colony of seabirds, including puffins and gannets. (See hereunder for details)
- Regulations: It’s important to follow regulations and best practices when bird watching in Norway, such as staying on designated trails and not disturbing nesting birds. The Norwegian Ornithological Society (NOF) provides guidelines and resources for responsible bird watching in Norway.
The largest sanctuaries are in the North Norwegian Lofoten islands. On the 365 islands live the black guillemot, cormorant, puffin, white tailed eagle, kitti-wake, fulmar, gannet, and black-tailed godwit.
Røst have the biggest birdcliffs in the North Atlantic, with puffin colonies, as well as colonies of shag, kittiwake, and cormorants.
At Værøy the Eagle trapping is a tradition peculiar to the Værøy islanders. They caught eagles with their bare hands. Norwegian Lundehund or Puffin dog is one of Norway´s seven species of dogs, and the rarest one. It has an extra toe, is small, and very agile. Puffin dogs were used solely for the puffin hunt and because the hunt was of such great importance to the islanders, this race of dogs managed to survive in Værøy.
Another place to head for is the marsh Fokstumyra, in eastern Norway. No fewer than 87 different species have been spotted there, including the great snipe, hen, harrier, whimbrel, lapwing, Temminck´s stint, as well as a wide variety of water and marsh birds.
The island of Runde, just off Ålesund, serves as nesting ground for half a million sea birds. The largest bird rock is Rundebranden, and lies within walking distance from the village of Goksøyr. The most common species are kittiwake and puffin, but you will also find the razorbill, guillemot, gannet, fulmar, shag, oyster catcher, curlew, eider, and shelduck. If it is your lucky day, you might even see the white – tailed eagle, eagle owl, peregrine falcon, or golden eagle.