Norway stretches 1800 kilometers in a north-south direction, and while the coastal areas are humid and surprisingly warm in winter, this is not the case once you move inland. The fjordlands and mountains in the west, woodlands in the east and arctic conditions in the north probably makes Norway one of the most diverse countries regarding habitats.
Some of the best places to go birding in southern Norway are located along the south-western coasts between Lista and Stavanger. Lista Bird Observatory is one of the largest and definitely has the best coverage of Norwegian bird observatories, and is located in Farsund commune south of Flekkefjord. This area is good for anything, including raptors and shorebirds. Further west, just south of Stavanger, there is the Jaeren wetland system. There is lots of good wetland- and coastal birding here. Both Lista and Jaeren are best during migration, and so hold few or none of the Scandinavian specialities. If you visit Oslo, then the northern parts of the lake Öyeren to the east of the city is well worth a visit, particularly in spring and early autumn.
The best mountain birding in southern Norway is at Hardangervidda. Sought-after species such as Long-tailed Skua, Gyr Falcon, Great Snipe, Temminck's Stint, Red-necked Phalarope, Horned Lark, Bluethroat and Lapland Longspur all breed here.
Woodlands in the east and central part of the country hold a variety of owls and woodpeckers, most easily found in early spring. Woodland birding can be difficult - it is all about finding the right spots and it helps if you can identify birds from songs and calls.
Seabird colonies are scattered all around the coasts of Norway, but auks are scarce breeders south of the famous bird island Runde near Ålesund. Other large seabird concentrations are in the Lofotan islands, and Röst in particular, as well as along the Varanger peninsula. Birding the arctic along Varanger and in Pasvik is probably the most spectacular birding Norway can offer, the seabird migration in May is astonishing and arctic specialities such as Steller's Eider, King Eider, Brünnich's Guillemot, Siberian Tit and Siberian Jay are easily added to a trip-list together with lots of other good birds.
Birding is still a minority pastime in Norway, with a few hundred active birders and around 5,000 members of Norsk Ornitologisk Forening the Norwegian BirdLife International partner. Lots of good birds go undetected, we are only able to cover a tiny fraction of the thousands of islands along the coast each autumn, when eastern rarities turn up almost everywhere.
Number of Species
National Bird: White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus
Number of bird species: 480
Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder
Dipper Cinclus cinclus
Guides & Tour Operators
Are you visiting Norway for birding? Then you have come to the right place! Birding Norway is a brand new offer for those who don't want to waste any time searching for the best birding sites…
Din Tur offers the most authoritative and wide-ranging birding in Norway today. By choosing accommodation offered by us, you gain access to detailed maps and a pre-programmed GPS to guide you to the best birdwatching sites. In this way you may discover the most outstanding birding Norway has to offer all by yourself….
Local birders willing to show visiting birdwatchers around their area…
Eirik Grønningsæter - Photographer & Guide
I spend approximately 6 months outdoor each year, either going out by myself, or through my work as a field biologist where I conduct fieldwork for different research projects in different parts of the world. Thus also contributing to science, which I think is important and also hope to do through my photos, publications, talks and nature guiding…
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…
Northern Birding - Terje Kolaas
Guided tours with base close to Trondheim. Coast, fjords, boreal forrest and high mountain species. Day-trips, weekend-tours and target tours. Offers photo-hides for some of the scandinavian specialities….
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 [07 July] - Lutz Lücker
…cock Ptarmigan (Lagopède alpin) (Alpenschneehuhn) and a female Dotterel (Pluvier guignard) (Mornellregenpfeifer) in my study area, 2 Black-throated Divers (Plongeon arctique) (Prachttaucher) on the Lake at km 4 of the Batsfjord road with 2 LTS. In Bärbel's area we spot the PSP and another Dotterel (Pluvier guignard) (Mornellregenpfeifer). Still no nest…
2007 [08 August] - Chris Hall - Spitsbergen Cruise ~ Polar Bear Quest
Taking to the Zodiacs, we drift past low cliffs, spotting white winged Glaucous Gulls, Puffins, hundreds of Brünnich’s Guillemots and just one Razorbill! On the slopes above the cliffs are Reindeer and Pink-footed Geese with downy grey goslings. Deeper into the bay is a flotilla of Barnacle Geese, steering themselves between small icebergs covered with Kittiwakes…
2008 [08 August] - James Wakelin - Svalbard
The Arctic is one of the few places on our continent where one is still able to experience pristine wilderness. Only 500 miles from the North Pole, the islands in the Svalbard Archipelago were until recently a destination for expedition scientists rather than travelling wildlife enthusiasts…
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…
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…
2010 [08 August] - Hans Schick
Annotated list with photos…
2011 [07 July] - Mark Beevers - Spitsbergen / Svalbard
…A pair of Parasitic Jaegers (Arctic Skuas) also came in low and fast as they also defended their two fluffy young. Tundra waders were evident as well, with dumpy Purple Sandpipers and displaying Dunlins, while Barnacle Geese had nests and broods of small young…
2012 [06 June] - Hans Schick
Birdwatching in Norway – especially in the counties of Nordland (Lofoten) and Troms…
2012 [07 July] - Mark Hows
…A far more relaxing day with a late start, after a spot of lunch in glorious weather we headed to Orkelsjoen where we caught up with Pied and spotted flycatchers in the woods and some nice redshank, ringed plovers, artic terns and temminck's stints by the lake but little evidence of raptors in near perfect conditions, but there were a few butterflies around…
2013 [01 January] - Hans Schick - Tromsø
From December 28 – January 02, 2013 I spent with my wife our end of year holydays in Tromsø. Having enjoyed the midnight sun last sommer in the Lofoten (Nordland county, Norway), we were keen to see the northern lights in this area north of the arctic circle. I was also interested to learn, which birdspecies were able to stay and to survive in a territory, where in midwinter (winter solstice) the sun does not rise for several weeks…
2013 [07 July] - David Blair - Svalbard & Norway
…As the afternoon wore on we managed to add a nice Rosefinch, some Blue tits, a Buzzard, Chaffinch and a lovely male Bullfinch. Flying around the field were many Swallows and Swifts and finally a Kestrel…
2013 [07 July] - John Coons - Spitsbergen & the Svalbard
…The Pink-footed Geese, Rock Ptarmigan, Red-throated Loon on a nest, red Red Phalaropes, Sabine's Gull, Long-tailed Jaeger, and displaying Snow Buntings were certainly highlights as well. Inspiring was the visit to the huge nesting cliff of Thick-billed Murres and Black-legged Kittiwakes at Alkefjellet…
2013 [07 July] - Michael Nolan
2014 [03 March] - Håvard Eggen - Owls in Norway
…The woods are endless. Todays plan in daytime we were driving around trying to spot the Great Grey Owl, and maybe some other species in the forests. We saw several Black Woodpecker, one Three-toed Woodpecker, 10-12 Black Grouse, Crested Tit and some Jays. The undoubtedly highlight was a Great Grey Owl flying across the car in front of us. We used an hour to try and find it again, but it was nowhere to be found. A wonderful day, and then we drove to a place where Eirik knew some Eagle Owls have been breeding for some years. And we got some sleep waiting for the night to come…..
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 [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...
2015 [07 July] - John Coons - Svalbard & Spitsbergen
What a great time we had exploring the High Arctic of the Svalbard Archipelago! Bears, walrus, whales and (of course) birds all came together for a truly great experience. - See more at: http://fieldguides.com/triplists/spi15.html#sthash.P7XpcJXe.dpuf
2015 [07 July] - Spitsbergen
2016 [03 March] - Ed Stubbs
2016 [04 April] - Dave Mansell - Arctic Norway
Being so far north, a 1,000 miles or so north of southern Norway and about 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and at virtually the northernmost point of Continental Europe, there wasn't going to be a huge number of species to see - highlights in the Varanger area were expected to be Arctic sea-duck, Steller's & King Eider in particular, as well as maybe Willow Grouse, Gyrfalcon, Hawk Owl and Brünnich’s Guillemot. A trip further south into the forests should hopefully produce photo opportunities for Pine Grosbeak, Siberian Tit, Siberian Jay and Arctic Redpoll.
2016 [04 April] - Wim Heylen - Norway & Finland
...In the morning we returned to the Great Grey Owl site, but we couldn’t find it. We spent the rest of the morning touring Kuusamo and saw plenty more Black Grouse, and yesterday’s Northern Hawk-Owl again. The only new bird for the trip was a calling Bohemian Waxwing...
Dalane Lokallag NOF
Observations, activities etc. (in Norwegian)
Finnmark County NOF
The Norwegian Ornithological Society (NOF) is the society for birding and bird protection! At the moment we have approximately 3,700 members all over Norway. Except for Sogn og Fjordane there is a department in every county. In addition there are 57 local groups. All groups and departments arrange both meetings and excursions. They also take part in a variety of projects for information and bird protection. Several birding magazines (mostly in Norwegian) are published…
Norsk Ornitologisk Forening avd. Nord-Trøndelag
Nord-Trøndelag er et fylke med et meget variert fugleliv. Vi har noen av landet beste lokaliteter fra kysten, via fjord ferskvann, skog og myrer til høyfjell…
Norsk Ornitologisk Forening avd.Oslo & Akershus
Norsk ornitologisk forening er en landsomfattende organisasjon for alle fugleinteresserte. Foreningen arbeider for å øke kunnskapen om fuglelivet og verne om fuglene og deres livsmiljø. Vi er altså fylkesavdelingen for Oslo og Akershus, og består pr. idag av ca.650 medlemmer. Dersom du ønsker å vite mer om oss kan du klikke på deg rundt på våre sider. Her vil du bl.a finne ut mer om medlemsbladet vårt, ulike prosjekter vi driver, hvordan du kan bli medlem mm…
Norwegian Ornithological Society - Norsk Ornitologisk Forening
Norsk Ornitologisk Forening, Sandgata 30 B, 7012 Trondheim, Tlf. 73 84 16 40 - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Norwegian Ornithological Society (NOF) is the organisation for bird protection and conservation in Norway! NOF has about 6000 members. The members constitue the societys backbone, and by becoming a NOF-member you will give us a hand in protecting the birds, and you will appreciate the offers and information NOF gives you…
Norwegian Rarities Committee
The website is only in Norwegian…
Akerøya Ornitologiske Stasjon
Akerøya Bird Observatory, located on the east side of the Oslo fjord in the south-east of Norway. Latest observations, ringing results and pictures.
Now in both Norwegian & English! Jomfruland Bird Observatory is situated at the north tip of the island of Jomfruland. Making up the outer coast line in this section of the gulf of Skagerak, the island consists largely of boulderes only. Migrating birds follow the coast line, and pass the northern tip both in spring and autumn. Add some scenic and varied nature, and this makes up an extraordinary experience for the nature lover…
Slettnes lighthouse is the northernmost mainland lighthouse in the world! Most birders associate Arctic Norway with the Varanger Peninsula, but there is a little known peninsula between Varanger and North Cape, named Nordkyn…
Turoy Bird Observatory
Turoy Bird Observatory is located on the outer coastline NW of Bergen, half an hours drive from the city centre. We have ringed birds on this site in 1993 (end of September-October) and from the end of July in 1995-98. We use around 30 mist nets placed in different vegetation on the eastern part of this small island. On Turoy we do not trap large numbers of typical ringing station species such as goldcrest and tits, instead our target species are storm petrel, meadow pipit, Sylvia-warblers and thrushes. We borrow an old school house from the local people, who have been very cooperative and given us their permission to erect mistnets almost wherever we like.
Utsira Bird Observatory
Utsira is a small island 24 km southwest of Haugesund. It's geographical site and size makes Utsira an unique place in Norway. Utsira is the site which has the most records of birds new to Norway. The Utsira Bird Observatory was formally established the autumn of 1992.
The convention entered into force in Norway on 21 December 1975. Norway currently has 63 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 889,452 hectares.
Forums & Mailing Lists
Diskusjons grupper - Her er det mulig å diskutere litt av hvert. Det kan være observasjoner, artsbestemming, ringmerking, turer og mye mer. Du kan spørre om hjelp om du lurer på noe. Tipse andre om ting. Eller bare komme med en mening. Bruk siden aktivt, det er deg den er til for! The site will soon have an English version.
Eddie Chapman - Birds & Birding in Norway
Hallo and a warm welcome to my blog "Birds and Bird Watching In Norway". As the title suggest the blog is about my day to day birding in this fantastic country, Norwegian birding news and other general information that will be of interest to birders, both in Norway and those planning to visit…
I am an english birder who has lived in Oslo for the last 9 years. This blog will primarily record my birding around Oslo…
Birding on the Veranger Peninsula
The Varanger peninsula is located in the very northeast of Norway. The Arctic landscape is unique in mainland Europe, the geology is particularly interesting, and both flora and fauna have elements which are not found anywhere else in Fennoscandia…
Birds in Hordaland - Fugler i Hordaland
County birding news, the best birding sites, galleries, mailing list, local rarities comittee and much more from Hordaland county on the western coast of Norway. Norwegian only…
Fuglenytt fra Hordaland - Norwegian Cyberbirding
A very nicely presented site with excellent photos and observations…
Looks like all sorts of goodies - mostly just in Norwegian.
Natural Born Birder
In 2006 I will start what seems to be a unique project within Norway - the daily systematic counting of migrating of seabirds as they head north up the Norwegian coast. At present there is no external funding whatsoever but I just had to do it anyway….. Most birders have thought about doing something like this - I am actually doing it. This website will present the the results…
Catch all nature site.
Norwegian Birding Route
The Norwegian birding route has been created to cover a selection of regions in western Norway that are not only good for bird watching, but also offer a wide range of cultural experiences. To start with, you will be staying at holiday homes that are connected to farms. This way, you will get the chance to experience unique accommodation as well as meet the owners. They will only be to pleased to tell you about their local area…
Norwegian Gull Page
Another excellently presnted page - Lots of pictures of gulls in Norway. Different age, races, hybrids and so on…
Photographers & Artists
Excellent material from Finnish photographer Juho ja Jukka Könönen and sons…
Gallery - Norwegian Cyberbirding
Lots of pictures of both rarities and more common birds from Norway.
Photographer - Christian Tiller
Digital Images of Rare and Unusual Norwegian Birds…
Photographer - Eirik Grønningsæter
Eirik Grønningsæter's excellent bird photos…
Photographer - Jonas Langbratens
Jeg legger ut en del fugle- og naturbilder på Facebook, noe som faller i smak både hos venner med samme naturinteresse som meg selv, og hos venner som jevnlig forer Facebook med annet innhold. Det siste halve året har det sosiale nettverket til tider flommet over av diverse fotoutfordringer. Venner og bekjente utfordrer hverandre til å legge ut syv bilder i løpet av syv dager, i tillegg til å utfordre videre. Selv ble jeg utfordret av Børge Mørkve-Simonsen til å vise syv av mine naturbilder, og jeg ble da inspirert til å grave litt i bildearkivet. Jeg tenkte at jeg skulle finne på en egen vri på utfordringen, og det gjorde jeg ved at jeg kun presenterte bilder fra før jeg ble med på Facebook, det vil si sommeren 2007.
Photographer - Per Holmen - Per’s Birding Pages
Per Holmen's Photos of birds of Southern Africa… Welcome to Per’s Birding Pages. On this site you will find a collection of my bird pictures and my trip reports in Southern Africa. There will also soon be a few birds posted from my home country Norway…