Kingdom of Norway

White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus ©Jens Eriksen Website
Birding Norway

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.

Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 516

    (As at July 2018)
  • Number of bird species:

    National Bird: White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus
Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist Norway

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
  • iGoTerra Checklist of Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands

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

  • A Birdwatcher's Guide to Norway

    (Where, When and How to find the Birds of Norway including Svalbard) | Bjorn Olav Tveit | Orn Forlag | 2011 | Paperback | 471 pages, Col photos, maps | ISBN: 9788299806244 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Useful Information
  • National Bird

    Dipper Cinclus cinclus
Observatories
  • Akerøya Ornitologiske Stasjon

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Akerøya Bird Observatory, located on the east side of the Oslo fjord in the south-east of Norway. Latest observations, ringing results and pictures.
  • Jomfruland Fuglestasjon

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    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…
  • Lista Fuglestasjon

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    The total of observations made at the Observatory…
  • Slettnes Fuglestasjon

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    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…
  • Store Færder Ornitologiske Stasjon

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Store Færder Ornitologiske Stasjon (SFOS) er en ideell forening som har som formål å være bindeledd mellom fugleinteresserte i alle aldre. Vi driver med observasjon og ringmerking av fugler, informasjonsarbeid og opplæring overfor allmennheten, samt generelt naturvernarbeid.
  • Turoy Bird Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    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

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    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.
Organisations
  • Dalane Lokallag NOF

    Website
    Observations, activities etc. (in Norwegian)
  • Finnmark County NOF

    Webpage
    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

    Webpage
    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

    Website
    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

    Website
    Norsk Ornitologisk Forening, Sandgata 30 B, 7012 Trondheim, Tlf. 73 84 16 40 - nof@birdlife.no 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

    Website
    The website is only in Norwegian
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • Wetlands

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Norway currently has 63 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 909,134 hectares.
Forums & Mailing Lists
Guides & Tour Operators


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

  • Birding Norway

    Tour Operator
    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
  • Birding Norway

    Tour Operator
    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….
  • Eirik Gr

    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

    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…
Trip Reports


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

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

    Report
    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

    Report
    …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

    Report
    Annotated list with photos…
  • 2011 [06 June] - Barry Cooper & Gail Mackiernan - Arctic

    PDF Report
    We had booked to go on the Wild Wings North Atlantic Odyssey in 2012 and were wait-listed also this year’s trip. Luckily a space opened up on the 2011 trip and we managed to arrange house-sitting and flights from the U.S. to England on very short notice. The trip was to start in Aberdeen, and then over ten days gradually work its way north landing on several islands en route, including North Rona, the Faeroes, Jan Mayen Land and finally, Spitsbergen. At this time of year we expected sea ice to the north, and only the western part of Svalbard, warmed by the North Atlantic Drift current, would be ice-free.
  • 2011 [07 July] - Mark Beevers - Spitsbergen / Svalbard

    PDF Report
    …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

    Report
    Birdwatching in Norway – especially in the counties of Nordland (Lofoten) and Troms…
  • 2012 [07 July] - Mark Hows

    Report
    …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

    Report
    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

    PDF Report
    …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

    Report
    …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

    PDF Report
  • 2014 [03 March] - Håvard Eggen - Owls in Norway

    Report
    …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

    Report
    ...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

    Report
    ...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

    Report
    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

    PDF Report
  • 2016 [03 March] - Ed Stubbs

    PDF Report
    Annotated list
  • 2016 [04 April] - Dave Mansell - Arctic Norway

    Report
    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

    PDF Report
    ...In the morning we returned to the Great Grey Owl site, but we couldn’t find it. We spent the rest ofthe morning touring Kuusamo and saw plenty more Black Grouse, and yesterday’s NorthernHawk-Owl again. The only new bird for the trip was a calling Bohemian Waxwing...
  • 2016 [07 July] - Arjen Drost & Mike Watson - Spitsbergen

    PDF Report
    ... Familiar northern birds like Rock Ptarmigan, Arctic Skua(or Parasitic Jaeger), Purple Sandpiper, Common Ringed Plover, Red Phalarope and Snow Bunting can all be found breeding close to, and sometimes, even in the town....
  • 2016 [07 July] - John Coons - Spitsbergen & the Svalbard Archipelago

    Report
    ...We enjoyed a wonderful time in the far, far north aboard the Ortelius, while seeing great birds, bears, walrus and fantastic scenery. We started out in Longyearbyen, where we got our birding underway with close views of Red Phalarope, Purple Sandpiper, and Common Ringed Plover, a locally rare Iceland Gull, King and Common eiders and lots of Barnacle Geese, while the songs of Snow Buntings chimed in...
  • 2016 [12 December] - Ed Stubbs - Tromso

    PDF Report
    ...The weather was very mild for the time of year, with rain and cloud hampering our hopes ofseeing the Northern Lights. The Arctic Night was also in full swing, with around 2 hours(from 10:30-12:30) of murky light all you got, making birding pretty much impossible. On theway home we stopped at Oslo for a night, and a birding morning with the extremelyknowledgeable Simon Rix was as enjoyable as my previous experience, and we had greatviews of Nutcrackers, and a fleeting one of a Hazel Grouse at Lillomarka....
  • 2017 [02 February] - Rob Mileto & David Phillips

    PDF Report
    ...At a fish processing plant there was a tight raft of mainly Common Eider,but with a scattering of (Great) Cormorant, (European) Shag, Long-tailed Duck,and Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. Nearby was a little gaggle of Red-breasted Merganser. Returning to the narrowest stretch of the Kvalsundet, through the snow this time, we could see more ducksbut it was very tricky to identify them. After a good deal of trying, most were convinced they were King Eider, but in all honesty, we had pretty poor viewssowould have to be patient....
  • 2017 [07 July] - P aul Harmes

    PDF Report
    ...As we sailed down thisstunning fjord, there weregood numbers of MewGulls.We also saw Red-breasted Mergansers, Black Guillemot, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiperand two sightingsof Grey Seal. Tiny picturesque villages and fabulous scenery made this trip truly memorable. In addition, there were many waterfalls along the fjordto enjoy....
  • 2018 [02 February] - David Phillips - Fjords, Arctic Birds & Northern Lights

    PDF Report
    ... Taking the roadwest towards Sommerøy we enjoyed the superb scenery in the pure, clear and sunnyArctic light. Making a stop at a historic wooden boat sheds at Stakken, we spotted a Fieldfare on the shore, Long-tailed Ducks out to sea and Herring and GreatBlack-backed Gulls in the air. ...
  • 2018 [04 April] - Oscar Campbell

    PDF Report
    ...The first White-tailed Eagleappeared over Ålesund (along with Mealy Redpollfound by climbing up the steep steps behind the harbor) and the former species was very common over subsequent days (23 next day; 35 on the following;dailyin small numbersthereafter).An adultLittle Gullwas a surprisefindnot far out of Ålesund butnumbers of seaduckremained (very) small until the run in to Tromsø. Here we finally found a single male King Eideramongst c4000 Common Eider, with Long-tailed Duckalso finally abundant. Distant diversnot far out of Trondheimand prior to Tromsøwere probably White-billed but just too far to convincingly pin down...
  • 2018 [05 May] - Ari Latja - Norway & Finland - An Arctic Spring

    PDF Report
    After flights from Heathrow to Oulu via Helsinki, we arrived at Oulu in the afternoon and met Ari. The drive to the hotel took a mere five minutes. Stepping out of the vehicle we were soon watching a singing male Pied Flycatcher in the hotel garden. There were also many Fieldfares and Redwings around. Suddenly an adult Whitetailed Eagle appeared right above us.
  • 2018 [05 May] - Hannu Jännes - Finland & Arctic Norway

    PDF Report
    This year’s Birdquest tour to Finland and Norway was once again a great success. Not only did we find the great majority of target birds, we were able to enjoy them in the stunning landscapes of the “Land of the midnight sun” with its almost endless boreal forests, countless lakes, wet bogs, mighty rivers, partly snow covered fells and the rugged coast of the Arctic Ocean that teems with birdlife.
  • 2018 [06 June] - Nigel Redman - Finland & Norway

    PDF Report
    This year’s itinerary combined the boreal forests of Finland with the fjords and tundra of northern Norway (Lapland), with great success. Arriving in what we were informed was the best owl year for 25 years, we wrapped up six species of owls in style in the first two days, and then added the famously unpredictable Snowy Owl in Varanger at the end of the trip.
  • 2018 [06 June] - Simon Boswell - Kuusamo and Varanger Peninsula

    PDF Report
    Finland and Arctic Norway are classic birding destinations which I have dreamt about visiting for a long time. As a result, my dad and I organised an independent trip to Kuusamo and the Varanger Peninsula in May and June 2018. The basic route comprised Oulu-Kuusamo-Varanger-Oulu over a period of 11 days.
Other Links
  • Birding on the Veranger Peninsula

    Website
    Morten Günther - 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

    Website
    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…
  • Fugler (Birds)

    Website
    Looks like all sorts of goodies - mostly just in Norwegian.
  • Natural Born Birder

    Website
    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
  • NetNatur

    Website
    Catch all nature site.
Blogs
  • Jonas Langbratens - Nature Photography

    BLOG
  • Julian Bell - Øygarden Birding

    BLOG
    Latest bird news from Øygarden, Hordaland, Norway.
  • Oslo Birder

    BLOG
    The sightings and occasional thoughts of an English birder in Oslo
Photographers & Artists
  • Frank Droge

    Gallery
    Svalbard photos
  • Photographer - Eirik Gr

    Gallery
    Eirik Gr
  • Photographer - Jonas Langbratens

    Gallery & Blog
    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.

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