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.

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 516

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

    National Bird: White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands

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

    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
Useful Information
  • National Bird

    Dipper Cinclus cinclus
  • 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.
  • 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 - 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

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.
Sightings, News & Forums
Guides & Tour Operators
  • 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
  • Birdwatching Norway

    Tour Operator
    Birdwatching Norway offers guided birding tours in Norway and Scandinavia. Both fixed tours and custom tours. A custom tour can be adapted to suit your preferences. Whether you are eager twitchers, bird photographers or more relaxed birders.
  • 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…
  • Naturalist Journeys

    Tour Operator
    Naturalist Journeys tour to Finland and Norway at the height of spring bird activity in the far north of Europe! This tour offers opportunities to observe a wonderful collection of Arctic and boreal birds, including Great Gray and Boreal Owl, Red-flanked Bluetail, Siberian Jay, Black Grouse, Western Capercaillie, and so many more.
  • WildNatureNorway

    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
Trip Reports
  • 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:
  • 2016 [03 March] - Ed Stubbs

    PDF Report
    Annotated list
  • 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] - John Coons - Spitsbergen & the Svalbard Archipelago

    ...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....
  • 2018 [04 April] - Diedert Koppenol - Varanger and Northern Finland

    PDF Report
    From 6 April to 16 April 2018 a group of Dutch Birders visited Norway and northern Finland to try and observe the Scandinavian specialities. We flew from Amsterdam to Kirkenes where we picked up our rental car. We birded along the Norwegian coast and went south via Inari to visit Kuusamo. From there we went up back north to Pasvik and ended in Kirkenes again to catch our flight back to Amsterdam.
  • 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 [06 June] - 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] - 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.
  • 2018 [07 July] - Mike Watson - Spitsbergen

    PDF Report
    After last year’s unusually icy voyage, this year’s 15 days cruise in Svalbard aboard the wonderful SV Noorderlicht was back to the recent trend of no sea ice around Spitsbergen and we were able to get all the way around the main island unhindered again.
  • 2018 [08 August] - Paul Dufour - Svalbard – Isfjorden

    PDF Report
    I spent two months in Svalbard during the summer 2018 as a field assistant for the Norwegian Polar Institut.
  • 2019 [06 June] - Nigel Redman - Finland & Norway

    PDF Report
    Northern Fenno-Scandia (Lapland) is a classic European birding destination. This year’s itinerary combined the boreal forests, lakes, and marshes of northern Finland with the fjords and tundra of northern Norway, with great success
  • 2020 [04 April] - Julian Bell - Haltenbank Medley

    Birding the Norwegian sector of the North Sea - Kittiwakes breeding on offshore platforms.
  • 2022 [02 February] - Anand Ramesh - Finnmark

    PDF Report
    Having met a Danish wildlife photographer in 2020 in Finland, who had told me about the spectacle of seaducks in winter in Northern Norway, including King and Steller’s Eider and the concept of floating hides for photography, some time off in mid February 2022 was a perfect opportunity to see this for myself as well as experience a winter in the far North with the possibility of the Aurora Borealis
  • 2022 [06 June] - Finland & Norway - Gerard Gorman

    PDF Report
    This first Naturalist Journey’s trip to Finland and Norway was a great success! A fabulous tour that took in two captivating and friendly countries and many wonderful places and habitats within them. From the taiga forest, peatbogs and lakes of Finland to the tundra, mountains and Arctic coast of the Barents Sea in Norway.
  • 2022 [06 June] - Svalbard - Dominic Rollinson - Birding Ecotours

    PDF Report
    2 | T R I P R E P O R T Svalbard Cruise June 2022 Overview A Svalbard birding and mammal cruise is a trip like no other and delivers a fantastic selection of iconic Arctic birds and wildlife. Our cruise left from Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen) in the Svalbard Archipelago (part of Norway) and we spent a week exploring the area’s many scenic fjords and vast pack ice. In the Arctic, the name of the game is ‘quality over quantity’ with many dream species often showing incredibly well and allowing close-up looks. This, together with the spectacular 24 hours of daylight in summer, makes it a dream destination for photographers, birders and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
  • 2023 [03 March] - Roland van der Vliet

    PDF Report
    Sweden, Norway & Finland
  • 2023 [06 June] - Dominic Rollinson - Svalbard

    PDF Report
    ...Most people have likely heard of the large charismatic megafauna which occur in the Arctic such as Polar Bear, Walrus and Arctic Fox, and these are of course targeted (and usually found) on these cruises. However, there is also a suite of lesser-known birds and mammals which we look for too, such as Ivory Gull, King Eider, and Bearded Seal...
Other Links
  • Birding on the Veranger Peninsula

    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

    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)

    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
  • NetNatur

    Catch all nature site.
  • Jonas Langbratens - Nature Photography

  • Julian Bell - Øygarden Birding

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

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

    Svalbard photos
  • Photographer - Eirik Gr

    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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