Kingdom of Sweden

Blackbird Turdus merula ©Jens Eriksen Website
Birding Sweden

Sweden is a very large country with a very small population. If you could unpeel it from the map, so that its southernmost point stayed in position and the whole country was folded back to the south, then what is, in reality, its most northerly point, would reach a little south of Rome! A few other statistics to put the country into scale: It has an area of 449,964 kms², (which makes it a bit bigger than California); a coastline length of 3,218 kms and a population of only about 9 million people.

The roads are good and empty and large distances can be covered easily. Visitors will find that the natives are friendly and that language will be no problem as long as you speak basic English; which most Swedes speak extremely well. [One drawback, some might find, are the licensing laws. These may have been relaxed in recent times but one can still only buy wines and spirits from the State-owned stores. Just ask in any town for Systemet, by which name they are generally known, and you are almost sure to get prompt and exact directions! Beware, they close around 1.00 pm on Saturdays and do not re-open until Monday morning!]

The range of habitat varies from Arctic to North European temperate. It can be extremely warm in the summer months as the very long days around midsummer can mean many more hours of sunshine than you ever find in the Tropics. In the extreme north in the summer there is a period of 24 hours of daylight each day, with the converse of perpetual darkness in the winter. That need not be as bad as it sounds as if there is snow on the ground and there is a clear sky, then there can be a particularly beautiful light, which, if you are lucky, might even be enhanced by the sight of the Aurora Borealis.

Mosquitoes are one of Sweden’s main drawbacks. You can’t catch malaria but if you’re like me and attract any mosquito within 100 miles, you need to check in advance as to which dates are likely to be mosquito free!

The country has huge forests and thousands of lakes, two of which, Vänern and Vättern, are among the largest in Europe. Most are located in the southern third of the country between Gothenburg and Stockholm. Between Vänern and Vättern, in the province of Västergötland is Hornborgasjön (Lake Hornboga); which is a definite hot-spot for birders Many species can be seen there and in the immediate surroundings, highlights include; Common Cranes, Ospreys, White-tailed Eagles, Thrush Nightingale, and Corncrake. Immediately east of Vättern, in Östergötland is Tåkern – another lake of enormouse importance for birds.

The Stockholm archipelago in the Baltic is very large – something over 20,000 islands, many uninhabited but there are regular boats running like bus services all over the area. A great variety of sea and land birds can be seen by taking a ferry from Stockholm to Sandhamn or Finnhamn and spending a day or two in the outer archipelago. There is good accommodation to be had, but these destinations are popular, so pre-booking is advisable.

Two other wonderful sites to mention are Falsterbo, over which many of the estimated 500 million migrating birds, which leave Scandinavia every autumn, fly, and Ottenby. Falsterbo is not far from Malmö in Skåne (the extreme south of Sweden) and Ottenby is the extreme tip of Öland, which is a long thin island, running more or less north to south, just off the Baltic coast of the province of Blekinge.

There are many more good bird-watching sites which, with a little research, you will be able find out about for yourselves so you can plan your itineraries accordingly. You can gain a lot of useful information by reading the trip reports that are published later in this section. Good birding!

As I remarked above, English speakers will not have problems communicating with the natives in Sweden! Below you will find a lot of links to web sites and some of these give you the option to read it in English but most do not. Do not despair. Look out for the words Styrelse, which means management or committee and you should find names and addresses to contact or Kontakt, and often a ready made e-mail form appears.

Don’t hesitate to e-mail in English – you are sure to get a friendly and helpful reaction…

Top Sites
  • Gulf of Bothnia

    Satellite View
    The northern coasts of Scandinavia are famous for their bird locations, both on the Atlantic coast and in the northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia. In the Gulf of Bothnia you find birdstations on many islands, and there are many sanctuaries for birds. In the middle part of the bay of the Gulf of Bothnia you find the archipelago of Lulea. A place where birds from East Europe, the Barents region, the coasts of the Gulf of Bothnia and from the forests of northern Sweden gathers. The archipelago is the largest brackish water archipelago in the world, and the landscape shows a variety of topographies with stony islands, cliffs, untouched forests and sandy beaches. Some of the species found there are caspian tern, turnstone, temminck's stint, red-necked grebe, black grouse, capercaillie, ptarmigan, red-necked phalarope, black guillemot, razorbill, velvet scoter, white-tailed eagle and red-throated diver.
Contributors
  • (the late) Michael Watkins

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 508

    (As of May 2019)
    National Bird: Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula
Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist

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

  • Birding Sweden, Take 1 Hawk Owl Winter - Swan Spring

    | By: Malcolm Rymer | Malcolm Rymer | DVD | All Region | Runtime: 120 min, aspect ratio: 16:9, PAL | #198925 | ISBN: Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birding Sweden, Take 2 Owls & Skuas and the Year of the Lemming

    | By: Malcolm Rymer | Malcolm Rymer | DVD | All Region | Runtime: 120 min, aspect ratio: 16:9, PAL | #198926 | ISBN: Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Lake Hornborga, Sweden

    | (The Return of a Bird Lake) | By Tomas Hertzman and Torsten Larsson | Wetlands International | 1999 | paperback | 82 pages, colour photos, figs, maps | ISBN: 9781900442183 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Sweden Birds (A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species)

    | By James R Kavanagh & Raymond Leung | Waterford Press | 2019 | Unbound | 12 pages, colour illustrations, 1 colour map | ISBN: 9781620053508 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Useful Information
  • Fältstation & Fågelstation

    These two terms are used for observatories and so forth and trans;late into the slightly different 'Field Station' and 'Bird Station' respectively.
Festivals & Bird Fairs
  • Falsterbo Bird Show

    Facebook Page
    Falsterbo Bird Show - A Nature and Environmental Fair focusing on Birds. Falsterbo Bird Show is an annual nature and environmental fair focusing on birds. The aim is to increase public interest in nature in general and birds in particular and generate funding for bird protection and conservation. In this year’s edition of the fair children and family activities took a prominent place along with a variety of outdoor experiences for everyone. Falsterbo Bird Show takes place every year in late August early September at the riding facility Falsterbo Horse Show arena in Falsterbo, southern Sweden.
Observatories
  • Falsterbo Bird Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Falsterbo Bird Observatory is owned and administrated by the Scanian Ornithological Society. The work is managed by the Falsterbo committee. The Observatory is since 1988 also a meteorological station under the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).
  • Hammarö Fågelstations

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Välkommen till Hammarö fågelstations hemsida. Här kan du läsa om vår verksamhet, som i huvudsak består av ringmärkning och observationer av flyttfåglar. Fågelstationen drivs av Karlstads Ornitologiska Förening med ekonomiskt stöd av Hammarö kommun samt Länsstyrelsen i Värmland. Vill du veta mera är det bara att klicka vidare här under. Vill du bara ha en sammanfattning av verksamheten finns den här…
  • Haparanda Sandskär

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
  • Hornborgasjöns Fältstation - Lake Hornborga Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    I det ålderdomliga landskapet vid Västergötlands platåberg ligger Hornborgasjön. En mängd fornminnen och stenmurar vittnar om gångna generationers verksamhet. Berömd som fågelsjö, sargad av sjösänkningar, åter väckt till liv genom en omfattande och unik restaurering. Ett paradis för rastande och häckande våtmarksfåglar. De rastande tranornas ystra danssteg lockar varje vår stora skaror besökare.
  • Kvismare Bird Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Kvismare Bird Observatory was started in spring 1961. A male blackbird was the first bird to be ringed. Since the start more than 260 000 birds have been ringed, and some 100 different research project have been or are still carried out at the bird observatory…
  • Lake Annsjohn Bird Observatory

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Lake Annsjon Bird Observatory is situated in the Scandinavian mountain range, some 150 km east of the Norwegian city Trondheim and some 600 km north-west of Stockholm. It is a non-profit organisation and voluntary workers from Sweden and several other European countries survey bird populations in the area by counting breeding birds on mires and mountains and ringing passerines. This field work is carried out from early June to late August - early September, depending on weather and staff availability.
  • Landsj

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
  • Landsorts Fågelstation

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Välkommen till Landsorts fågelstations hemsida!
  • Ralångens Fågelstation

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
  • Torhamns och Utklippans F

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
  • Tåkern Fieldstation

    Observatory WebsiteSatellite View
    Here you can find information from the biological research organisation Tåkern Field Station. The Field Station is situated at lake Tåkern in southern Sweden and works primarily with birds and botany. On our pages you can find information about the lake, some of our projects and read some parts of our newsletters…
Museums & Universities
  • Bird Ringing Centre - Swedish Museum of Natural History

    Welcome to the Bird Ringing Centre in Sweden. At the Bird Ringing Centre all scientific ringing of wild birds in Sweden is administrated.
Organisations
  • Dalarnas Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    This is the County Association for Dalarna or, as it is sometime called, Dalecarlia, which is a county in the middle of Sweden. There is a very large lake called Siljan there. It is a very attractive area…
  • FSO - Föreningen Sörmlands Ornitologer

    Website
    FSO invites all ornithologists to participate in the county Södermanland.
  • Falkenbergs Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    FOF är en ideell förening som vänder sig till alla fågelintresserade. Du som blivit nyfiken och vill veta mer om fåglar eller du som redan är en inbiten fågelskådare – alla är välkomna till oss! A town`s club. Falkenberg is a small port on the West Coast of Sweden between Gothenburg and Halmstad.
  • Gothenburg Ornithological Society

    Website
    The Gothenburg Ornithological Society (GOF) is a non-profit regional section of the Swedish Ornithological Society (SOF). GOF promotes the conservation and study of birds and bird-life as well as stimulation of bird interest. The activity area is the province of Gothenburg and Bohus and the province of Halland
  • Gävle Fågelklubb

    Website
    Gävle town club
  • Halmstads Ornitologiska Förening

    Facebook Page
    HOF is working to stimulate bird interest in southern Halland, and also conducts active bird protection work.
  • Hedemora Ornitologiska F

    Website
    A town club. Hedemora is in J
  • Jämtland-Härjedalens Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    Jämtlands läns Ornitologiska Förening - Regional förening till SOF - An association covering two old counties – Jämtland & Härjedalen – which are now one administrative area. [The further north you go, the fewer people so combined county associations cover large areas]. The HQ is on an island called Frösön which is very close to Östersund, on the shore of another large lake called Storsjön…
  • Järvafältets Ornitologiska Klubb

    Website
    Here you can get information about contact persons within JOK, the latest observations of birds in Järva field, local descriptions, species lists and much more
  • Karlstads Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    Karlstad is a large important town on the northern side of Lake V
  • Lidingö Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    Liding
  • Medelpads Ornitologiska F

    Website
    Medelpads ornitologiska f
  • Nordöstra Skånes Fågelklubb

    Website
    The action area of the Bird society is the municipalities of Kristianstad and Brom
  • Norrbottens Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    We would also like to invite you to the NOF and its activities. If you have ideas about the website or our association, you feel like engaging in NOF or you just want to know more about us - hear from you!
  • Närkes Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    Närke's Ornithological Society, NOF, is a regional association of the Swedish Ornithological Association, SOF / Birdlife. NOF works to spread bird interest through excursions, lectures, trips and education. Bird protection is an important part of the association's work and we assist authorities and others in matters concerning bird protection.
  • Ornitologiska klubben i Eskilstuna

    Website
    Eskilstuna is an old town, famous for working copper, near to the southern side of Lake Mälaren – Stockholm is at the extreme eastern end of that lake…
  • Ornitologiska klubben i Eskilstuna

    Website
    Eskilstuna is an old town, famous for working copper, near to the southern side of Lake M
  • Roslagens Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    Roskarlen is ROF's journal that comes out with a main number per year, as well as additional mailings with programs and other association information.
  • SkOF Skane

    Website
    The Scanian Ornithological Society (SkOF) is a regional chapter of the Swedish Ornithological Society (SOF). Research about birds in Scania, e.g. counts, extensive ringing of birds and bird migration studies at Falsterbo Bird Observatory. As a member of the Scanian Ornithological Society you will always be updated with the latest news, just call our answering machine
  • Stockholms Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    Stockholm`s very own bird club
  • Swedish Ornithology Society

    Website
    Ekhagsvagen 3, 5-104 03 Stockholm. +46 (0)8 6122530 birdlife@sofnet.Org Can’t get the English button to work except to translate the name of the organisation… if anyone could help…
  • Upplands Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    Uppland is the county that takes in Uppsala. Stockholm is in it at its extreme south and it stretches up to close to G
  • Varbergs Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    Varbergs Ornitilogiska Förening (Varbergs Ornithological Society) - Varberg is a community on the swedish west-coast.
  • Värnamo fågelklubb

    Website
    V
  • Västergötlands Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    VgOF is a regional association of the Swedish Ornithological Association, SOF.
  • Västmanlands Ornitologiska Förening

    Webpage
    Gillar du att lyssna till morgontidiga tranor, hukaför arga ugglor, spana in örnar? Gillar du storslagna naturupplevelser? Vill du ha sällskap i ditt fågelintresse? Då är vi föreningen för dig! Västmanland is the county immediately to the West of Uppland. I saw cranes there.
  • Ölands Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    Our main purpose is to gather birdwatchers and others interested in a local ornithological association on Öland. We work a lot with bird protection and nature conservation, and arrange excursions and publish the association magazine Calidris four times a year.
  • Östra Smålands Ornitologiska Förening

    Website
    Eastern Småland Ornithological Society (ÖSOF) is a regional association of Birdlife Sweden. The purpose of the association is to promote the exploration and protection of the bird fauna within the mainland part of Kalmar County.
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • Kristianstad Wetlands

    InformationSatellite View
    It is important that those who live in the area feel a pride for Vattenriket as a model area for sustainable development and a great place to live or visit. The Biosphere Reserve and the Nature Center work in several ways to engage
  • NR Getteröns Naturreserve

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Getterön nature reserve consists of a part of the exposed seashore that dominates the central part of the Halland coast. The reserve lies within walking distance, only a few kilometres from the centre of Varberg and 70km south of Gothenburg.
  • Wetlands

    WebpageSatellite View
    The convention entered into force in Sweden on 21 December 1975. Sweden currently has 68 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 654,865 hectares.
Forums & Mailing Lists
Guides & Tour Operators


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

  • Bird Guiding in Kristianstad

    Guide
    Rune Stenholm Jakobsen - Hire your own birdguide when visiting Kristianstad
  • Rockjumper Birding Tours

    Tour Operator
    The Scandinavian country of Sweden offers excellent temperate zone birding as well as cities and villages steeped in history. Our tour is timed for the prime spring period and encompasses a wide variety of habitats, allowing us to notch up most of the countries’ important species.
  • Swallow Birding

    Tour Operator
    On Swallow Birding trips we are enthusiastic, relaxed, friendly and fun. Small groups mean Leader Steve Grimwade can give the time and attention necessary to make your trip a great birding experience!
  • Sweden Fishing & Birding

    Tour Operator
    We are Craig and Kristin King and together we run Sweden fishing and birding. Craig is the one holding the fish in the photos and Kristin the one behind the camera. All of the photographs on our website were taken by Kristin, on our doorstep or within a few kilometers of our home. Kristin is Swedish; born in Stockholm with family connections spread across Sweden, tracing her roots back to Northern Sweden. She has a knowledge and love of all things Swedish.
Trip Reports


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

  • 2010 [06 June] - Stephen Burch

    Report
    …When the divers drifted away, back on the track, I heard a strange call behind me and turned round to see a Siberian Jay which flew straight past me, and landed just a few meters away…
  • 2012 [04 April] - Daniel Green

    PDF Report
    …We drove past the Great Grey Owl site but it was too windy. Lake Hällsjön offered a stop since two White-tailed Eagles were sitting in a tree and some Bean Geese (50+) and Whooper Swans were swimming on the lake. Wigeon, Goosander, Goldeneye and Great Crested Grebe were also in view; a Common Snipe called and a Bittern boomed away. The flooded fields near the hotel Salbohedsgården was also lively with birds, mostly Black-headed Gulls, but also two Green Sandpipers. It seems that the waders have just started to arrive….
  • 2012 [04 April] - Jos Stratford

    Report
    … highlights being the spring gatherings of Common Cranes at Lake Hornborga. As the numbers climbed over recent years, so too had my interest in witnessing the spectacle, the 2010 bonanza of 18,000 birds just mouth-watering to the extreme…
  • 2012 [09 September] - Howard Williams - Falsterbo

    Report
    …We had a female lesser spotted woodpecker come and perch in the open not 2 metres away and look at us. What a beautiful bird - she decided not to migrate and went back across the golf course to the trees. Then we had the spectacle of a black woodpecker trying the same thing only to decide not to migrate (This same bird was seen the next day also but it didnt migrate)….
  • 2015 [09 September] - John van der Woude - Gotland (incl. Öland & Falsterbo)

    Report
    ...Nolie and I found Gotland, in a sunny second September week and only in the south, a great destination for roaming around and finding our own birds. We saw many raptors and loads of flycatchers, to mention two extremes. The number and diversity of raptors was greater here on southern Gotland than we are used to see on southern Öland.
  • 2019 [04 April] - Aladin

    Report
    ...They wanted to send me to another course as well, and I could choose a course in Gothenburg in the beginning of May as I wanted to see the Crane Dance and end of April is too late for the Crane action...
Places to Stay


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

  • Falsterbo Bird Observatory

    Facebook Page
    Cheap comfortable lodging at the observatory.
  • Swedish Country House - Blekinge

    Accommodation
    A perfect getaway from the city hustle suitable for people looking for a relaxed natural environment for fishing, swimming, tennis & a Yoga retreat from London. 4 minutes to the sea, pike fishing in the archipelago, Ronneby Brunn Spa & Golf, easy access to Ronneby airport for Stockholm, Karlskrona, direct train to Copenhagen Airport and the city of Malmo.
Other Links
  • Club 300

    Website
    Any Swedish speakers care to translate?
  • Landgrens Homepage

    Website
    Swedish birding photoblog
  • Oland

    Website
    e.g. "S
  • Ringm

    Website
    Birdringing at Southern coast of Sweden
  • Vivara Naturprodukter

    Website
    I din tr
Blogs
  • Alan Dalton - Blogbirder

    BLOG
    I am an irish birder living in Sweden and have recently started a blog based on birding in the Stockholm area
  • Claudia Staab

    BLOG
    Includes many photos as well as text about birding in Sweden
  • Daniel Green - Daniel's Birdblog

    BLOG
    Welcome to my blog about birds, butterflies, moths and other aspects of nature that i mainly enjoy in svart
  • John Costello - Birding in Stockholm

    BLOG
    Diary of my birding trips around Stockholm Sweden
  • Lars-Olof Landgren - Landgrens Homepage of Birds

    BLOG
    Swedish birding blog
Photographers & Artists
  • Artist - Atelje Björkman

    Gallery
    Born in Linköping, Sweden, in 1945 and since 1978 a fulltime artist. Lives in the village of Ödeshög (still Sweden) close to the big, cold and deep freshwaterlake Vättern, birdlake Tåkern and below the shadow of Mountain Omberg. Right in the middle of southern Sweden, where the nature and culture is so very rich. A special place on earth indeed, with a blessed light - just perfect for an artist with nature and landscape in mind! Gebbe is well known for his paintings in water colour, oil and tempera, based on sketches directly from reality in the nature - refined in the studio to pictures containing both an inner as well as an outside density, where light- and colour-treatment composition plays great and important roles.
  • Artist - Johannes Nevala

    Gallery
    This site enables you to experience artistry where the birds are the main attraction. With pen, sketchbook and telescope I catch impressions of the life of the seashore and its birds. In the studio these field drawings help me create my oil- and watercolour paintings. On my page you can study my artistry and order paintings. Johannes Nevala. An artist based in Sweden.
  • Photographer - Brutus Ostling

    Gallery
    Writer and photographer…
  • Photographer - Erik Edvardsson

    Gallery
  • Photographer - Johan Stenlund

    Gallery
    Bird Photographs - Johan Stenlundhttp://www.pbase.com/johanstenlundExcellent photographs from this Swedish birder
  • Photographer - Lasse Olssen

    Gallery
    Bird photos, mainly from Sweden
  • Photographer - Michael Gehrisch

    Gallery
    American photgorapher who has lived in Sweden for over a decade

Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND