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Steller's eider in Varanger, Norway - Photo: Terje Kolaas
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Steller's eider in Varanger, Norway Photo: Terje Kolaas

Birding in Finnmark

Finnmark offers fantastic opportunities for birding. The Varanger Peninsula in eastern Finnmark is one of Norway's most exclusive bird areas.

The Varanger Peninsula

Varanger is one of the most attractive birding destinations in Norway. The number of species and birds are remarkable, both summer and winter.

Among foreign birders Varanger might be one of the most famous areas in Northern Europe. During the spring and summer both individual birders and organized groups come here to experience the great variety of migrating birds, Arctic ducks, breeding waders and birds of prey.

Arctic ducks

The Varangerfjord is unlike other fjords in Norway, as it is not heated up by the Gulf Stream. It can therefore be quite cold and unfriendly, but despite this, the fjord is free of ice during the winter and for many eastern birds it is a convenient place to spend the winter. So when daylight returns in February/March it is a perfect place to see the rare Steller's eider (Polysticta stelleri) and other Arctic ducks such as the king eider and the long-tailed duck. Varanger is indeed the only place in Europe you can expect to see the Steller's eider - between 80 and 90 percent of the European population of Steller's eider overwinters in Varanger.

Migrating species

During the migration the coastline and wetlands are full of seabirds, waders and different kinds of sparrows. Some species, such as the little stint, curlew sandpiper, dunlin and red-necked phalarope, come in big numbers. Many different species are observed in Varanger, and the list includes species from North America, Siberia, southern Europe and high-Arctic areas. Some surprising examples are soft plumaged petrel, cattle egret, spectacled eider, Egyptian vulture, great spotted eagle, little bustard, semi-palmated plover, short-billed dowitcher, stilt sandpiper, little curlew, Ross’s gull, European roller, buff-bellied pipit and white-winged lark.

More information on bird watching in Varanger.

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Last updated:  2012-12-19
 - Photo: Terje Kolaas
Brünnich's guillemot in Varanger, Norway - Photo: Terje Kolaas
Brünnich's guillemot in Varanger, Norway

Interest:  Attractions & Culture, Bird life

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Steller's eider in Varanger, Norway - Photo: Terje Kolaas

Birding in Finnmark

Finnmark offers fantastic opportunities for birding. The Varanger Peninsula in eastern Finnmark is one of Norway's most exclusive bird areas.

Birding in Finnmark

Source: Visitnorway

Scenic attractions in Finnmark

Experience the North Cape, the huge national parks or Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau.

What to do in Finnmark

Join a fisherman on the fjord or experience a king crab safari, get to know Sami culture, try dog sledging or go on a snowmobile safari.

Bird watching at Ekkerøy

Experience spectacular bird life in Northern Norway. Ekkerøy Holiday House offers environmentally friendly accommodation close to nature in Finnmark.

The North Cape

When standing at the North Cape cliff with the iconic globe monument, only the Svalbard Islands separate you from the North Pole.

About Finnmark

Finnmark

The vast county of Finnmark is the home of the Sami - Norway’s indigenous people. Experience midnight sun, northern lights and the North Cape.

Tourist Information in Finnmark

The tourist information offices in Finnmark will help you book accommodation and plan your trip.

Key facts about Finnmark

The county of Finnmark covers an area of 48,637 square kilometers and has approximately 72,000 inhabitants.

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