Birds of Finland

birds of finland

The whooper swan is the national bird of Finland


This is a list of the bird species recorded in Finland. The avifauna of Finland included a total of 483 confirmed species as of March 2020, according to BirdLife Suomi. Of them, 188 are rare or accidental, six have been introduced by humans, and six have not been reported in Finland since 1950.

This list’s taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (English and scientific names) are those of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2021 edition. The Finnish names in parentheses are from the BirdLife Suomi list.

The following tags have been used to highlight some categories of occurrence:

  • (R) Rare or accidental – a species which is rare in Finland, requiring submission to the Finnish Rarities Committee (Rariteettikomitea) for acceptance
  • (I) Introduced – a species introduced to Finland as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions
  • (H) Historical – a species that has not occurred in Finland since 1950

button WEuropean birds

 

 


 

Ducks, geese, and waterfowl

 

OrderAnseriformes   FamilyAnatidae

Anatidae includes the ducks and most duck-like waterfowl, such as geese and swans. These birds are adapted to an aquatic existence with webbed feet, flattened bills, and feathers that are excellent at shedding water due to an oily coating.

Ducks, geese, and waterfowl


Pheasants, grouse, and allies

OrderGalliformes   FamilyPhasianidae

These are terrestrial species of gamebirds, feeding and nesting on the ground. They are variable in size but generally plump, with broad and relatively short wings.

Grebes

OrderPodicipediformes   FamilyPodicipedidae

Grebes are small to medium-large freshwater diving birds. They have lobed toes and are excellent swimmers and divers. However, they have their feet placed far back on the body, making them quite ungainly on land.

Pigeons and doves

OrderColumbiformes   FamilyColumbidae

Pigeons and doves are stout-bodied birds with short necks and short slender bills with a fleshy cere.

Sandgrouse

OrderPterocliformes   FamilyPteroclidae

Sandgrouse have small pigeon-like heads and necks, but sturdy compact bodies. They have long pointed wings and sometimes tails and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk. Their legs are feathered down to the toes.

Bustards

OrderOtidiformes   FamilyOtididae

Bustards are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with “fingered” wingtips and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays.

Cuckoos

OrderCuculiformes   FamilyCuculidae

The family Cuculidae includes cuckoos, roadrunners, and anis. These birds are of variable size with slender bodies, long tails, and strong legs. The Old World cuckoos are brood parasites.

Nightjars and allies

OrderCaprimulgiformes   FamilyCaprimulgidae

Nightjars are medium-sized nocturnal birds that usually nest on the ground. They have long wings, short legs, and very short bills. Most have small feet, of little use for walking, and long pointed wings. Their soft plumage is camouflaged to resemble bark or leaves.

Swifts

OrderCaprimulgiformes   FamilyApodidae

Swifts are small birds which spend the majority of their lives flying. These birds have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead only on vertical surfaces. Many swifts have long swept-back wings which resemble a crescent or boomerang.

Rails, gallinules, and coots

OrderGruiformes   FamilyRallidae

Rallidae is a large family of small to medium-sized birds which includes the rails, crakes, coots, and gallinules. Typically they inhabit dense vegetation in damp environments near lakes, swamps, or rivers. In general they are shy and secretive birds, making them difficult to observe. Most species have strong legs and long toes which are well adapted to soft uneven surfaces. They tend to have short, rounded wings and to be weak fliers.

Cranes

OrderGruiformes   FamilyGruidae

Cranes are large, long-legged, and long-necked birds. Unlike the similar-looking but unrelated herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back. Most have elaborate and noisy courting displays or “dances”.

Thick-knees

OrderCharadriiformes   FamilyBurhinidae

The thick-knees are a group of waders found worldwide within the tropical zone, with some species also breeding in temperate Europe and Australia. They are medium to large waders with strong black or yellow-black bills, large yellow eyes, and cryptic plumage. Despite being classed as waders, most species have a preference for arid or semi-arid habitats.

Stilts and avocets

OrderCharadriiformes   FamilyRecurvirostridae

Recurvirostridae is a family of large wading birds which includes the avocets and stilts. The avocets have long legs and long up-curved bills. The stilts have extremely long legs and long, thin, straight bills.

Oystercatchers

OrderCharadriiformes   FamilyHaematopodidae

The oystercatchers are large and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs.

Plovers and lapwings

OrderCharadriiformes   FamilyCharadriidae

The family Charadriidae includes the plovers, dotterels, and lapwings. They are small to medium-sized birds with compact bodies, short thick necks, and long, usually pointed, wings. They are found in open country worldwide, mostly in habitats near water.

Sandpipers and allies

OrderCharadriiformes   FamilyScolopacidae

Scolopacidae is a large diverse family of small to medium-sized shorebirds including the sandpipers, curlews, godwits, shanks, tattlers, woodcocks, snipes, dowitchers, and phalaropes. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Variation in length of legs and bills enables multiple species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.

Pratincoles and coursers

OrderCharadriiformes   FamilyGlareolidae

Glareolidae is a family of wading birds comprising the pratincoles, which have short legs, long pointed wings, and long forked tails, and the coursers, which have long legs, short wings, and long, pointed bills which curve downwards.

Skuas and jaegers

OrderCharadriiformes   FamilyStercorariidae

The family Stercorariidae are, in general, medium to large sea birds, typically with grey or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings. They nest on the ground in temperate and arctic regions and are long-distance migrants.

Auks, murres, and puffins

OrderCharadriiformes   FamilyAlcidae

Alcidae are a family of seabirds which are superficially similar to penguins with their black-and-white colours, their upright posture, and some of their habits, but which are able to fly.

Gulls, terns, and skimmers

OrderCharadriiformes   FamilyLaridae

Laridae is a family of medium to large seabirds and includes gullsterns, and skimmers. Gulls are typically grey or white, often with black markings on the head or wings. They have stout, longish, bills and webbed feet. Terns are a group of generally medium to large seabirds typically with grey or white plumage, often with black markings on the head. Most terns hunt fish by diving but some pick insects off the surface of fresh water. Terns are generally long-lived birds, with several species known to live in excess of 30 years.