Thursday 16 June 2016

Finland's owls

One of the main attractions for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers visiting Finland is the range of boreal owls that can be seen in the country. In late spring and early summer these birds are breeding, which makes locating them a difficult task. Although it's possible to locate some of the more conspicuous species with a lot of luck and graft, using a local guide is the most sensible option as others such as Great Grey and Tengmalms are otherwise more or less impossible to see. We were indebted to Harri Hölttä for his help in seeing Ural, Tengmalm's and Great Grey Owls around Joensuu; further north we were fortunate enough to locate our own Pygmy and Hawk Owls.

Ural Owl
Single birds seen at two different nestboxes around Joensuu.

Great Grey Owl
Two nests visited (Parikkala and Joensuu), both revealing little more than the head of their respective occupants.

Tengmalm's Owl
A single individual at a nest box west of Joensuu.

Pygmy Owl
A vocal bird showed well to the south of Kajaani in the early hours of 25th.

Hawk Owl
Single individuals seen at two sites to the south of Taivalkoski, one of which proved extremely confiding.

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