Sweden Birding Tours

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The Kingdom of Sweden (“Sweden” hereafter) forms the spine of the region of Scandinavia in Northern Europe. Despite its vast size, Sweden only shares land borders with Norway and Finland, plus a short sea border with Denmark in the south. The population of Sweden is 10.3 million people, which is low considering the country is around the size of the US state of California. Sweden’s capital city, Stockholm, is in the southeast of the country on the Baltic Sea and is home to around 2.3 million people.

The country of Sweden first emerged in the 12th century and it was not until the 1500s that the Swedish Empire was formed. This empire was one of Europe’s most powerful at the time and lasted until the early 18th century as a constant regression led to land being lost in modern day Norway, Finland, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, and Russia. The empire came to an end in 1809 as Russia took Sweden’s remaining land in Finland. Sweden has not entered a single war since 1814 and remained neutral in both World War One and World War Two, the longest running period of neutrality in Europe from one country.

Sweden, especially the south, is a surprisingly mild country, given its northern latitudes. This is due to the influence of the Gulf Steam from the Atlantic Ocean. The same cannot be said for the north of the country which is influenced far more by Arctic winds and the open expanses of Russia and Finland to the east. The rainfall from the Atlantic winds results in winters with a large amount of snow. Southern Sweden is mostly made up of farmland while further north is a mixture of forests, lakes, mountains, and tundra with 15% of Sweden falling inside the Arctic Circle.

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Following International Ornithological Congress (IOC) taxonomy (v10.2 in December 2020) the Sweden bird list stands at 550 species, with 28 of these being globally threatened. Sweden contains 84 Important Bird Areas (IBAs), sites identified by BirdLife International as having high value to birds.

Sweden is an excellent country for birding, with a number of breeding birds and migrants possible. Key species found here include multiple species of woodpeckers, including Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, and White-backed Woodpecker, numerous owls, like Ural Owl, Northern Hawk-Owl, Great Grey Owl, Eurasian Pygmy Owl, and Boreal (Tengmalm’s) Owl. Other exciting bird life includes elusive and much sought-after forest species such as Spotted Nutcracker, Hazel Grouse, and Western Capercaillie, plus an interesting range of birds of prey (White-tailed Eagle, Rough-legged Buzzard, and Pallid Harrier), plenty of breeding shorebirds (waders), year-round spectacular wildfowl, and lots of great passerines like Siberian Jay, Bohemian Waxwing, Grey-headed Chickadee (Siberian Tit), Greenish Warbler, Arctic Warbler, River Warbler, Pine Grosbeak, and Arctic Redpoll.

Due to us having excellent birdwatching tours to neighboring Finland and Norway, where many similar species are found, we are not currently offering scheduled tours to Sweden. However, if you would like a private tour to this wonderful country then please do get in touch and we would be happy to help. Sweden makes an ideal long-weekend bird watching getaway from the UK, or anywhere else in Europe, all through the year, or makes a perfect longer vacation and specific bird holiday if you are coming from further afield.

Please contact us for customized tours.

Sweden Gallery