Sweden Birding Tours
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.