From the cliffs to the fjords, Norway is a great place to spot a diversity of bird life. Avid bird watchers who embark on Norwegian cruises will get a unique look at the avian species along the rugged coastline of the country. Take at a look at this brief birder's guide for Norway:
Best places for birdwatching
Every spring and autumn hundreds of thousands of migratory birds fly along the coast of Norway. Here are some of the meccas for birders:
Runde and Remøya islands
These two islands are arguably the best places in the country to appreciate avian life. While Runde only has 100 inhabitants, more than 500,000 birds gather on the island from February to August every year. About 230 species have been identified here, with more than 80 species laying nests in the area. The most famous bird species at Runde is the puffin. Puffin season starts in the beginning of May and lasts until the end of July.
The Runde Bridge connects to the southbound island of Remøya. Why are these islands teeming with winged wonders? The surrounding sea is a spawning area for fish.
On Hurtigruten voyages, you can discover the bird mountains on Runde and Remøya islands.
Jæren is the largest lowland area in Norway, boasting the country's longest beach as well. This unique landscape is home to a plethora of species - both migratory and settling. In fact, this main agricultural district, located southwest of the city of Stavanger, is one of the most important wintering and staging areas for inland waterbirds such as the red-throated loon, black-throated loon, great northern loon and red-necked grebe. Over 10,000 waterbirds flock here each year. This region is regarded as one of the go-to places for ornithology in the country.
Situated in the region of Romsdal, Molde is another hot spot for bird lovers. It is billed as the only location where you can catch a glimpse of northern goshawks, white-tailed eagles and golden eagles in a single day. Other birds include white-backed woodpeckers, treecreepers, wrens and nuthatch. The season lasts from October to March.
As the biggest mountain plateau in northern Europe, Hardangervidda features the Hardangervidda National Park, which encompasses an area of 1,320 square miles. With such a large wildlife refuge, travelers on cruise vacations can expect to see a wealth of flora and fauna, including the long-tailed duck, velvet scoter, Eureasian Dotterel, Temminck's Stint, Ruff, Great Snipe, red-necked phalarope, long-tailed skua, lapland bunting, shore lark and more.