When thinking of a country most people don't think of Norway. Norway does have a lot of birds found in other parts of Europe but also bird species rarely seen outside of Northern Europe. On this wildlife tour there is variety of different landscapes such as bogs, forests, grassland and mountains offering a wide range of bird habitats.
Capercaillie are rare in parts of Europe such as Scotland but are more common in Norway and an impressive bird to see in the wild. I often see them several times a day while walking through certain parts of the National Park. Capercaillie are the largest member of the game birds and inhabit pinewoods and during winter they like to stay up in the trees keeping out of the snow and feeding on pine needles. You will also have the chance to try pine needles during your stay on this wildlife tour with pine needle tree which contains more vitamin c than oranges.
During the breeding season which is from March-July during this time males will start to display this is now as lek. The male capercaillie will point its wings down and show of their tail flares and beard will making series of different noises to impress the females. If their is another male this may lead to a fight which can cause serious injuries or even death.
Females lay between 5-12 eggs in a nest on the ground, hatching 26 days later. Females look after the chicks without males but will join other females to create a larger group for protection. Even though males don't help raise young I often see them together in the field.
Capercaillie get their name from an old Gaelic name meaning 'horse of the forest' named after the noises it makes
One of the best sightings on this wildlife tour is the Hawk Owl, it stays in its breeding area and is rarely seen outside of Northern Europe. These birds get their name as they have a hawk like posture when perched than a owl posture. They have little fear of humans and are normally seen perch on top of a tree keeping a curious eye on everything because of this behaviour they are an easy bird to watch. A Hawk owl regularly comes to the campsite to see what we are doing and has also flown through the campsite at head level on several occasions.
Hawk owls breeding season is during April-May and will lay between 5-13 eggs Owls tend to lay more eggs than other large predator birds. These eggs hatch after 25 days, the chicks are reared bu both the male and female.
In this photo you can see a raven mobbing a Golden eagle. Ravens are found in many parts of the world but have a strong connection with Nordic countries and Vikings. Ravens are some of the most intelligent animals in the world and are on par with primates. Ravens normally lay their eggs in March-May and hatch 21 days later they are carried for both parents.
Golden eagles are a very impressive bird and are often seen flying high above you can identify them with their v shape appearance. We often see Golden eagles flying over the plateau in the National Park which can bee seen from most parts of the National park. Golden eagles lay their eggs in March and hatch 45 days later, both parents help raise the young.
Other birds you may see on this wildlife tour include Bramblings, Pipets, Redstarts. We also see both Great spotted woodpecker and the grey-headed woodpecker. The Grey-headed woodpecker is another bird that comes to the campsite but not as much as the Hawk owl or Serbian Jay.
One of my favourite birds to see on this wildlife tours is the Serbian Jay which are rarely seen outside their breeding areas they are about the size of a crow and are red and black in colour. They are also very curious birds with little fear of humans just like the Hawk owl and often come to the campsite to see what we are doing, because of this they are an easy bird to watch.
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