Birds of Prey in Norway

For birdwatchers, watching birds of prey is really something unique—not just because they are rare but also because their hunt is incredibly fascinating to watch.

Birds of Prey in Norway
In Norway, you will find breeding falcons, eagles, buzzards, hawks, harriers, and Osprey. In total, 15 different bird of prey species breed regularly in Norway.

Breeding Birds of Prey in Norway

What Are Birds of Prey?
Birds of prey are birds that feed on other animals. Owls are usually categorized in a separate group, but they also share the same diet.

What Does Birds of Prey Eat?
Birds, mammals, reptiles, small rodents, fish, and other living creatures. Only the Osprey exclusively feeds on fish.

Which Bird of Prey Is the Largest in Norway?
The White-tailed Eagle. Its wingspan is up to 245cm.

Are Birds of Prey Protected?
All birds of prey in Norway are protected.

How Can You Recognize Birds of Prey?
Contrary to most other birds, determining the species of a bird of prey is easier while it is flying or soaring. Try to notice its size, colours, under-wing pattern, body, tail shape, and behaviour.
All birds of prey have “fingers” on the wing tips. But the wings of the falcons are more pointed, and the “fingers” are less visible.
Write down the information as quickly as possible, as details are often forgotten before you get to check pictures and details in a book. If possible, try to take some pictures as well, which will make it a lot easier to remember the details.

Some of the Rare Birds of Prey in Norway

Can You Get Birds of Prey on Your Bird Table?
Absolutely! Usually, these are Eurasian Sparrowhawks or Northern Goshawks.

Where Can You Find Birds of Prey in Norway?
The answer depends on which species you would like to see, because they live in different kind of biotope. So you will have to visit different types of terrain. Review the articles about the many localities to find places that suit you well.
What time of year you want to see birds of prey is also essential. The spring and autumn migration are good periods for seeing birds of prey, since several species can be found at the same place. And you do not need to be as careful as you would during the breeding period, but of course, you should always show consideration.
Experiencing birds of prey is really something unique, for example during migration periods when they soar in circles upwards on warm air currents called thermals. Another fascinating thing is to see harriers hunting low over moors and wetlands. The adrenalin increases when, for example, the Peregrine Falcon rushes in with full speed over a flock of waders, creating absolute panic, or when the Osprey dives in for fish. We therefore recommend that you try different things.

Are There Birds of Prey in Svalbard?
Except from sporadic visits from the Snowy Owl and the Gyrfalcon (bright variant), there are no birds of prey in Svalbard. However, the Glaucous Gulls feed on eggs, chicks, and adult Little Auks.


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Recommendations on Places to Look for Birds of prey in Norway

As more birding localities are added, the list will be updated.