Wildlife Watching and Photography Tours in Finland

Focus on the Fantastic Wild Beasts and Birds of Finland

The untouched forests, fells and lakes of Finland are full of rare and beautiful birds and wild animals – Bears, Wolverines, Eagles and Grouse: species that are hard to spot anywhere else in Europe. Finland’s four seasons – glimmering snow, northern lights, midnight sun and the colours of autumn offer a spectacular background for your nature photos. Capture Finland brings together the best wildlife observation and photography guides, excursions and facilities in Finland.

Wildlife Watching and Photography

Experience Finland’s boreal beasts and rare bird species up close with Capture Finland’s first class photography and observation services.

Bird watching and bird photography

For birding enthusiasts, Finland has a lot to offer. Located on the western edge of the vast Siberian taiga forest zone, Finland has bird species rarely found in other parts of Europe.

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Bird watching and photography

Capture Finland offers you the chance to observe and photograph a multitude of bird species on professionally organised tours.

With us, you’ll get the chance to photograph fighting Golden Eagles, hunting Great Grey Owls or lekking Black Grouse or Capercaillies. We always keep the group size small, guaranteeing the best photo opportunities for everyone. We excel in choosing high quality hides and locations for our guests.

Capercaillie

The Capercaillie cock is the largest European grouse. This majestic bird’s primitive courting game is an unforgettable experience – and you can be a front seat spectator. The high season starts in the last week of April, continuing about four weeks. The best time of day is at sunrise, as Capercaillies begin their courtship.

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Black grouse

In early April, powder snow showers in the air as the Black Grouse cocks measure their strength against each other at sunrise. The best time to photograph Black Grouse is during their lekking period in April-May and again in the autumn. The backlit lekking cocks against a dark forest background give opportunities for unique shots.

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Owls

Finland is known for northern breeding Owls. As many as ten species can breed in a good vole year: Great Grey Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Ural Owl, Boreal Owl, Eurasian Pygmy Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl and Tawny Owl are resident species which stay in Finland the whole year round. Short-eared Owl and Long-eared Owl migrate to south for winter, and Snowy Owl is the rarest of them all, not met every year.

The opportunities for Owl photography vary annually. Owl photography tours are mainly arranged during winter months from February to April when Owls can be found hunting in the open fields. With the right conditions, Owls can be extremely co-operative and reward a patient photographer with outstanding images.

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Osprey

The Osprey circles above the fish pools. Suddenly, it dives down and the water splashes in front of you as the bird shoots off the water holding a fish in its claws. It flies towards you along the waterline before disappearing behind the hide.

The Osprey arrive in late May, when most lakes are still covered in ice. This is why the fish pools are a sure spot for fishing. In addition to May, July is another high season for Osprey photography and watching as the offspring grow and demand more food.

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Ruff

The delightful and colourful Ruff are lekking and feeding in a small pool of water in front of the hides by the most important wetland in Finland – the Liminka Bay. The shallow water pools in front of the hides are great for reflection photos – if the wind is calm. In the light evenings of Northern Finland, you have a chance to capture beautiful backlit images of feeding waders and lekking males posing. You might also capture fighting action here – if you’re fast enough!

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Golden Eagle

Eagles are majestic photography subjects – breathtaking images can be captured when the conditions are favourable. Finland in winter can be marvellous – but snow-covered trees and landscapes are not enough even though they create a magical setting. The only way to photograph timid Eagles is to set up a feeding station and photography hides. Our feeding sites are located in different parts of Finland, varying from sites where even up to ten individuals visit daily in January, to sites located in the midst of the most beautiful Finnish nature: a hill covered with old-growth pines next to a river canyon where a resident Golden Eagle pair visits reliably.

Timing for Eagle photography varies depending on the site but the most productive months are during the winter from November to March. During this season, the day is short and the Eagles visit the sites actively – delivering excellent opportunities for photographers.

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Mammal watching and photography

From large carnivores to other wild mammals, Finland is your top choice for watching and photographing wildlife.

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Mammal watching and photography

Finland is known as one of the best places in the world for Bear and Wolverine photography.

Capture Finland’s experts have decades of experience in photography and wildlife. We guarantee you a memorable experience in watching and photographing wild boreal beasts and other mammals – in FInland’s unique landscapes throughout the four seasons of the year.

Brown bear

The King of the Forest is the national animal of Finland. The bear watching and photography season begins in the spring as the Bears wake up from hibernation in April, and continues until October. At the beginning and end of the season, you can capture a Bear in a snowy background. When the snow starts to melt in May, the younger Bears start to move about. In June, there is plenty of light all through the night and the Bears are out in great numbers. With luck, you can even see a mother bear with her cubs. In September, the breathtaking autumn colours come out and set a beautiful background for your photos.

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Wolverine

The Wolverine is an arctic loner, a solitary and rare mammal and active all year around. The cubs are born during late winter, and they follow their mother until the autumn. Capture Finland offers you the best locations in the world for Wolverine watching and photography – all four seasons with their unique landscapes offer you a variety memorable backgrounds. The season starts in February-March and continues all the way to October-November. 

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Wolf

The Wolf is a scarce and elusive large carnivore. It has a long history of being persecuted in many countries and Finland is not exception. Capture Finland offers a rare chance to photograph Wolves on feeding sites that are carefully and professionally maintained to respect this timid animal. Wolves can be observed and photographed all year round, though the best season is from March to November.  However, there is no guarantee that Wolves appear every time.

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Capture Finland Tours

Our selection of high quality observation and photography tours. Book your first class experience now!
Independent tours Readymade tours
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Independent tours

The four seasons of Finland offer you a selection of unforgettable landscapes and species.

See our tips below for independent photography or wildlife watching travel.

Winter wonders

Time: January – March
Locations: Oulu, Kuusamo, Lieksa
Focus on: Eagles, Goshawk, Landscapes, Wolverine

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Sun melts the snow

Time: April – May
Locations: Oulu, Kuusamo, Viiksimo/Martinselkonen, Lieksa
Focus on: Ruff, Osprey, Black grouse, Capercaillie, Brown bear, Wolverine

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Nightless night

Time: June-August
Locations: Kuusamo, Viiksimo/Martinselkonen, Lieksa
Focus on: Osprey, Brown bear, Wolverine

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Autumn colours

Time: September-November
Locations: Oulu, Kuusamo, Viiksimo, Lieksa
Focus on: Eagles, Goshawk, Landscapes, Brown bears, Black grouse, Wolverine

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Readymade tours

Take one of our readymade tours and leave it to us to make all the arrangements!

Autumn Wildlife Photography Safari

Focus: Wildlife and landscape photography
Grading: Moderate walks only – max 500 meters one way
Group size: 5 – 6 photographers
Destination: Oulu- Viiksimo- Lieksa- Joensuu 
Time: 10 – 17 September 2018
Price: 3700 € per person, single supplement 415 €

Black Grouse are actively lekking, Brown Bears and Wolverines are preparing for the winter. The colours of nature are breath-taking – the wide range of red, yellow, orange and green are booming both on the ground and in the trees. The autumn colours are at their best during this time of the season. There are also good chances for Aurora borealis during this time of the year! On Finnature autumn wildlife tour we will spend 3 days with Brown Bears, 3 with Wolverines and 2 mornings with Black Grouse.

Highlights: Brown Bears, Wolverines, Black Grouse, autumn landscapes, Aurora Borealis

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Birds & Mammals in Spring

Destination: Oulu – Kuusamo – Suomussalmi – Lieksa – Joensuu
Group size: 4-6 photographers
Focus: Wildlife photography
Grading: Moderate walks only – max 1000 meters one-way
Time: 15 – 26 April 2019
Price: 5 595 € per person, single supplement 730 €

This photography tour to Finland in April is perfectly timed to photograph a full array of Finnish wildlife and birds! Black Grouse are actively lekking and huge Golden Eagles and White-tailed Eagles are in residence, and the Oulu and Kuusamo areas are ideal for photographing a spectacular variety of magnificent owls in some years, including Great Grey and Northern Hawk Owl.

In eastern Finland we will focus our lenses on Finnish Brown Bears, just awakened from their winter sleep. Finally, in Lieksa, our primary photographic target will be the elusive Wolverine.

Highlights: Black Grouse lek, Whooper Swan, Golden and White-tailed Eagle, Brown Bear, Wolverine, Wolf, Elk, Wild Forest Reindeer

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Mammals of the Finnish Taiga – Wildlife Watching Tour

Destination: Helsinki – Rantasalmi – Lieksa – Viiksimo – Kajaani
Focus: Wildlife watching with photography opportunities
Grading: Moderate walks only – max 1000 meters one way
Group size: 4 – 6 persons
Time: 5 – 11 August 2019
Price: 3675 € per person

When it comes to wildlife, Finland has a lot to offer: Brown Bear, Wolverine and Wolf can be seen in their natural environment. In addition to the large carnivores there is a lot more to see – including the secretive Flying Squirrel and the endemic Saimaa Ringed Seal! No wonder many wildlife lovers return to Finland year after year for another wildlife watching tour.

Highlights: Brown Bear, Wolverine, Wolf, Saimaa Ringed Seal, Elk, Wild Forest Reindeer, Flying Squirrel, Beaver

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Finland Captured

Browse through some of the best shots captured on our tours.
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