Scandinavian Mountains over 2000 metres - James Baxter
Flora & Fauna › Birds
Scandinavia has a rich and diverse birdlife in the summer. The birds found can roughly be divided in four main groups, or taxomic orders: Passeriformes (perching and songbirds), Charadriiformes (waders etc.), Galliformes (grouse etc.) and Falconiformes (birds of prey). There are also some others.
The Passeriformes tend to be summer visitors which arrive to take advantage of the abundance of insects. With this almost limitless supply of food they can easily raise at least one brood. These birds are very numerous and tend to be found mainly in the upper aboreal zone (mountain birch and the willow scrub zones) from about 500m altitude up to 1200m. Most of these Passeriformes will migrate to warmer climates for the winter.
The waders of the Charadriiformes order similarly arrive as summer visitors to take advantage of the abundant insect diet on which they can rear a brood. They are also in the upper aboral zone and the moorland zone. They are usually by water within these zones, notably lakes, marshes and streams. Likewise they migrate to escape the harsh winter which they cannot survive.
The Galliformes are resident. They are mainly vegetarian and live off buds, shoots and seeds. As the summer unfolds they also eat many of the berries available. These berries also sustain them throughout the harsh winter. The willow grouse and ptarmigan are by far the commonest of these birds and form an intergral link in the winter food chain for resident birds of prey and foxes.
The Falconiformes include both residents and summer visitors. These birds of prey generally live in the upper aboreal and moorland zones breeding on cliff ledges. These birds prey on the influx of smaller summer visitors and rodents to sutain their breeding, and the Galliformes birds or carrion to survive the winter.
Click below to view details of birds.