FW: New birds in Tromsø, N. norway

To: "Birdchat " <>, birding-aus <>, "" <>
Subject: FW: New birds in Tromsø, N. norway
From: Willem Jan Marinus Vader <>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2020 10:11:41 +0000



From: wim vader <>
Sent: mandag 26. oktober 2020 13:05
To: Willem Jan Marinus Vader <>
Subject: New birds in Tromsø, N. norway




Sendt fra E-post for Windows 10



Two weeks ago I sent out a mail telling about the new birds I encountered in the Netherlands, a country I left  55 years ago. Since 1973 I have lived in Tromsø, at almost 70*N in northern Norway, and also during these years I have experienced clear changes in the local avifauna. But in contradistinction to the Netherlands, very little of these changes are due to bird species introduced to the area by human agency.

There are nowadays Canada Geese in Norway too, but none as yet as far north as Tromsø. And we have had a few records of two other allochthonous bird species, i.e. Bar-headed Goose and Mandarin Duck. The latter, curiously enough twice found after having fallen down a chimney, probably derive from the British feral populations, while  ringed birds showed that  at least the majority of the  several Bar-headed Geese found in N. Norway stemmed from the famous goose population of Dr Konrad Lorenz in Seewiesen, clearly no longer cared for as well after his death and resuming their ancestral migrating habits.

Tromsø today is twice as big as when I first arrived here (76000 now) and this of course has caused changes, mostly losses, in the local avifauna. But today I will rather write about the gains, all of indigenous songbirds, and probably all caused by the changing climate and the generally warmer weather. When I first came to Tromsø in 1973, there were no Greenfinches here and the northernmost populations occurred on the Southern part of the island of Senja, maybe 200 km south of here. Now these hardy finches are maybe the most common small birds in winter, not only here in Tromsø, but all the way to the Russian border, some 1000 km further NE. Increased winter feeding by the local people, and the planting of conifers in the gardens may have helped the Greenfinches too.

Some birds that already occurred in the inland of Troms province, are now more often also found here near the coast. Good examples are the European Robin and the Woodpigeon. And to my great surprise I watched a Eurasian Wren in my garden last year; that is a bird that up here traditionally only occurs on the outermost coast, often in the seabird colonies.

But there are also a few common European birds that slowly expand their area to the North. A good example is the feisty little Blue Tit that during the last few years has become a regular visitor also in our garden; like the Great Tit that conquered the area 50 years earlier, these tits are almost completely dependent on regular winter feeding by the locals---contrary to the local Willow and Siberian Tits, these species do not hoard food for winter use.

Another newcomer is the European Jay, although I have not as yet seen them here on the island of Tromsøya. But it is regularly reported from feeding stations in the area, and I have myself seen it a few times not too far from Tromsø. A third, and very welcome, newcomer is the European Blackbird, a very common species in my native Holland, where its wonderful song sounds from nearly every garden and roof. I have now heard the song also here North, but as yet  the ‘svarttrost’ is here still a quite shy inhabitant of woodlands, its original niche, and not the tame lawn bird of most places in W. Europe. However, in winter, in our ‘mørketid’ (the dark period, when we don’t see the sun for 2 months) male blackbirds can now also somewhat regularly be seen in town here, and I have twice had one in my garden. Also male Blackcaps, who often feed on berries in winter, have been reported a few times in that season, but for this species the ‘march north’ seems to be beset with difficulties and  they are still only quite rarely heard here in summer, just as it was 40 years ago.

Further bird species may make it up here, if this trend continues. Candidates are the Common Whitethroat, and maybe even the Icterine Warbler.

Wim Vader, Tromsø, N. Norway

<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • FW: New birds in Tromsø, N. norway, Willem Jan Marinus Vader <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU