Wildlife in the national park

There are a great variety of ecosystems between the icy expanses of the Folgefonna glacier and the sheltered, tempered waters of the surrounding fjords. As you move from habitat to habitat, you will see signs of the wildlife that thrives there.

Red deer are abundant in the valleys and woodlands, as are the pine marten. This fascinating little predator avoids open places and prefers to hunt at night and at dusk – lest it fall prey to the golden eagles and rough-legged buzzards that patrol the skies above the peninsula.

Bring your binoculars!

Kongeørn
Golden Eagle - © Jan Rabben

The region hosts a varied birdlife; if you’re a bird-lover, be sure to pack your binoculars and bring a good zoom lens for your camera. Ptarmigan, snow bunting and meadow pipits are common at the higher altitudes. Further down in the woodlands you may come across black grouse and capercaillie.

Every now and then a rockslide clears a new swath through the upper forests. The white-backed woodpecker, which has become rare elsewhere in Europe, favours this habitat of decomposing trees, in which it finds nourishing larvae.

 

Dippers and wagtails

Fossekall
White-throated dipper - © Jan Rabben

If you’re lucky, you may see an intrepid little bird diving into river rapids for food. This is the white-throated dipper, Norway’s national bird. Don’t be surprised if it is joined in its hunt by the grey wagtail, which may well be nesting on the nearby cliffs.

A bird that is heard but rarely seen is the cuckoo – you’ll know if it is nearby. Also distinctive are the songs of the chaffinch, with its faster and faster descending notes, concluding with a sharp tone, the plaintive tree pipit, and the song thrush, perhaps the most melodic bird heard in these tracts.