In My Heart
The Lapland national birds differ in size and habitat
Lapland national birdsThere are three Lapland national birds because Lapland is in three countries: Finland, Norway and Sweden.
FinlandThe national bird of Finland is the whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus). In Finland the whooper swan is pictured on the 1 euro coin.
This swan is a large Northern Hemisphere white coloured bird. Its length is 140-160 cm (55-63 in), and it has a wingspan of 205-235 cm (81-93 in) and it weighs 8-15 kg (17.6-33 lbs).
Whooper swans need large water areas. Especially the young swans have weak legs. The whooper swan spends much of its time swimming and looking for food. They eat plants growing on the bottom. The swans in the picture swim the Tana river.
Photo: Olav E. Johansen/Ossimellom
Whooper swans have a deep honking call and they are powerful fliers. Whooper swan pairs live together for life, and their cygnets stay with them all winter.
Their preferred breeding habitat is wetland. Both the male and female help build the nest. The male will stand guard over the nest as the female incubates. She usually lays 4-7 eggs. The cygnets hatch after about 36 days and have a grey or brown colour. The cygnets can fly at an age of 120 to 150 days.
See this whooper swan video.
NorwayThe national bird of Norway is the white-throated dipper (cinclus cinclus). The choice of the dipper as a national bird is a little strange since not many have the opportunity to see this aqatic passerine bird.
The dipper is a short-tailed bird, dark above and white-breasted. It is associated with swiftly running rivers and streams.
Its flight is rapid and straight. The short wings whir swiftly without pauses or glides. The call is a sharp zil, zil, zil. Often it drops on the water and dive or plunge in with a splash.
Under water it swims, using the wings like flying under water. In this way it secures its food which includes worms and aquatic insect larvae, beetles, and even small fish.
Photo: Martti Hagman
It nests near the water. It lays three to six white eggs sometime between March and May. If the young ones are disturbed, they will at once drop into the water and dive.
The length of the dipper is about 18 cm (7 inches)
Watch this dipper video.
SwedenThe common blackbird (Turdus merula) or only blackbird is a thrush species. It is the national bird of Sweden. It is common in Sweden with a breeding population of more than one million pairs. In 1970 it was pictured on a Swedish stamp.
The male is all black except for a yellow eye-ring and bill.The adult female and juvenile have mainly brownish.
The blackbird breeds in woods and gardens. It is omnivorous and eats many kinds of insects, earthworms, berries, and fruits.
The Common Blackbird is 23.5 to 29 centimetres (9.25 to 11.4 in) in length and weighs 80–125 grammes (2.8 to 4.4 oz). The adult male is glossy black with blackish-brown legs, a yellow eye-ring and an orange-yellow bill. Photo: Wikimedia commons
The adult female is sooty-brown with a yellowish-brownish bill and a brownish-white throat and some weak spots on the breast.
Read about other national birds of Europe.