Places for Birds in Helsinki

Bird feeders and birdhouses are a common sight in Finland. Of the more than two hundred breeding bird species, roughly seventy species spend the winter here. Birds struggle to find food during the cold, short winter days, in freezing temperatures and snowy conditions.

By providing food to the birds, people help them to survive until the spring. It is not advisable to place bird food on the ground, as it attracts unwanted small animals and creates a hygiene risk. Bird tables and trays are traditional feeding methods that also offer a chance to observe the birds. The disadvantage of trays is that birds can defecate in them. Modern birdfeeders are more hygienic but, perhaps, less pleasing to the eye. Birdhouses are needed when there is a shortage of trees with nesting holes. In the winter, nest boxes provide shelter to birds as well as squirrels.

Birdhouses in Finland come in two main types: cylindrical houses carved from solid block of wood, and cuboids made from planks of wood. Their size, dimension and distance from the ground vary according to the needs of the intended occupants as well as safety concerns. Commercial products have to compete with DIY models. Homemade birdfeeders and birdhouses are miniature architecture that captures a vision of the ideal Finnish house in the nature.

Riitta Oittinen