Golden Eagle photography in Oulu

Finnature’s Golden Eagle hide in Utajärvi was established in 2005. The best time to photograph Golden Eagles in Finland is mid-winter, from December until March. The shortish winter days and cold weather force the birds to visit feeding sites actively. Eagle activity at the carcass is at its best when the days are shorter, but they make daily visits even in March.

Photographing Golden Eagles in Utajärvi has been very successful: at best there has been about 10 different Golden Eagle individuals visiting the site! Eagles visit the site frequently and can be seen almost every day. Statistically there has been over 10 feeding Golden Eagles on site every winter since 2007. White-tailed Eagles can also be seen. In winter 2006/2007 even a Gyr Falcon visited our baiting site!

This is a trip for serious photographers, since we will spend several full days in eagle hides. Length of the day in hide depends on time of the year and in January one need to be in hide about 8 hours, but in March day will be already 12 hours long. Please have a look at the links for the length of the day in Oulu.

One additional day in this workshop is spent by the forest feeders with passerines and woodpeckers coming to the feeding site. Depending on the year there is also good possibility to photograph one or two special Finnish owl species during this additional day. If there is a good owl situation one should book more days to concentrate on them.


Full Moon, Aurora Borealis and Golden Eagles in Utajärvi and Kuusamo

30.1.-7.2.2015 (arrival 30.1., Utajärvi 31.1..-2.2., Kuusamo 3.-6.2., departure 7.2.)

27.2.-7.3.2015 (arrival 27.2., Utajärvi 28.2.-2.3. , Kuusamo 3.-6.3., departure 7.3.)

These one week workshops are for winter Finland at its best! Experience the short blue coloured daylight in beautifully snow covered Taiga forest.

This is the time for full moon, so there are good chances for beautiful winter landscape photos. We also have a good chance for witnessing the Aurora borealis, a magical and colourful display on the night sky which so many people can only dream of!  During the daytime we will photograph Golden Eagles and other birds that are visiting our feeding sites actively!

Full inclusive landcost price 2 850€.

Price includes: landtransportation, all meals, accommodation, guiding and use of hides.

Group size: 4-6 photographers.


Golden Eagles in Utajärvi and Kuusamo

These shorter photography tours concentrate on Golden Eagles and other winter birds of Finland. January and February are the best months for Golden Eagles photography.

Four full days in our eagle hides in Utajärvi and Kuusamo. One day will be spent for other birds visiting our feeders or possibly for owls. In the evenings there is also possibility to photograph Northern Lights!

7.-12.1.2015 (Utajärvi 8.-9.1., Kuusamo 10.-11.1.)

19.-24.1.2015 (Kuusamo 20.-21.1., Utajärvi 22.-23.1.) On this workshop we will start exceptionally from Kuusamo.

6.-11.2.2015 (Kuusamo 7.-8.2., Utajärvi 9.-10.2.) On this workshop we will start exceptionally from Kuusamo.

Landcost price: 1 950 € / person

Group size: Min 4 persons and max 6 persons.

Price includes

  • Transportation from airport
  • Finnature guide services throughout the trip
  • Use of Golden Eagle pro-hides
  • Heater in pro-hides
  • Full board (breakfast, packed picnic lunch, dinner)
  • Accommodation at farmhouse/manor Merilä while staying in Utajärvi and in Oulanka National Park research station during the stay in Kuusamo



Golden Eagle, White-tailed Eagle, Raven, Crested Tit, Willow Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker,  Yellowhammer, Bullfinch etc.

Hides, tripods ans lenses

Our hides are well insulated and even if there is -30 Centigrade outside, it will be warm and cozy inside the hide! Hides are planned by photographers so one will be able to take also flight shots and images where eagles perch in trees or in snow. If possible, we always use natural baits e.g. arctic hare (road kills) and eagles are very eager to feed on them!

For flight shots of Eagles 300 mm lens is ideal. For portraits 500 mm lens is better.

Converters can be used as well.  For possible Northern Lights wide angle is the best choice.

Tripod is not needed in the eagle hide, but it’s essential when photographing Northern Lights. Please bring at least your tripod head with you. You can attach your tripod head on a board in our hides. Also bean bags can be borrowed here.

Special conditions:

Fairly easy walk to the hide along a snow mobile track. Distance from parking place is about 300 meters.

Instructions for bird of prey photographers

How to photograph wild Golden Eagles (article)

Flights to Oulu:


Temperature can get as low as –30 Centigrade, but the average temperature is usually between –10 and -15 Centigrade. If there is rain, it should be snow, which looks nice in photos. There should be snow cover on the ground.


It is essential to wear warm clothes. Especially warm boots, woolly hats & cloves are recommended. Also warm underwear layers are recommended. ”Donkey jacket” filled with down is warmest of all jackets.


Manor Merilän Kartano

Merilä is situated by the river Oulujoki. The old farmhouse is a place where you can enjoy the peace and coziness of genuine country life – only about one hour drive away from Oulu. History is strongly present in Merilä, the valley of the river Oulujoki is, after all, an ancient region of tar burning. Old craft and food traditions are still very much alive in the region.

Our meals are made to order according to your own wishes by us. You can choose a buffet meal, a game dish or banquet catering – or even a packed lunch. The variety of selection also includes the drinks, for the manor is fully licensed.

The rooms can accommodate 1 to 7 persons and they are cozy, of high quality, well equipped and spacious. All the rooms have a WC, shower, television, and in some rooms there is a kitchenette.


Methods of payment and terms