The nesting birds found in the ridge area are typical for pine-dominated coniferous forests. As elsewhere in Finland’s forests, the most abundant species are the chaffinch and the willow warbler. However, the variety of species is small and bird density remains low as confirmed by the systematic monitoring of the area’s birdlife since 2001.
At the heart of the ridge, 15 to 20 pairs of bird nest each year and the nesting density averages about 150 pairs per square kilometer. In a more varied forest environment, the variety of species of birds would be almost twice as large and the bird density much higher. There are several reasons for fewer birds: the forests are young and there is a lack of decaying trees in the area. Few nesting hollows can be found in the area for those birds that use them and that is despite the numerous nesting boxes have been hung throughout the area. Without those nest boxes, birds that nest in holes, such as pied flycatcher and great tits would not be present. Another reason for the scarcity of nesting places is the lack of undergrowth. Many species depend entirely on a layer of shrubbery for either a nesting place and/or a source of food.
Amongst the list of nesting birds not nesting are warblers and that is related to the third reason for the scarcity of birds: the uniform nature of the forests. When spruce trees are in short supply and broadleaf trees are scarce, birds that nest in those trees will mostly be absent from the ridge area. Although nesting birds are scarce, the share of birds species that prefer ridges is large and includes: woodlarks, redstarts and mistle thrushes. The area’s most valued species are the capercaillie, black woodpecker, nightjar and woodlark, all of which belong to the species listed in Annex I of the EU Birds Directive and are therefore subject to special protection.
Photos: Jyrki Oja