Valkoinen kiiruna istuu sivuttain lumella. Linnun takana koivun oksia.

Arctic Taiga - Land of Willow Gouse and Rock Ptarmigan

6.10.2024−26.1.2025

Exhibition, “Arctic Taiga − Land of Willow Grouse and Rock Ptarmigan”, shows survivors, Willow Grouse and Rock Ptarmigan, which have perfectly adapted to the arctic taiga over the times, in their own habitats.

The exhibition shows survivors, Willow Grouse and Rock Ptarmigan, which have perfectly adapted to the arctic taiga over the times, in their own habitats.

Found in winter on the top of extreme cold and snow-covered fells, where only few animals thrive, Rock Ptarmigan is an example of a real survivor searching something to eat. Willow Grouse, better adapted to lower terrains and valleys of thick snow, finds buds and twigs more easily. Both birds blend with their pure white winter plumage to the snow so perfectly that finding them to take photographs requires sometimes a long-lasting search without any guarantee.

Valkoinen riekko lumikummun päällä siniharmaata taustaa vasten.

Night less summer nights, a period when the sun doesn’t set at all in arctic, provide for a photographer a wonderful possibility to take beautiful, orange-colored pictures through the whole night. After changing their summer plumage birds may sometimes disappear completely into the colors of the environment while resting, so the photographer must be careful when searching the birds and to avoid any disturbance.

Global warming is already bringing challenges to both species as the snowy season shortens, and the color of their plumage is not necessarily optimal. Challenges are also caused when the predators like red fox spread higher to the fells.

The photos of the exhibition were taken in municipality of Inari and Sodankylä in the coldest conditions of winter and close to midnight in night less summer night.

Sami Vartiainen is a photographer specialized in bird photography and based in Helsinki, Finland. His area of photographing covers both Finland and northern Norway. His favorite seasons are midwinter as well as night less nights in midsummer in arctic Lapland.