Happy Bird




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Eero Aarnio

When 25 years ago we moved to Veikkola,
which is situated 30 km away from Helsinki,
we could not have imagined the diversity of
the wildlife in that area. One day we saw
a moose, which is the largest animal in
Finland with very big horns, swim across the
lake. The most dangerous animal in Finland is
the bear and once our neighbor saw
a bear within 100 meters of our house. Few
years ago we left the Christmas ham in
the porch outside our house overnight to
keep it cold and in the morning the cover of
the container was removed and half of the
ham eaten; it was a Christmas for the fox
Overwhelmingly the most abundant animal
species in the area are birds and with
the help of a bird book, we have already
identified 30 different types of birds around
our house. The largest birds are swans and
herons which migrate north in the spring.
There is one particular heron which returns
every year to its nest in a dead tree and
many times we have seen the heron catching
fish in the lake. Because our house
is located by the lake and we often sit on the
shore, the local ducks have become
frequent visitors hoping to catch something
to eat from us. These stories show why
animals play such an important role in my
For a long time we have been feeding birds
which don’t migrate south before the
winter and they have become like well-loved
friends and it seems like the feelings are
mutual. We feel like every bird is a “Happy


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