Project Description

Freeze the fast dive and capture the moment of Osprey fishing!

An Osprey is flying over the fish pond. Suddenly it falls into a dive and then water splashes in front of you. The bird takes a fish from the water, grabbing it in its talons, and flies just above the surface of the water towards you before disappearing behind the hide. This magnificent show is repeated, at best‚ dozens of times a day and capturing it is an unforgettable experience.

In addition to Ospreys, it’s possible to photograph Goosanders, Smews, Goldeneyes, Red-breasted Mergansers, Magpies, Ravens, Gulls, White-tailed Eagles, Short-eared Owls, Grey Herons, Common Sandpipers, Green Sandpipers, Wood Sandpipers and Common Greenshanks.


Osprey hide photography started in Kuusamo in July 2015 at fish ponds that have been in operation since the mid 1960s. Ospreys have been allowed to fish in the ponds, so they are used to the place and the people.

There are two photography seasons; the spring season in May and the summer season in August. The Ospreys return to Kuusamo for breeding at the end of April, when the lakes are still frozen. The fish ponds are a safe place for the Ospreys to get food.

The summer season begins in early August as the chicks are growing fast and require quite a lot of food. We have about 4 to 5 different Ospreys fishing in the area in August, coming from the nests nearby to get food for their chicks. At the end of August, the young start to practice fishing, providing a lot of opportunities for photography. Ospreys dive into the pool an average of 15 to 30 times a day in May; an all-time record was set in May 2017 when Ospreys dived into the pool more than 70 times during the day. In August, there are 15 to 30 dives a day on average, with a record of 55 dives a day.


There is a total of four hides (2 to 4 people), of which two are fixed hides (4 people) and two are movable hides (6 people). If you have special needs requirements for the hide, please let us know when booking.

Total capacity: 10 people


• One lens hole per person. If a seat in the hide is vacant, its lens hole is available for use
Bring your own tripod head/video head to fix your camera onto a wooden shelf or a heavy, moveable metal plate in the hide. Note: Tripods cannot be used
 You can also use a bean bag
Fixed hides have dry toilets. In a movable hide there are no toilets, but you can go out and use the toilet in the fixed hide anytime.
Fixed hides have large windows with good visibility
• Each hide has a gel heater and mosquito repellent

Photography season: Spring season 1 to 20 May, and summer season 10 to 31 August
Photography session: We have 2 different photo session, morning and evening photo session (Note: 5-7 hours per session!). In the summer, the Ospreys are often most active in the morning until 8 am, latest 9 am, and again from the afternoon hours to sunset. Note! In the mornings, staff work on the fish ponds and feed the fish for about 30 minutes.
Location:  A 40mindrive (50 km) from the centre of Kuusamo, with a 100metre-walk to the hide.

Price for independent photography session: 130 € / photographer / half day photo session (5-7 hours)
Price for independent photography session: 260 € / photographer / full day photo session (10-12 hours)
Price (briefing included): 190 € / photographer/ photo session 

Extra services:

      Guiding services 200 € / photo session
      Briefing for first-time visitors 60 € / photographer, 120 € / group 

Good to know (FAQ)

Do I need briefing?

We recommend briefing to all photographers who have no previous experience in photographing birds from the hide. The briefing, carried out by a professional guide, includes valuable photography tips: how to work in the hide, how to interpret the behavior of the birds, which hide to choose, how to move the 3-seat-hide if the wind changes, etc. This information will significantly improve first-time results.

Do I have the hide for myself?

These hides are for three and for four people, so there may also be other photographers in the hide. If you want a private hide, or a photography session for your group only, it’s available at an additional cost.

Is it possible to photograph at water level? 

Unfortunately, for the time being, we cannot offer photography at water level. We offer  sitting-level hides, which are positioned along the edge of the fish pools. They are particularly well suited for the moment when the Osprey has caught the fish and is taking off with its prey. The hides have good visibility, meaning that the Ospreys will rarely manage to spring a surprise dive on you.

What time of the year can you photograph?

There are two seasons, 1 to 20 May and 10 to 31 August. Sometimes the spring is starting early and Ospreys can be photographed already on the last week of April.  And sometimes their breeding starts a little later, and then it’s possible to photograph them still in the beginning of September.

How long does one photo session last?

We have two different photo session, morning and evening photo session (5-7 hours / each). Ospreys are most active in the morning just after sunrise, and again from the afternoon until sunset.

On a cloudy and windy day the Ospreys can fish all day.

What kind of clothing do I need for the photography hide?

It can still be fairly cold at this time of the spring so we recommend warm clothes.

What is the distance to the birds and what kind of lens and equipment do I need to take with me?

The hides are by the fish pools, which are 40 metres long. The birds can dive anywhere. At their closest they can be as close as 10 metres, but on average they are at a distance of 10 to 30 metres. After a dive, the Ospreys often fly towards the hides before gaining height, and an Osprey leaving with fish in its talons can often be photographed very close.

We  recommend 100-500mm zoom lenses or 300-600mm telephoto lenses + extenders (optional).


Price for independent photo session: 130 euros / person / half day photo session (5-6 hours)
Additional services:
*The briefing, carried out by a professional guide, includes valuable photography tips: how to work in the hide, how to use the heater, how to interpret the behavior of the birds, how to distribute the food, how to check the backgrounds, etc. This information will significantly improve first-time results.

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Olli Lamminsalo ja Mikko Oivukka

Check more photos taken from the hides at our:  Flickr -gallery