It was chosen as such in 1982 after a poll in Suomen Kuvalehti. I dont know the reasons but one might speculate like this: - it is a common sight in Finland - it is considered to be a noble and beautiful bird - it has been a sacred animal for some tribes and it is depicted in old cave drawings The Swan of Tuonela (Tuonelan joutsen) is a well-known creature in Finnish mythology, a swan swimming around Tuonela, the island of dead.