Birding Factoids

385 species
in 44 families

51 of the 246 species 
endemic to 
North America are 
represented here. 
No endemic species. 

Checklist of Alberta BirdsLocal EventsTours and GuidesBirder's B & BRare Bird AlertsPrint and Other ResourcesSpeciality BirdsMap
Check out Robert McDonald's Photo Gallery of the Birds of Fort McMurray
Alberta Specialities
(Pause your cursor on the photo to see the species name. Click on the birds for more info... )
Great Horned Owl - Alberta provincial bird - Photo by Marshall Iliff
Photo by Marshall Iliff

Chestnut-collared Longspur - Photo copyright James Ownby

Photo copyright James Ownby

Whooping Crane - endangered - Photo by Marcus Martin

Photo by Marcus Martin

Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow - Photo by Jim Stasz

Photo by Jim Stasz

Short-billed Dowicher - highest breeding density - Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Grey Jay - Photo copyright Bob Lane

Photo copyright Bob Lane

Common Terns - Photo copyright William J. Stone

Photo copyright William J. Stone

White-winged Crossbill - Photo copyright Eric Kleyheeg

Photo copyright Eric Kleyheeg

Alder Flycatcher - Photo copyright Harold Stiver

Photo copyright Harold Stiver

Swainson's Hawk - Photo copyright Robert McDonald

Photo copyright Robert McDonald

Common (Green-winged) Teal - Photo copyright Erik Kleyheeg

Photo copyright Erik Kleyheeg

Lesser Yellowlegs - Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Photo copyright Don DesJardin
    ...Banff National Park - Birding - also see this alternate site.
    ...Birds of Beaverhill Lake (near Tofield, Alberta). See also RAMSAR
      information sheet. Beaverhill Lake, located 70km east of Edmonton, Alberta, is an exceptional site of critical habitat for a wide variety of species.
    ...Maps and Site Guide for Beaverhill Lake - courtesy of the.Edmonton ...Clifford E. Lee Nature Sanctuary - Southwest of Edmonton, this
      sanctuary has been designated as one of Alberta's "Special Places". Trails wind their way through marshes, sand hills, meadows and aspen and pine woods. May through August are the best times to visit. ..
    ...Drumheller/Newell Lake - See Prairie Potholes and Parks - or... 
      How to Drive From Edmonton to Lethbridge in 2 1/2 Days: a trip report/site guide by Tina MacDonald. April 24 - 26, 1999. This includes a special section on birding in the Drumheller Valley as well as information on Newell Lake.
    ....Potential Alberta IBAs - This is a working list and map of potential 
      Important Bird Areas in Alberta. The process of identifying IBAs in this region is by no means complete. Additional sites that qualify as IBAs will likely be identified and likewise, some of the sites mapped may not qualify as IBAs once a thorough evaluation is completed. Once a site has been formally identified as an IBA the site name is linked to a one-page site summary. Includes details about:
      • Beaverhill Lake
    ....Alberta Wildlife Viewing Guide. This is the Internet version of the
      book published in 1990 by Lone Pine Publishing (Edmonton) and the Alberta Government. Come visit just some of the many viewing sites (most of which feature the birdlife to be found there) that can be found in Alberta. Click on one of the regions to be taken to a list (with maps) of easily found sites. Regions include:
      • Edmonton (Parkland)
      • Red Deer (Parkland/Prairie)
      • Calgary (Grassland/River)
      • Lethbridge (Mountain/Prairie)
      • Medicine Hat (Grassland/Water)
      • Northeast (Lakeland/Boreal)
      • Northwest (Parkland/Boreal)
      • Jasper/Banff (Mountain/Foothills)
    ....Birding Sites around Edmonton - provided by the.Edmonton Bird Club -
      The E.B.C. can trace its origins back to 1949. Affiliated with the University of Alberta, since the club’s founding fifty years ago, the E.B.C. provides a number of opportunities to watch and study birds in the company of fellow birders. 
    ....Bonnyville - a Birdwatcher's Paradise - includes a species listing with 
      some seasonal abundance information.
    ....Birdwatching in Cold Lake - One of the richest birding areas in
      Alberta is located in the Cold Lake area. Over 200 species of bird habitats are supported with clear water lakes, marshy wetlands or mixed wood boreal forest. 
    ....Birdwatching in the Lac La Biche Region - The magnificent 
      landscapes of the region are prime habitat for a spectacular variety of birds, and thus offer the best of bird watching opportunities. Here, you can observe many sought-after resident species, neo-tropical migrants, as well as other species stopping over on their seasonal migrations. Although renown for the American White Pelican there are over 230 other species of birds that inhabit these shorelines.
    ....Birding in Jasper - a report of a great weekend's birding. By Ted
    ....Birding at Whitney Lakes Provincial Park - Of the 375 species of birds
      seen or recorded in Alberta, Whitney Lakes Provincial Park boasts over 206 of these. Park checklist is included on the site.
    ....Birding the Lake Louise/Banff/Canmore Strip (with Extentions to 
      British Columbia) - by Grant Gussie. From the AlbertaBird E-mail Discussion Group - there are many good places in the area, but a lot depends on how hard you want to work to get to them.
    .. .Peregrine Falcons at the University of Calgary
    ....Birds of the Mt. Robson Area - Jasper and Mt. Robson - Wildlife
    ....Waterton Lakes National Park - Waterton Wildlife Viewing
    ....Inglewood Bird Sancturary - a federally designated sanctuary with a 
      surprising location in the industrial sector of Calgary.
    ....Weaselhead Glenmore Park Preservation Society - Calgary. 
      Information about these parks in Calgary, including a bird checklist with information about each bird seen.
    ....Cross Conservation Area - The Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation
      Area is a 4800 acre day use natural area located just south west of the city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. The conservation area is dedicated to protecting habitat and providing space for native species of wildlife; offering conservation education programs (particularily to young people) without jeopardizing wildlife and habitat; and managing human use of the Area through 'entry by appointment only.' 
    ....Rocky Mountain Eagle Foundation - watch eagle and raptor  ....Alberta Birds of Prey Centre - in Coaldale, near Lethbridge. The 
      Alberta Birds of Prey Centre is Canada’s largest birds of prey facility. Situated on a 70-acre wetland area site our centre is a celebration of nature featuring the hawks, falcons, eagles and owls of Alberta. See also Tina MacDonald's report on A Visit to the Birds of Prey Centre.
    ....Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary - Red Deer. Since 1924, the Gaetz Lakes
      have been protected as a federal migratory bird sanctuary. Now part of Waskasoo Park, the Sanctuary's 118 hectares (almost 300 acres) are set aside as a home for plants, mammals and birds. Five kilometers of trails, a bird blind and viewing decks introduce you to a variety of habitats.
    ....Ellis Bird Farm - The Ellis Bird Farm is located in Central Alberta,
      Canada, just to the northeast of Red Deer. Visitors are welcome during summer months. In the early 1950's, Charlie Ellis began a project that was to dominate the rest of his life ... he set out his first nesting box for the Mountain Bluebirds. In the years that followed, Charlie and Winnie rimmed the fields with some 300 nestboxes for Mountain Bluebirds and tree swallows, built and erected houses for Black-capped Chickadees, Purple Martins and Flickers, and established a huge program for feeding winter birds. The Ellis farm quickly gained recognition as a sanctuary for all wildlife and Charlie became widely known as Mr. Bluebird, a title bestowed by the well known Red Deer naturalist, Kerry Wood.
    ....Birding at the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory - Migrants funnel 
      along the eastern shoreline of the lake right by the front door of the Observatory. Mass migrations of songbirds have been clearly documented at the site. Observers have recorded up to 5,000 migrants in a day. Some birders go so far as to call the LSLBO, "The Point Pelee of the North". 
    ....Peace-Athabaska Delta - Summer is brief in this RAMSAR designated
      delta, with the surface becoming frost-free only between June and September; much of the area is underlain by permafrost. The site is one of the most important nesting, resting and feeding areas for water birds in North America; up to 400,000 may occur during spring migration, with more than one million birds in fall. 
    ....Hay-Zama Lakes - This RAMSAR designated lowland wetland complex
      to the north and west of the Peace River, including a series of eutrophic freshwater lakes, floodplains and river deltas. The site holds large numbers of ducks and geese during spring and fall migrations. See also this mention on the Zama City website, as well as a lot of information about the area.
    ....Wood Buffalo National Park - The park includes all except 230,000ha 
      of the Whooping Crane Summer Range, and the Peace-Athabasca Delta (Wood Buffalo National Park section), both of which were designated as Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. More information. 
    ....A June Trip to Montana and Alberta, Canada - June 16 – 19, 1999 - 
      by Doug and Arlene Ripley. This richly illustrated trip report covers the area from Great Falls, through Banff, Lake Louise and up to Jasper. 
    ....Alberta & the Canadian Rockies - Trip Report by Alvaro Jaramillo. 
      The participants arrived in Edmonton from all corners of the continent to take part in this exciting trip. 
    ....Northern Alberta Owl Prowl - a photographic essay by Tina MacDonald.
    ....Two Dutch Birders in Canada - by Ruud and Kitty Kampf. During
      our summer holidays in 1988, we used a Canadian Airlines air-pass to visit a variety of sites in western and northern Canada. It was an interesting trip, in a spectacular country, with wonderful weather, and plenty of mosquitos.Ruud and Kitty Kampf are Dutch birders, with a strong interest in the birds of Canada, particularly in out-of-the-way places. 
    ....Birding Canada - by Martin Tribe. This trip report contains information 
      • Princes Island and Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Calgary 
      • Driving from Calgary to Banff 
      • Banff 
      • Lake Louise 
      • Icefields Parkway 
      • Jasper 
      • Yoho National Park 
    ....Alberta Trip Reports - a number of Alberta trip reports are available 
      from Blake Maybank's "Birding the Americas - Trip Report and Trip Planning Repository". 

Choose another provinceChoose another countryChoose another continentAdd or change a URL

Top of Page

Tours and Guides

>>>>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Alberta Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
Franklin's Gull (non-breeding) - Photo by Paul Conover
Courtesy of SouthWest Louisiana Birding Page

Clay-colored Sparrow - Courtesy of SW Louisiana Birding Page

Courtesy of SouthWest Louisiana Birding Page
    ....Free Weaselhead Eco-tours (Weaselhead Glenmore Park  ....
    ....Backwater Adventures - operates out of McLennan, Alberta.
      Paddle the Peace in the Tradition of the Voyageurs with combination canoeing-birding adventures.
    ....Canadian Wilderness Tours - Over 250 (!) species of birds can be 
      found in  Waterton Lakes National Park, and Canadian Wilderness Tours can help you find the species you're looking for. Our experienced guides will show you the areas where hummingbirds, loons, herons, and owls are found; you might even see a rare Pileated Woodpecker! 
    ....Half-Way to Heaven Birdwatching . Guided Birdwalks
      with Bruce Bembridge, local Field Naturalist. Neighborhood strolls from your backdoor. Trips to special spots selected from your choice of birds and level of fitness. Happy Birdwatching. Tel: (403)678-6859 Fax: (403)678-6859. Address: Box 3404 Canmore Alberta T0L 0M0.

Choose another provinceChoose another countryChoose another continentAdd or change a URL

Top of Page

Birder's Bed and Breakfast

Three-toed Woodpecker - Photo copyright Tyler Hicks
Photo copyright Tyler Hicks
    ...Ferintosh Manor Bed and Breakfast - Our 1930's Heritage home offers a
      unique look into the past.  Relax in the quiet peaceful setting overlooking "Little Beaver Lake."  We have all bedrooms facing the lake.  Two beautiful verandahs to sit and relax while watching the abundant birds.  We have counted over 60 species including, Blue Heron, Geese, Pelicans, Swans, Hummingbirds, American Goldfinch and the list goes on. 
Choose another provinceChoose another countryChoose another continentAdd or change a URL

Top of Page

Local Birding Events

Pereegrine Falcon - Photo by Hannu Hautala
Photo by Hannu Hautala

LeConte's Sparrow - Photo copyright Robert Royce

Photo copyright Robert Royce
    ....Edmonton Bird Club - read the News - Nature Network newsletters 
      for current events and field trips.
    ....Edmonton Natural History Club - Follow the link to Activities. Members
      of the Edmonton Natural History Club, the Edmonton Bird Club and the general public are all welcome to attend.

    ....6th Annual Swan Festival - Saskatoon Island Provincial Park, April

      24-25, 2004. Celebrating the annual return of the Trumpeter Swan, this  festival kicks off with a slide show Saturday night in Grande Priaire (April 24), wine and cheese, and continues on Sunday at Saskatoon Lake with tours of the birding area, children's activities, and lots of exciting birding activities!
    ....Beaverhill Lake Snow Goose Festival - Tofield, Alberta. The 9th Annual  ....Hanna Goose Festival - May 9th, Hanna, Alberta
    ....Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory - the 5th Annual Songbird 
      Festival will be held at the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory on June 7 and 8, 2003.
    ....Festival of Eagles - Oct. 13-14, 2000. Share the spirit of the eagle,
      watching them soar through spotting scopes and see the interpretive displays. Contact: Chris Burr, Canmore Special Events (403) 678-5597
    ....Fall Migration Celebration at Beaverhill Lake - Celebrates the fall 
      migration at Beaverhill Lake during late September. Daylight tours, kids' programs, evening banquet and silent auction make for an enjoyable day for all ages. Contact: Vanita Eglauer at 780-662-3269 or email

Choose another provinceChoose another countryChoose another continentAdd or change a URL

Top of Page

Rare Bird Alert

Marbled Godwit - highest breeding density - Photo copyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Choose another provinceChoose another countryChoose another continentAdd or change a URL

Top of Page

Print and Other Resources

on Alberta Birds and Birding

(links take you to on-line locations where you can order/purchase materials)

Burrowing Owl - Photo coyright Don DesJardin
Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Choose another provinceChoose another countryChoose another continentAdd or change a URL

Top of Page

North American Endemics in Alberta

Information derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.02.
These counts will differ in minor ways from counts based on the ABA classification,
but an international checklist system was required to enable world-wide
country to country comparisons. These speciality birds may be uncommon, or extremely rare
at this location, or may only be present in migration. Species highlighted in bold italic print have
ONLY been found in this province of Canada. However, documented sightings of each species
noted below have been made in this location. Consult the Breeding Bird Survey or
Christmas Bird Count data on the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center website
to determine the "best" place to see each bird.

North American Endemic Specialities in Alberta - No Canadian Endemics

___ Anna's Hummingbird
___ Baird's Sparrow
___ Bendire's Thrasher
___ Black-chinned Hummingbird
___ Black-headed Grosbeak
___ Black-throated Sparrow
___ Blue Grouse
___ Brewer's Sparrow
___ Broad-billed Hummingbird
___ Bullock's Oriole
___ California Gull
___ Calliope Hummingbird
___ Cassin's Finch
___ Chestnut-backed Chickadee
___ Chestnut-collared Longspur
___ Clark's Grebe
___ Clark's Nutcracker
___ Common Poorwill
___ Cordilleran Flycatcher
___ Costa's Hummingbird
___ Ferruginous Hawk
___ Grey-crowned Rosy Finch
___ Harris's Sparrow
___ House Finch
___ LeConte's Sparrow
___ Lewis's Woodpecker
___ McCown's Longspur
___ Mountain Bluebird
___ Mountain Chickadee
___ Mountain Plover
___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed 
___ Sparrow
___ Pileated Woodpecker
___ Prairie Falcon
___ Pygmy Nuthatch
___ Red-breasted Sapsucker
___ Red-naped Sapsucker
___ Ruffed Grouse
___ Sage Thrasher
___ Say's Phoebe
___ Sharp-tailed Grouse
___ Smith's Longspur
___ Spotted Towhee
___ Spruce Grouse
___ Timberline Sparrow
___ Townsend's Solitaire
___ Trumpeter Swan
___ Western Bluebird
___ Western Grebe
___ Whooping Crane
___ White-tailed Ptarmigan
___ Williamson's Sapsucker

Choose another provinceChoose another countryChoose another continentAdd or change a URL

Top of Page

Links checked December 4, 2000