Bird is the word this May, as many of us have recently swapped binge-watching for birdwatching. Winnipeg and its surrounding areas are brimming with feathered friends of all shapes and sizes, and spring migration season offers many chances to see take them all take flight.
Learn about bird banding, shorebirds and waterfowl at Oak Hammock Marsh on Saturday, May 8 for World Migratory Bird Day. This special wetland is a Manitoban birding hotspot, and home to over 300 different species of birds.
Throughout the remainder of May, take part in guided early morning birding tours like Birding and Breakfast, or participate in educational walks with the marsh’s Resident Naturalist. Here you’ll likely see geese, gulls and godwits.
The early bird gets the worm over at FortWhyte Alive this month. Each Wednesday at 7 a.m. visitors can set out on the self-guided trails to experience Migration Mornings. Here you’ll witness warblers, finch and juncos as multiple species arrive near the lakes after their travels.
Within city limits, some of Winnipeg’s most popular walking trails are wildlife havens, like the Bois-des-Esprits forest. This 117-acre urban forest snaking through the south end of the city contains five different eco-systems inside, offering a diverse range of birds like ducks, geese, hawks and even great horned owls. Many trails throughout this forest are also filled with special hand-carved tree trunks, courtesy of talented local carvers.
Another popular spot for birders is Bunn’s Creek Centennial Park in North Kildonan, filled with songbirds aplenty like sparrows, warblers and kinglets. The 6km Bunn’s Creek trail is suitable for all skill levels, and best enjoyed from March to November.
The beautiful aspen-oak Assiniboine Forest is another home to a large variety of birds. If you are quiet enough, you may encounter Eastern screech owls, common nighthawks, cooper’s hawks, cedar waxwings and even cranes.
The Living Prairie Museum, the tallgrass prairie preserve in St. James, is a great habitat for birds and pollinators. Northern flickers, blue jays and chickadees are nearby so it is best to bring binoculars.
For more activities to do this season, visit our spring top 50 webpage.