Alberta Parks

Bird Watching in Alberta Parks

Parks are great locations for birdwatching! The abundance of wetlands, natural grasslands, parkland, boreal forest, and unique habitats like the Alberta badlands, attract an amazing variety of songbirds, waterfowl and birds of prey.
October 23, 2018

Many parks have viewpoints or trails in prime bird viewing locations. Here are a few for you to try!

Big Hills Springs Provincial Park

A small day use park where little waterfalls flow over rocky terraces with lush growth of shrubs and grasses, attracting many species of birds. A walking trail provides access.

Cold Lake Provincial Park

Home to over 200 bird species that include a significant variety of waterfowl. Many different songbirds nest in the mainly pine and spruce forests. Birders can take advantage of the viewpoints overlooking Hall’s Lagoon and 9 km of trails through forest and meadows.

A yellow warbler in Cold Lake Provincial Park

A yellow warbler in Cold Lake Provincial Park

Cross Lake Provincial Park

Forests and wetlands of Cross Lake Provincial Park, near Athabasca, are great places for bird watching. Viewing platforms offer places to watch loons, osprey, bald eagles and other bird species.

Cypress Hills Provincial Park

Southeast of Medicine Hat, Cypress Hills Provincial Park has numerous trails and viewing areas of waterfowl habitat along Elkwater Lake. Trails throughout a variety of habitats, ranging from montane to mixed grassland, offer viewing opportunities for many breeding and migratory bird species.

Cypress Hills Provincial Park

Photo by Alberta Parks Ambassador Tyler Dixon

Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park

On the Red Deer River, northeast of Trochu, Dry Island Buffalo Jump PP is home to over 150 bird species, including turkey vultures, golden eagles, hawks, falcons and several varieties of warblers; ducks and wading birds.

Kinbrook Island Provincial Park

Near Brooks, Kinbrook Island PP is part of an Important Bird Area where the wetland attracts a variety of water birds. You may see pelicans, cormorants and great blue heron. The park has trails and viewing platforms for easy access.

Kinbrook Island Provincial Park

A common grackle in Kinbrook Island Provincial Park

Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park

Located along the eastern edge of Lesser Slave Lake, this is an ideal location for studying and monitoring birds at the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory. The annual Song Bird Festival celebrates the return of migratory songbirds early in June.

Miquelon Lake Provincial Park

Just a short drive southeast of Edmonton, this park sits in the middle of three migratory flyways and boasts over 200 species of birds. Walk along the shoreline for waterfowl and shorebird sightings or explore the forested back country trails for woodpeckers, songbirds, and raptors. Stroll around Grebe Pond to see woodland species and waterfowl.

Miquelon Lake Provincial Park

Birdwatching in Miquelon Lake Provincial Park

Saskatoon Island Provincial Park

Near Grande Prairie, a viewing platform on Little Lake gives park visitors a good vantage point to watch trumpeter swans and other waterfowl. The lake shore and Saskatoon shrub land trails are also great places to spot a variety of parkland songbirds.

Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park

Long Point Trail guides you through an old growth forest into a unique community of woodpeckers, song birds and warblers. Check out the viewpoint that overlooks the lake to see pelicans, cormorants and many other waterfowl.

Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park

An American white pelican in Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park

Winagami Lake Provincial Park

This park is right on a major North American flyway that funnels to the west of Lesser Slave Lake. Birders can look for over 200 recorded species along trails and at viewing platforms at strategic locations.

If you are a novice birder and would like to learn more, there are many Naturalist or Birding clubs around the province. The Nature Alberta website has links to many birding and nature organizations across the province.

Mary Fitl (Parks Staff)

Updated: Aug 31, 2021