From mountain lakes and grassland meadows, canyons to pine forests, and lakeshore habitats to streams, our community has some great birdwatching areas to explore. Did you know that over 200 different species of birds have been spotted in West Kelowna and the Greater Westside?
When is the best time to bird watch?
Birds can be seen year-round, but the spring and fall migrations are when bird enthusiasts are most excited. A wide variety of birds can be seen during the spring migration, which begins in March and continues into May. The fall bird migration is shorter and typically takes place during September and October. Most would agree that May is the prime month to see the largest variety of birds.
The time of year and location as well as the time of day are important factors in determining the types of birds you will see. Birds are most active in the mornings as they are looking for food after a night sleep.
Tips for bird watching
- Bring some binoculars. Small brown birds all look the same until you look at them through binoculars.
- Birds are easily startled by loud noises, so try to be quiet. Also, try to avoid sudden movements as this too startles them.
- Look for flocks and you may see several different types of birds. Many birds join mixed-species flocks not only for protection but also because it makes it easier to find food.
- Do not wear brightly coloured clothing as it contracts too much with the environment and may look like movement to the birds.
- Bring a camera, this way you can snap a photo and look to identify the bird later. You can even use your smartphone camera. Many people are digiscoping (pointing your camera through a scope or binoculars).
- If possible, have your back to the sun as this will make identifying the birds easier and the bird will not appear as a silhouette.