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The best places for birding in Revelstoke.

With over 250 species of nesting and migratory birds in the area, Revelstoke is an ideal spot for birdwatching and for learning more about our feathered friends.

Our varied environment means that Revelstoke attracts lots of different types of birds. The inland temperate rainforest provides a rich and varied environment that is perfect for everything from finches to eagles, and the wetlands are the ideal spot for waterfowl.

Where can I go to birdwatch in Revelstoke?

The good news is, you don’t have to go far in Revelstoke to see birds. The greenbelt area is home to around 50 species of bird and is very close to town; with paved paths and close parking, this is a great option that doesn’t involve any bushwhacking.

Mount Revelstoke National Park is another great spot to see birds. It’s one of the few places in Canada that is home to 4 different types of chickadee. The Black Capped and Chestnut-Backed chickadees enjoy the lower trails such as Inspiration Woods and the Skunk Cabbage boardwalk, while the rarer Boreal chickadee can often be spotted nearer the Mt Revelstoke summit.

The airport ponds, or “flats” as they are locally known, are another great spot for birdwatching. The water attracts a wealth of bird species and the wide open nature of the area makes spotting easy.

Birding map
Click to enlarge

What should I expect to see?

The time of year impacts what birds you can expect to see. The largest variety of species are in the area from May until September, although some do stay all year round. The list of birds you might encounter is far too long to include here (250 species!) but these are some of our favourites to keep an eye out for:

Steller’s Jay – BC’s provincial bird might be mistaken for a blue jay from a distance but this jay is a mountain dweller and can often be spotted in Glacier National Park. These birds can be bold and may come quite close in the hopes of getting a snack from you- but remember not to feed any wildlife, even if they have clearly been fed before.

Steller's Jay
Stellers Jay at Rogers Pass

Lazuli Bunting – these colourful birds can be spotted almost anywhere in Revelstoke. Look out for them on the greenbelt, at the flats, and even in backyards around town!

Lazuli Bunting. Photo: Dusty Veideman

Great Blue Heron – this bird is a little harder to find than the Lazuli Bunting but well worth the hunt. Often spotted on the banks of the Illecillewaet river, these beautiful birds are always an impressive sight.

Young Great Blue Herons. Photo: Ramona Shaw

Bald Eagle – another one of our more spectacular residents. We have Bald Eagles that make their home in Revelstoke all year round but during the salmon spawning season and the ice melt in the spring, it’s also possible to see many visiting eagles feasting on fish. Look out at the flats and Lake Revelstoke for a glimpse of these majestic creatures.

Bald Eagle. Photo: Dustin Fransoo

Cedar Waxwing – although not as imposing as the Eagles, the Cedar Waxwing is still a good spot with its striking feathers. Sometimes called the Canada Robin, you’ll often see these near running water.

Cedar Waxwing at Skunk Cabbage boardwalk. Photo: Scott Hurd

Rufous Hummingbird – there are a few species of hummingbird that you might spot in Revelstoke but the Rufous is the most likely. Listen for the distinctive hum of their wings to alert you to their presence. One of the best places to see a hummingbird is at a feeder, but remember that feeders can be a nuisance to other wildlife and should only be used where appropriate.

Rufous Hummingbird. Photo: Magdalena Bienczyk

Top Twitching Tips

  • Check ebird.org to see what’s been spotted in the area recently. Detailed descriptions by region can give a good idea of what to look for and when. To find info on local birds, use the ‘Explore’ tab to set the region to ‘Columbia-Shuswap’. From there you can look up Revelstoke hotspots.
  • Join a group of birders. We’re lucky enough to have a Facebook group dedicated to birding in Revelstoke which is full of information and sightings. Head to Friends of the Feathered to learn more.
  • Once you’re hooked, investing in a pair of binoculars is a game changer for birding. The benefit of being able to see birds clearly from further away gives the added bonus of being able to watch them behaving naturally in their environment as they’re not worried about you being too close!
  • Join the latest world record attempt for birding at ebird.org on May 4th, the Global Big Day is hoping to collect the most observations ever collected in a day.

We want to see your beautiful birding pictures! Tag #TheRealStoke on Instagram to share them with us.

Cover image: Varied Thrush, Dusty Veideman

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