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Manitoba

Great Gray Owl
Great Gray Owl Strix nebulosa ©T D Rodda Website

Birding Manitoba

Manitoba is a province at the longitudinal centre of Canada. It is one of the three prairie provinces (with Alberta and Saskatchewan) and Canada's fifth-most populous province with its estimated 1.3 million people. Manitoba covers 250,900 square miles with a widely varied landscape. The province is bordered by the provinces of Ontario to the east and Saskatchewan to the west, the territories of Nunavut to the north, and Northwest Territories to the northwest, and the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south.

Manitoba is comprised of a diversity of habitats. Prairie grasslands, boreal forest, parkland, large expanses of marshland, the Canadian Shield and Hudson Bay coastline make this region attractive to many bird species. This province's central geographic location in the North American Continent means that it can offer the birder varied species from the North, South, East and West.

Manitoba is truly one of North America's bird watching hotspots.

Top Sites

Assiniboine Park & Riparian Forest

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Satellite View

Assiniboine Park began an ongoing riverbank restoration project beginning in 2006 and continuing each summer. The Assiniboine Park Riparian Forest (the strip of forest along the Assiniboine River within Assiniboine Park, just east of the footbridge on the south side of Portage Avenue) is a well known and loved recreational area. Over many years, the forest has lost a lot of vegetation due to flooding, invasive plant species that replace native species, and trampling from recreational activities such as hiking and biking. Generations of heavy trail use has caused extensive trail networks, soil compaction, and large areas of bare ground. The Assiniboine Park Riparian Forest Project is striving to help the riparian forest bounce back from heavy use and enhance the recreational trail experience.

Oak Hammock Marsh

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Oak Hammock Marsh 36 km2 Wildlife Management Area features a restored prairie marsh, aspen-oak bluff, waterfowl lure crops, artesian springs, some of Manitoba's last remaining patches of tall-grass prairie and 30 kilometers of trails. It is home to 300 species of birds. During migration season, the number of waterfowl using the marsh during migration can exceed 400,000 daily…

PP Hecla/Grindstone

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Here on the prairie, there's a place where stories of sunken ships and magical islands are told, where the water and fishing is a way of life. It's a place where endless days of outdoor adventure await….

PP Pembina Valley

Webpage

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Sweeping vistas of vividly coloured fields unfurl to the horizon from vantage points along hiking trails. A haven for songbirds, Pembina Valley swells with a symphony created by warblers, vireos and chickadees. Soar over to Hawk Alley in the nearby Windygates area – a popular route for red-tailed hawks, Swainson’s hawks and golden eagles….

PP Whiteshell

Website

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This is Canada as you knew it could be. From the Precambrian Shield to the multitude of lakes and rivers, the Whiteshell Park is Canada at its best! Almost 2800 square kilometres of protected wilderness parkland characterizes this Provincial Park located in eastern Manitoba…

WMA Delta Marsh

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Delta Marsh is one of the greatest freshwater marshes of the world. The 18,000-hectare marsh stretches around the southern edge of Lake Manitoba. Delta is a great spot for a family day out – there are beaches, interpretive trails and plenty of wildlife. Spring is a busy time to visit Delta – the marsh and beach ridges are alive with migrating birds in all shapes and sizes. Colourful warblers migrate through in waves of thousands. Delta Marsh Bird Observatory, the busiest bird banding station in Canada, bands thousands of songbirds every year.

Contributor

Ann Cook

Winnipeg Beach, Manitoba

acook@birdsofmanitoba.com


http://naturenorth.com

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 397

As at June 2018

Provincial Bird - Great Gray Owl Strix nebulosa

Useful Reading

A Birder's Guide to Churchill, Manitoba

By B Chartier | American Birding Association | 1994 | Spiralbound | 132 pages, 15 maps, colour & b/w photos, tables |

ISBN: 1878788078

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Manitoba Birds

Andy Bezener & Ken de Smet | Lone Pine Publishing | 2000 | Paperback | 176 pages, colour illustrations, maps |

ISBN: 1551052555

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Quick Reference to Manitoba & Saskatchewan Birds

| Lone Pine Press | 2013 | Paperback | 12 pages, colour illustrations |

ISBN: 9781551058955

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Organisations

Delta Marsh University Fieldstation

Website

The Delta Marsh Field Station, a research and teaching facility of the Faculty of Science at the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, Canada), is located on the south shore of Lake Manitoba (98°23'W, 50°11'N). It borders Delta Marsh, a “Wetland of International Significance” under the Ramsar Convention, that is one of the largest lacustrine marshes in North America…

Delta Waterfowl Foundation

Facebook Page

Delta Waterfowl Foundation is an independent, non-profit waterfowl organization. Deltas mission is to promote sustainable waterfowl populations for the enjoyment of future generations.

Hudson Bay Project

Website

The 1997 field season was the second year of support for the Hudson Bay Project under our current funding arrangements. Intensive studies were undertaken at our 2 primary research sites, La Pérouse Bay and Akimiski Island. In addition, we conducted detailed aerial or ground surveys of nesting colonies from Akimiski Island to the Knife and Seal River deltas north of Churchill. These were planned to coincide with the fixed wing aerial inventories coordinated by Dick Kerbes of the Canadian Wildlife Service. We also initiated vegetation surveys (including erecting and sampling exclosures) on the Pen Islands. These are located near the Ontario and Manitoba border and until recently did not have a large number of nesting snow geese.

Manitoba Naturalists Society

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Bird Outings, Birding Identification & References, Rare Bird Sightings, etc. etc…

Manitoba Wildlife

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Extensive conservation site…

Reserves

Abbreviations Key

Manitoba Parks & Protected Spaces

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Annotated list of parks with info on each…

NP Riding Mountain

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Riding Mountain, covering 3000 square kilometres (1158 sq. miles) of rolling hills and valleys, stretches eastward from a dramatic rise of land known as Manitoba Escarpment. This park includes expanses of boreal (northern) forest, a strip of eastern deciduous forest along the foot of the escarpment, huge meadows of rough fescue grasslands in its west end, and significant tracts of marsh and river-bottom wetland. This area of wilderness surrounded by agriculture is home to wolves, moose, elk, black bear, hundreds of bird species, countless insects and a captive bison herd…

NWA Pope

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Pope NWA serves as a salvage waterfowl production area during drought years. Marsh edge, water depth and poor interspersion of adjacent wetlands limit its waterfowl production potential. The Wildlife Area provides habitat for songbirds, shorebirds and small mammals…

Oak Hammock Marsh

Website

Satellite View

Oak Hammock Marsh 36 km2 Wildlife Management Area features a restored prairie marsh, aspen-oak bluff, waterfowl lure crops, artesian springs, some of Manitoba's last remaining patches of tall-grass prairie and 30 kilometers of trails. It is home to 25 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, numerous amphibians, reptiles, and fish, and countless invertebrates. During migration season, the number of waterfowl using the marsh during migration can exceed 400,000 daily!

WMA Rockwood

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Rockwood National Wildlife Area serves as an oasis for wildlife because of intensive land use on adjacent lands…

Forums & Mailing Lists

Birds & Birding in Manitoba

Forum, news

Discussion Group - Information on birds and birding in Manitoba, Canada. Manitoba birds is acceptable.

Manitoba Bird news

News

News

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Bird Treks

Tour Operator

Bird Treks has been providing small group and custom birding tours for over 20 years. Visit their website to see the incredible tours available, including nesting shorebirds and whales in Manitoba!

Bird Ventures

Tour Operator

Venture to North Dakota and Southern Manitoba

Canada Adventure Guide

Tour Operator

Manitoba's finest birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and nature tours….

Churchill Nature Tours

Website

Manitoba Birdwatching Tours . . . Two tours available: 7 Day or 14 Day Packages . . . Since 1985, we have specialized in ornithology tours throughout Manitoba. This province is endowed with very diverse habitats and rich natural ecosystems. Manitoba is a vast wild province and remains a tourism frontier . . . offering quiet, quality encounters with nature. Birdwatching tours provide an excellent "window on the natural world" . . . by the design and destinations visited, we explore more landscapes and observe more wildlife than other types of tours.

Churchill Wilderness Encounter

Tour Operator

Discover the Birds of Churchill - With more than 200 bird species passing through each season, Churchill is one of the great destinations for the birding enthusiast. These tours are offered daily throughout the spring and summer. Areas visited will vary depending upon the current location of species sought by those on tour. Some of the unique species which may be seen include: Ross`s Gull, Smith`s Longspur, Parasitic Jaeger, Hoary Redpoll, Willow Ptarmigan and Pacific Loon…

Eagle-eye Tours

Tour Operator

Usually several trips a year…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2011 [11 November] - Brennan Mulrooney

Report PDF

…My reason for saying that the white morph Gyrfalcon is “perhaps” the most emblematic bird of the High Arctic is that it’s a tough call between that and the Snowy Owl. Snowy Owls also spend most of their lives well away from most human activity, and so are not often seen by birders. They are also quite unpredictable in their seasonal movements, being closely tied to fluctuating lemming populations. The Snowy Owl also has something going for it that the Gyrfalcon lacks: it’s an owl…

2013 [10 October] - Iain Campbell - Northern Manitoba

Report PDF

…After settling in, grabbing a great lunch and getting an introduction to dealing with massive carnivores that you feel inclined to cuddle, we set off with Tara and Andy, the two local guides who made us feel completely at ease. We were about to walk around the tundra with Polar Bears, so having A-grade guide who know their stuff was very important. On the first afternoon we had a bear rolling around, stretching and generally just checking us out. We also had an Arctic Fox in its new winter plumage…

2013 [11 November] - Brian Gibbons - Churchill

PDF Report

…On our first morning in Churchill we visited bird feeders in the spruce forest, where Boreal Chickadees and Gray Jays gathered seeds. Driving around town, we knew we were too late for the great variety of birds that the Arctic summer entices north to Churchill, but a few hearty residents entertained us…

2014 [11 November] - Bob Sundstrom

PDF Report

...The premier bird sighting of the tour, Donna spotted a white gyrfalcon that flew close by the Tundra Buggy. A few minutes later, the Gyr’ was seen perched atop a wooden observation tower, which we approached gradually in the buggy. Excellent scope views....

2016 [10 October] - Bob Sundstrom - Churchill

PDF Report

...And there were some fine birds too. We saw coveys of winter-white Willow Ptarmigan, some glinting pale pink against the background. Lots of Snow Buntings foraged along the buggy roadway and in the high tide line of the bay, birds in the warm rusty-brown of winter plumage. Juvenile Black-bellied Plovers and White-rumped Sandpipers persisted as late southbound migrants. A flock of extremely pale Hoary Redpolls was an exciting find, as was a Northern Goshawk that flew by the buggy after flushing some ptarmigan from the willows....

2017 [06 June] - Rosemary Royle

PDF Report

We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and were pleased that our planning worked out pretty well (even when we had to change it – see below!). We saw 28 species of waterfowl, 19 species of warbler and 17 species of sparrow, and we managed to get 25 lifers. We missed out (again) on Boreal Chickadee whilst Stilt Sandpiper and Smith’s Longspur eluded us, but we explored and enjoyed four truly contrasting areas of Canada all within one state.

Observatories

Delta Marsh Bird Observatory

Facebook Page

Satellite View

The Delta Marsh Bird Observatory & Banding Station (DMBO) was established in 1994. It is Manitoba's contribution to providing continued information on migratory songbirds. It is one of five working banding stations in Canada and part of the Canadian Wildlife Services Canadian Landbird Monitoring Strategy. DMBO is destined to become one of a network of 260 monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship stations across North America.

Museums

Manitoba Museum

Website

Blogs

Craig Stewart - Birds of Manitoba

BLOG

Dr Christian Artuso - Birds & Wildlife

BLOG

I am a conservationist, ornithologist, bird guide, wildlife photographer and birder. I currently live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with my wonderful wife. I have a Ph.D. in Environmental Science (thesis on the Eastern Screech-Owl) and work for Bird Studies Canada.

Other Links

Churchill Birdwatching

Website

Over 150 species of birds frequent the area. The great numbers of species, as well as the presence of these species in their colorful summer plumage attracts many avid birders, who arrive not only by rail but also by air. There is much excitement each day to see which new species have turned up overnight…

Manitoba bird watching

Website

Bird outings are held on a regular basis throughout the year, primarily in the spring/fall. They are a great way to share knowledge and meet other people interested in Manitoba birds. Information about upcoming outings can be found on the online bird outings page in the outdoor activities section, or in our newsletter, Nature Manitoba News.