Alberta Nature

Birding Alberta

Rolling prairie, aspen parkland, boreal forest, and Rocky Mountains all coalesce in the magnificent province of Alberta. Alberta’s habitat diversity translates into great bird diversity, especially in breeding season. From Harlequin Ducks on montane rivers to Buffleheads in the boreal forest, Alberta supports 25 species of nesting waterfowl. While we’re on 25, let’s talk warblers; MacGillivray’s in the mountains and boreal Magnolias are just two of the 25 breeding warbler species. Only slightly fewer are the 20+ breeding sparrows in the province, including the “Timberline” Brewer’s Sparrow in the high Rockies and the prairie nesting Baird’s Sparrow. Albert’s boreal forest is one of the best places on the continent to find the elusive American Three-toed Woodpecker, and the province supports most of North America’s nesting Whooping Cranes. A winter visit to Alberta has its own rewards. Come for spectacular views of the Aurora Borealis, along with amazing concentrations of northern songbirds. Since 1990, Christmas Bird Counts in Alberta have tallied annual averages of over 25,000 Bohemian Waxwings, 9,000 Common Redpolls, and 7,000 Snow Buntings. Birds are only the beginning of the Alberta experience. All the big Rocky Mountain mammals—including bear, bighorn, moose, and mountain goat—are easy to see in Banff and Jasper National Parks. The 2,470-meter Whistlers Peak in Jasper National Park is named for the resident hoary marmots, and Elk Island National Park hosts protected populations of both the plains bison and forest bison. Need an astronomy fix? Alberta boasts the world’s 2 largest “dark sky preserves” at Jasper and Wood Buffalo National Parks.

What to See in Alberta



Notable Mammals and Other Wildlife


Other Attractions


Where and When to Go



Alberta Birding and Nature Tours


Alberta Ecolodges/Accommodations


Best Time to Go


Visit Alberta


Resources