Canadian Rockies

  1. 2018
    Tuesday, May 29, 2018 to Sunday, June 3, 2018
    Tour Duration: 
    6 days
    Tour Price:
     $1,750 CAD, $1,450 USD
    Single Supplement:
     $340 CAD, $280 USD
    Tour Starts/Ends: 
    Calgary, Alberta
    + 5% GST for Canadians, + 2.5% GST for non-Canadians, save $100/$175 on the Alberta Birds & Dinosaurs tour (double/single occupancy) if you combine these two tours.
    Number of Persons Limit: 
    12
Highlights

• Spectacular mountain scenery in the Kananaskis region and Waterton Lakes National Park

• Excellent bird and mammal watching across a range of elevations and habitats

• Visit to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

Overview

Join us as we explore Waterton Lakes National Park, truly one of the most beautiful mountain parks in North America. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, Waterton has a great combination of stunning mountain vistas, clear lakes, thundering waterfalls and rainbow coloured streams. Known as the place where the mountains meet the prairies, the unique environments present in the park make it one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the Rocky Mountains. Breeding season will be in full swing and birding will be the focus each morning. The bulk of our days will be spent exploring the foothills and mountains of Kananaskis and Waterton, along with stops to explore prairie sloughs and the culturally significant Heads-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. In addition to birding we will have the opportunity to see lots of mammals including Elk, Bighorn Sheep and possibly even Grizzly Bears.

Combine this tour with our Alberta Birds & Dinosaurs tour.

Itinerary View Short Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in Calgary 

Participants will be arriving in Calgary throughout the day. For those arriving early, there are opportunities for birding in and around Calgary. The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary along the Bow River is an excellent area for foothills and riverine species, and is easily accessible within the city of Calgary. Alternately, there are some great museums worth visiting in the city. We meet in the evening at our hotel for a get-together and a discussion of our upcoming Canadian Rockies birding tour. Night in Calgary. 

Day 2 - Kananaskis and the foothills west of Calgary

The fantastically beautiful Kananaskis Valley, on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, consists mainly of Lodgepole pine and spruce forest, with aspen and willow near water. Several large lakes and extensive wetlands dot the valley. The diverse habitats at the low elevations along the highway support a great variety of bird species. During the day we visit several locations including Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, where we look for Boreal and Mountain Chickadees, Townsend’s Warbler and Barrow’s Goldeneye. We will also be exploring a couple of sites in the foothills west of Calgary to search for LeConte’s and Nelson’s Sparrows. Night in High River. 

Day 3 & 4 - Waterton Lakes National Park

After breakfast we head east to the extensive and bird rich wetlands of Frank Lake. Here we will find many prairie waterbirds including both Eared and Western Grebes, Canvasbacks, and Cinnamon Teal. We will also spend time looking for the exotic looking White-faced Ibis. From here we will drive south to the town of Waterton within the National Park which will be our home base for the next two nights.

Our days in Waterton will be spent exploring various trails and scenic drives looking for a diverse array of birds and mammals. This region of Alberta is home to several species of birds that are quite difficult to find elsewhere in the province. Depending on the weather we will take several short hikes to look for target species such as Cassin’s Finch, Townsend Solitaire, Black-headed Grosbeak and Western Tanager. Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds will be visiting feeders around the town site and elk and bears are found quite easily by driving the up the valley. Nights in Waterton. 

Day 5 - Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, return to Calgary

After breakfast we will leave our mountain paradise and head north to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is situated in an incredibly scenic part of the foothills. We will spend time exploring the world class visitor centre learning about this culturally significant part of Canada. Outside we will take a short hike to the Buffalo Jump and keeping our ears tuned for displaying Sprague’s Pipits overhead. 

From here we will drive back to Calgary. If time permits we will endeavour to round up any species we may have missed on Day 1. Night in Calgary.

Day 6 - Departure

Our Canadian Rockies birding tour ends today. You are free to leave anytime.

 

Map
Featured Wildlife