Tag Archive | inglewood bird sanctuary

Christmas Bird Count For Kids, 2017

The second annual CBC For Kids event in Calgary will be held on Saturday December 9th at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. This is a great educational opportunity for kids, so if you have a child, grandchild, niece or nephew that you’d like to introduce to birding, register for this free event.

There will be experts on hand to teach the kids how to find and identify birds, but they could always use some more experienced birders to lead the participants on guided walks. If you’d like to help out, contact Zoe MacDougall, Nature Kids Program Coordinator, at naturekids[at]naturealberta.ca.

Nature Calgary’s Big Week of Birding

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

For many years Nature Calgary has held a Big Day on the Victoria Day holiday – an attempt to find as many species as possible in one day, in this case all of them inside the Calgary city limits (we had 116 species this year). During the 2015 Calgary Birding Competition we decided to add a Big Day in the Calgary Region–the 80-km diameter circle centred in Calgary. We did the trip again last year. In both cases we saw lots of good birds (151 species in 2015, and 132 in 2016) but it is a long day with quite a few dead stretches of driving.

Great Gray Owl, one of two seen on our 80-km Circle Big Day in 2016. Horse Creek Road, June 18, 2016. Photo by Saravana Moorthy.

For this year, we decided to try something new: A Big Week instead of a Big Day in the 80-km circle. There will be a series of field trips offered from June 4 to 10, and we will try to reach a cumulative total of 175 species on these trips.

Most of the trips will be led by myself, Andrew Hart, and Rose Painter. We will kick it off with a day-long trip to the northwest corner of the circle, around Water Valley, on Sunday June 4. The final day will feature another long trip to the south and southwest. Both of these trips require registration because car-pooling will be required and spaces will be limited.

There will also be several field trips offered during the week, including trips inside the city to the Weaselhead and Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. A couple of other trips will be Twitch ‘n’ Tours, our term for for a field trip with a known starting point but for which the destinations are not decided until the last minute, so that we can chase rare birds or ones we have not been able to find so far.

If you want to see how many species you can find in the Calgary region in one week in June, join us for some or all of these outings. See the Nature Calgary field trip page for details and to register.

Birds of Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

Some birds photographed at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary in Calgary by Navroz Sunderji. Navroz used a Canon SX50HS camera.

Common Merganser (male), Inglewood Birds Sanctuary, May 20, 2017. Photo by Navroz Sunderji.

Tree Swallow, Inglewood Birds Sanctuary, May 20, 2017. Photo by Navroz Sunderji.

Tree Swallow, Inglewood Birds Sanctuary, May 20, 2017. Photo by Navroz Sunderji.

European Starling, Inglewood Birds Sanctuary, May 20, 2017. Photo by Navroz Sunderji.


Birds of the Weaselhead and IBS

Max Ortiz Aguilar is a local photographer who has recently taken up bird photography. Today we’ll post a few of his late winter photos. Max will be attending the outings for the Spring course with the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park, so we will post more of his photos from the course throughout the spring.

To see more of his photographs, see his website, Photos by MOA. There will also be a link to the site on our right-hand sidebar under “Bird Photos.”

All these images were taken with a Canon 6D and a Tamron SP 150-600mm. All photos by Max Ortiz Aguilar.

Wood Duck Female, Bow River, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, March 04, 2017.

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Black-capped Chickadee, Weaselhead Natural Area, February 25, 2017.

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Pine Grosbeak Male, Weaselhead Natural Area, February 25, 2017.

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Common Redpoll Female, Weaselhead Natural Area, February 25, 2017.

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Downy Woodpecker Male, Weaselhead Natural Area, February 25, 2017.

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Downy Woodpecker Female, Weaselhead Natural Area, February 25, 2017.

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Restore the Inglewood Wildlands Pond

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

The Inglewood Wildlands, a large park immediately west of the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, is a great place in the summer to see Savannah Sparrows and soaring Swainson’s Hawks. But it used to be so much more, as there was originally a large wetland in the middle of it, which attracted a wide variety of wildlife. In 2007 the pump that supplied water to the pond broke, and the pond dried up.

The Wildlands used to host many visiting school groups who learned about the wetland and all the species that lived there. As the city has now embarked on the ambitious Bend in the Bow project in the area, now is a good time to encourage them to restore this wetland.

Please go to this page to sign the petition to put water back into the Inglewood Wildland Pond. The Inglewood Wildlands Development Society is trying to get as many signatures as possible. They now have over 500. Help them get to 1,000!

Sunday Showcase: Autumn in Calgary’s Parks

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

Catching up with some great autumn photos of Calgary Birds and Mammals, taken by Tony LePrieur from September 25 to October 16, 2016. The locations were the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Carburn Park, Fish Creek Provincial Park, and the Weaselhead Nature Area.


Boreal Chickadee, Bebo Grove, FCPP, September 25, 2016. The bird has no tail. Birds don’t molt all their tail feathers at once, so this indicates it probably survived an attack of some kind.


Great Horned Owl, Bebo Grove, FCPP, September 25, 2016. These resident owls are fairly common it the city. Pairs will be spending the days resting on their winter roosts now, and by February (or sometimes even January) they will be on their nests, incubating eggs.


Great Blue Heron, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, October 16, 2016. The herons have usually all migrated by mid-October, but a few may stay later.


Harris’s Sparrow, seen at the south end of the big bridge over the Elbow River in the Weaselhead on October 16, 2016. The bird was seen for at least a week, from October 16 to October 25. These Sparrows mostly migrate well east of Calgary and are a bit of a rarity here. They sometimes overwinter, so it is worth looking for.


American Tree Sparrow. These arctic breeders are passing through here now and some overwinter here.


Dark-eyed Junco. These sparrows are pretty common here in the winter and can be seen in residential areas right now, often feeding on the ground under bird feeders.


American Robin bathing.


American Robin. They passed through here on migration in huge numbers a few weeks ago, but there are always quite a few that overwinter here, mostly in the river valleys.


Northern Flicker (male). A migratory woodpecker, but again there are always lots in Calgary in the winter – either some local breeders that overwinter, or birds that bred farther north and migrated this far. They will readily come to suet and nut feeders.


Downy Woodpecker (male). A year-round resident that also will come to feeders.




Black-backed Woodpecker. A bit of a rarity in the city, they are occasionally seen in the west end of Fish Creek Park, from Bebo Grove to Shannon Terrace. This one was photographed there on October 23, 2016.


Pileated Woodpecker (male). Another resident woodpecker.


Rough-legged Hawk. This is the common buteo in our region in the winter. They have arrived in good numbers from their northern breeding grounds. Most commonly seen outside the city, especially west of the city.


Black-capped Chickadee. Year-round resident.


Muskrat. They are active all winter in open water.


Mule Deer buck.

See more of Tony’s Photos on his Flickr page.

Share your bird photos from the Calgary area. Just email them to birdscalgary@gmail.com.

Sunday Showcase: Birds of Carburn Park and IBS

Bird and mammal photos taken by Tony LePrieur on September 11, 2016. The Wood Duck and Great Blue Heron were at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, and the rest were at Carburn Park.




Wood Ducks.


Great Blue Heron.


Belted Kingfisher.


Wilson’s Warbler.


Yellow-rumped Warbler.




Eastern Gray Squirrel.


American Mink.

Do you have some bird photos you’d like to share? Send them to our email address and we may post them on the blog.


Furry Friday: Tony’s Mammals

A selection of mammals seen in and around Calgary in the last few months.

All photos by Tony LePrieur.

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Coyote pair, Weaselhead, October 18, 2015.

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Porcupine, Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, October 25, 2015.


White-tailed Deer, Carburn Park, January 31, 2016.


White-tailed Deer, Carburn Park, January 31, 2016.


White-tailed Jackrabbit, Queen’s Park Cemetery, January 31, 2016.


Coyote, Weaselhead, January 31, 2016.


Meadow Vole, Weaselhead, February 27, 2016.


Meadow Vole, Weaselhead, February 7, 2016.

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American Mink, Fish Creek Park, November 16, 2015.

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Long-tailed Weasel, Fish Creek Park, November 15, 2015.

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Long-tailed Weasel, Fish Creek Park, November 15, 2015.

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Long-tailed Weasel, Fish Creek Park, November 16, 2015.


And finally, a Feral Rabbit at Frank Lake, April 10, 2016.

Return to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

Posted by Bob Lefebvre

In week two of the Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society Autumn birding course we returned to the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary (IBS) for the first time since the flood of 2013. The sanctuary had been closed for over two years, but reopened in August. The trails along the river are still closed, but the area around the lagoons are accessible and remain a prime birding area in the city. Once again I filled in as leader for Dan Arndt, with the help of Rose Painter and George Best. George again provided the photos below, with one exception.

IBS map Sept 13

The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, showing our route on September 13, 2015.

It is perhaps surprising that some of the best spots at IBS for migrating warblers and sparrows are the trees and bushes by the interpretive centre, right next to the parking lot. This area should not be overlooked during migration. When our Sunday morning group visited on September 13 we had one White-throated Sparrow, one Dark-eyed Junco, and a Tennessee, a Yellow-rumped, and an Orange-crowned Warbler before we entered the gate of the sanctuary.

IBS Start finish

The parking lot and interpretive centre at IBS.  We spent about 45 minutes in this area.

Immediately after we passed through the gate, a yellowish bird flew out of a low bush by the path, made a big circle, and collided with the glass door of the interpretive centre. I rushed over and picked it up, cupping it in both hands in an effort to keep it warm enough that it might revive (it was only 10 degrees Celsius out, and a stunned songbird could quickly die of hypothermia if not kept warm.) We tried to identify it while doing this. The bird had a large white patch on its head and a smaller one on its nape which confused us at first. But rather than an exotic warbler that we weren’t familiar with, it was a Common Yellowthroat with a touch of leucism (missing pigments in some feathers).


Common Yellowthroat with leucism, unable to fly after colliding with a window. Photo by Rose Painter.

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It took about fifteen minutes before the bird revived, and it finally flew weakly back to the same bush it originally flew out of. Three hours later, at the end of the walk, it was still there, moving about in the bushes, and easily identifiable by the white patches on its head.

When we finally entered the sanctuary proper, we circled the lagoon, where the majority of the other birds were sighted. Wood Ducks are one of the highlights here, as they are quite scarce anywhere else in the city. There are usually between 20 and 45 Wood Ducks on the lagoon from spring to late fall. All photos below by George Best.

Wood Ducks on bank

Male Wood Ducks, already back in breeding plumage after their late-summer molt.

A species we see rarely in the summer but quite often in the fall on quiet bodies of water is the Pied-billed Grebe. There were two on the lagoon throughout the week.

Pied-billed Grebes

Pied-billed Grebes.

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe.

Great Blue Herons are another star attraction at IBS. They are often perched high up in the poplars, where they can be surprisingly difficult to find for such a large bird. We saw three Herons: Two perched, and one in flight.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron.

Belted Kingfishers are often rattling around the lagoon. We finally saw this female perched over the water after hearing it move around for quite a while. One or two of these birds usually stay here until very late in the fall, and they sometimes overwinter in the city.

Belted Kingfisher

female Belted Kingfisher.

Down near the south end of the lagoon near the porcupine den we spotted this Great Horned Owl. They are generally always around the sanctuary somewhere, but can be really hard to find. The two adults that breed here were not yet at their winter daytime roost in the spruce trees by the Walker House. Perhaps this is one of them.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl.

We tallied 36 species for the day, including a Cooper’s Hawk, a Bald Eagle, A Red-tailed-Hawk, two Swainson’s Hawks, a Merlin, and a Golden-crowned Kinglet. Many other species were seen by FFCPP groups earlier in the week. George attends on Mondays as well, and he took some more photos that day (September 7), as shown below.

Flycatching from a tall bare branch, which they typically do, was this Olive-sided Flycatcher. There were two by the lagoon. This species is only seen in the city on  migration, though it breeds nearby in the foothills.

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher.

Swainson’s Thrushes were moving through on migration, and the group saw an incredible fifty-one that day! Below is a pair of these shy birds.

Swainson's Thrushes

A pair of Swainson’s Thrushes.

Finally, a couple of shots of a beautiful migrating male American Redstart.

American Redstart

male American Redstart.

American Redstart 2

Another shot of the male American Redstart.

Next Post: We head down to the Fish Creek Park headquarters and the boat launch.

Sunday Showcase – September Birds of Calgary

Tony LePrieur photographed these birds on September 27, 2015. The robins and the White-throated Sparrow were seen in Queen’s Park Cemetery in NW Calgary, and the rest in the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.

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American Robin

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American Robin

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American Robin

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White-throated Sparrow

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Great Blue Heron

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Male Wood Duck

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Great Horned owl

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