Birds of the Mt. Robson Area

Male spruce grouse displayingMt. Robson Provincial Park has a varied bird fauna. More than 180 species have been recorded in the park and vicinity, and of these, the majority are summer residents or transients.

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Not more than 25 species can be considered to be regular permanent residents in Robson; there are several raptors – Goshawks, Great Horned Owl, Boreal Owl, Great Gray Owl; grouse (feeding on the buds of trees and shrubs) – Ruffed Spruce, Blue Grouse, Willow and White-tailed Ptarmigan; corvids – (omnivorous feeders) Gray Jay, Black-billed Magpie and Common Raven; woodpeckers (grubs and ants from rotten wood and under bark) – Hairy, Northern and Black-backed Three-toed Woodpeckers; chickadees (bark gleaners) – Black-capped, Mountain and Boreal; waxwings (frozen fruits) – Bohemian Waxwing; and finches (seed eaters) – Evening and Pine Grosbeaks, Gray-crowned Rosy Finch, Red and White-winged Crossbills.

Transients include several species of waterfowl which breed on the prairies and winter on the south coast, and shorebirds which breed in the more northerly boreal forests and winter generally well south of the Canadian border.

Red-necked and horned Grebes, Mallard and Ring-necked Ducks and American Coots breed in Moose Lake Marsh. They can be seen from the highway by even the casual visitor.

Most abundant of the summer bird visitors are the colourful small woodland species such as the warblers. The Blackpoll Warbler performs the longest and the most spectacular migration of all the summer birds. In late August, the Blackpoll together with other migratory woodland species, move eastward through the parkland zone of the Prairie Provinces and eventually eastward through the Atlantic seaboard. The Final stage of their journey takes them non-stop across the open ocean over Bermuda to their winter home in South America.

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