Looking for a new place to go birding? We just web-published articles about four hotspots where you can see Flammulated Owl, Red-faced and Olive Warblers, Painted Redstart, Western Snowy Plover, and other great birds.
They describe Alberta’s first migratory-bird sanctuary, halfway between Calgary and Edmonton; a road in Arizona that will transport you up from hot Sonoran desert to cool Rocky Mountain forest; a postcard-perfect state park on the Pacific Ocean; and a vast marshland and prairie 20 minutes north of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Each is a special place for birds and birdwatchers.
You’ll discover nesting grebes and other waterfowl and winter finches at Gaetz Lakes Bird Sanctuary in Red Deer, Alberta, and gain access to a fantastic mix of southwestern species along the 27-mile drive to the summit of Mount Lemmon, in Coronado National Forest northeast of Tucson.
At California’s Mendocino Headlands State Park, three hours north of San Francisco, you’ll fill your binoculars with seabirds, gulls, and shorebirds loafing in some of the most stunning scenery in the continent.
And at Manitoba’s Oak Hammock Marsh, home to 300 species annually, you’ll witness the massing of hundreds of thousands of southbound waterfowl, a spectacle that belongs on every birder’s bucket list. It’s certainly on mine.
Please leave a comment if you’ve already visited a hotspot. Let me know how you liked it. — Chuck Hagner, Editor
Hotspots Near You
We publish up-to-date information about four easily accessible places to watch birds in every issue of BirdWatching magazine. For each hotspot, we offer a map, driving directions, a bird list, links, contact information, and a detailed description written by a local birder who knows the place well and birds it often. A version of the article above appeared in our August 2013 issue.