The Nelson Kootenay Lake area is known for its natural beauty: the mountain ranges, deep lakes and rivers. The glaciers and streams. Home to grizzlies, moose, elk and caribou, our geography is one of the many reasons people return to visit us year after year.
Along with the mammals, we’re also a hot spot for birds and birding. Perhaps the most well known of the birds in our area are the great blue heron and the bald eagle. But golden eagles also live here, along with osprey and hawks. The non-profit group that manages the International Selkirk Loop provides helpful information about birding along the loop, and their checklist of birds is 16 pages long — there are quite a few birds to sight in our area.
Birding Along the International Selkirk Loop
The entire 450 kilometre route includes 40 spots to view birds — a few of them are located in the Nelson Kootenay Lake portion of the loop. To view these spots and for more information on birding along the International Selkirk Loop, please see their website. They also have helpful checklists and maps that give you all the information you need if you’d like to include birding on your next visit.
Though there are hundreds of bird species in our area, one unique aspect to birding here is that many of the birds live in the wilderness. That is, they do not live in a bird sanctuary, and so, to view and photograph them, you may need to off road a bit. Gravel logging roads or other out of the way destinations could be a part of your birding adventure here in the Nelson Kootenay Lake area. Of course, you will be able to see plenty of birds (and other wildlife) without venturing too far into the backcountry. But one of the opportunities here is that you can combine a backcountry tour with your birding hobby to see some very special and sometimes rare birds in pristine natural environments.
One excellent website with many pictures of local birds is compiled by Alistair B. Fraser and provides great photos as well as other information on birds he has seen near his home. This list is extensive and very helpful to anyone wanting to add birding to their list of things to do and see in the Nelson Kootenay Lake area.
If you do decide to try your hand at birding in our area, you might want to take a look at our website for a great selection of places to eat while you are here, as well as places to rest your head at night. We look forward to your next visit, and hope to see you soon!