These bird sightings are the true sign spring has sprung in Kamloops - InfoNews

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These bird sightings are the true sign spring has sprung in Kamloops

A Mountain Bluebird photographed in Kamloops by Lyn MacDonald.
Image Credit: Lyn MacDonald
March 15, 2020 - 8:00 AM

A warm day may lead people to say that spring has sprung, but that's not the best measure. 

Look, instead, to the sky where birds will be returning to the Kamloops area offering the truest sign that spring is on its way.

A Western Meadowlark photographed in Kamloops by Lyn MacDonald.
A Western Meadowlark photographed in Kamloops by Lyn MacDonald.
Image Credit: Lyn MacDonald

A striking bird, easily recognizable by its yellow plumage, the Western Meadowlark returns to the Kamloops area in March and stays until October.

Northern Shoveller, taken by Ben Hodgkiss.
Northern Shoveller, taken by Ben Hodgkiss.
Image Credit: Ben Hodgkiss

Many ducks will be returning to the region for spring.

"The Northern Pintail is a bird that will start showing up in the next couple weeks up in the lakes as soon as they melt and on the rivers and bigger abundances," dean of sciences at TRU Tom Dickinson said.

"One of the other big ones that you get here will be a Northern shoveler."

A Wood Duck photographed in Kamloops by Lyn MacDonald.
A Wood Duck photographed in Kamloops by Lyn MacDonald.
Image Credit: Lyn MacDonald

Wood Ducks return to Kamloops toward the end of March and leave in early September.

"We’re in a place that's called a nationally important bird area," Dickinson explained. "If I want to take somebody to go see ducks and those sorts of things, what I'll do is I'll, first of all, start off at  Tranquille, and... it's a little later in the year I'll drive up Lac Dubois Road and look at the ponds."

Redhead duck, male. Photo taken by Greg Gillson from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
Redhead duck, male. Photo taken by Greg Gillson from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
Image Credit: Greg Gillson

"What comes in and stays for just a little while on some of our lakes are birds called Canvasbacks," said Dickinson. "[At] McGowan pond, you might see them, but the more common one that you'd see at McGowan pond would be something like a Redhead."

These ducks are easily recognizable by, you guessed it, their redhead.

Yellow-headed blackbird, photographed by Dan Hackley from Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
Yellow-headed blackbird, photographed by Dan Hackley from Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.
Image Credit: Dan Hackley

Yellow-headed Blackbirds will begin to flock to the area in early to mid-April. For those looking to spot one, Dr. Dickinson has some experience in the area.

"If I want to go see Yellow-headed Blackbirds...I go over to the Kamloops museum property and they have a little garden down to the South that's got a pond," he said.

"It's got Yellow-headed Blackbirds on it every year."

Golden Eagle, photographed in Kamloops by Rick Howie.
Golden Eagle, photographed in Kamloops by Rick Howie.
Image Credit: Rick Howie

Golden Eagles appear in Kamloops during March in higher numbers than they do for all the rest of the year. Bald Eagles are in the area in higher numbers in March as well, seeing another peak here in October.

"If I wanted to take somebody to go watch and look for Eagles and Hawks and Falcons, the birds of prey, I take them up onto the Rose Hill,"  Dickinson said.

"Around Goose Lake Road in that area it's just full of birds like that. And along the way you'll see some of the really neat spring migrating songbirds, so Bluebirds come in and so do some of those small sparrows."

Robin photographed by Lyn MacDonald.
Robin photographed by Lyn MacDonald.
Image Credit: Lyn MacDonald

These are just a sampling of the many species of birds returning to the Kamloops region over the next coupleof months. If you're interested in a full list of birds in the area, or in more birdwatching sites and tips, click here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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