This excerpt is taken from:
Bird Watching on the River Parks and Trails of the Drumheller Badlands
The Drumheller Valley and region offer much for bird watchers. The region is one of transition between prairie and parkland enviroments. The valley has spruce forests on some north-facing slopes, river-edge woods, prairies, and desert-like badlands. The mix of environments attracts a variety of birds.
It is not uncommon to see cliff-nesting Canada
Geese, Turkey Vultures, Pileated Woodpeckers, Rock Wrens and Chickadees
at one stop in the valley.
Photo copyright Hannu Hautala
|April offers a special treat. Our region is a major flyway
for Tundra Swans. A drive through the countryside can result in seeing
several thousand of these graceful birds. They are usually quite tame and
can be seen from a vehicle from 100 metres or less.
Migrating warblers are abundant during the spring and fall in the trees and bushes along the Red Deer River. Despite this abundance, the numbers and species make-up are poorly known.
|Rock Wrens are a natural part of
the Badlands. Unexpected to some bird watchers is that is also prime habitat
for Mountain Bluebirds and Say's Phoebe.
In bush in the coulees and along the rivers, Catbirds, Rufous-sided Towhees, and Yellowthroats are common. The larger trees closer to the river provide homes for a variety of woodpeckers, vireos, warblers, and Northern Orioles.
Photo copyright Don Baccus
Photo copyright Don DesJardin
|For those who like to observe birds
of prey, Golden Eagles, Prairies Falcons, Merlins and Great Horned owls
can be seen all year. Saw-whet owls can be heard along the river in the
early spring. Summer offers a variety of hawks, including Ferruginous Hawks
and the occaisional Peregrine Falcon.
The valley serves as a flyway for migrating raptors in the fall. On a good day, several eagles, and a good many hawks can be seen soaring along the banks in a few hours.