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Bird Watching

Kootenay Lake and especially the Crawford Bay alluvial fan (Birds of Crawford Bay Wetlands) is a valuable link in a chain of wetlands extending from the Arctic Ocean to California including the globally recognized Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area which is second only to the coast as a flyway route for numbers of migrating waterfowl. It provides migratory and permanent habitat for at least 92 bird species, including many ducks and geese, Sora, Bittern and Warbling Vireo and increasing numbers of Trumpeter Swans, blue or red-listed species such as the Great blue Heron, Western Screech Owl, Bald Eagle and more. The increasingly rare stands of Black Cottonwoods (Populus balsamifera ssp. Trichocarpa) serve as viable habitat for breeding Western Screech Owls (Megascops kennicottii),which have been sighted in the area of concern (Breeding Bird atlas). There are acres of skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) throughout these riparian zones which support waking black and grizzly bears in the early spring for forage. It is also breeding grounds for the Western Toad, Western Painted Turtle and White Sturgeon.

Birds found in the Crawford Bay wetlands

1 Canada Goose                        46 Willow Flycatcher
2 Tundra Swan                          47 Least Flycatcher
3 Wood Duck                            48 Hammond’s Flycatcher
4 Blue-winged Teal                   49 Dusky Flycatcher
5 Cinnamon Teal                       50 Pacific-slope Flycatcher
6 American Wigeon                  51 Warbling Vireo
7 Mallard                                  52 Red-eyed Vireo
8 Green-winged Teal                 53 American Crow
9 Canvasback                            54 Common Raven
10 Ring-necked Duck                55 Tree Swallow
11 Bufflehead                            56 Violet-green Swallow
12 Common Goldeneye            57 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
13 Barrow’s Goldeneye             58 Barn Swallow
14 Hooded Merganser              59 Black-capped Chickadee
15 Common Merganser             60 Chestnut-backed Chickadee
16 Common Nighthawk             61 Red-breasted Nuthatch
17 Vaux’s Swift                            62 Pacific Wren
18 Black-chinned Hummingbird 63 American Dipper
19 Anna’s Hummingbird             64 Golden-crowned Kinglet
20 Rufous Hummingbird            65 Mountain Bluebird
21 Sora                                       66 Townsend’s Solitaire
22 American Coot                       67 Veery
23 Sandhill Crane                       68 Swainson’s Thrush
24 Killdeer                                  69 American Robin
25 Wilson’s Snipe                      70 Gray Catbird
26 Spotted Sandpiper               71 European Starling
27 Common Loon                     72 Cedar Waxwing
28 American Bittern                  73 American Pipit
29 Great Blue Heron                 74 Pine Siskin
30 Turkey Vulture                     75 American Goldfinch
31 Osprey                                 76 Savannah Sparrow
32 Sharp-shinned Hawk           77 Song Sparrow
33 Bald Eagle                            78 Dark-eyed Junco
34 Red-tailed Hawk                  79 Red-winged Blackbird
35 Great Horned Owl               80 Brown-headed Cowbird
36 Northern Pygmy Owl          81 Brewer’s Blackbird
37 Belted Kingfisher                82 Northern Waterthrush
38 Red-naped Sapsucker        83 MacGillivray’s Warbler
39 Downy Woodpecker          84 Common Yellowthroat
40 Hairy Woodpecker            85 American Redstart
41 Northern Flicker                86 Yellow Warbler
42 Pileated Woodpecker       87 Yellow-rumped Warbler
43 American Kestrel              88 Wilson’s Warbler
44 Eastern Kingbird              89 Black-headed Grosbeak
45 Western Wood Pewee     90 Lazuli Bunting
91 Bobolink