Bird Watching

Bird Photography in Kelowna: Capturing Feathered Beauties

A person in a snowy BC forest taking a photo with a bird perched on their red hat.

Capturing the essence of Kelowna's avian life through the lens is an experience that combines the thrill of exploration with the serene pleasure of connecting with nature. Let's look into the world of bird photography in Kelowna, offering tips and insights for those looking to immortalize the city's feathered residents in stunning photographs.

Best Locations for Bird Watching and Photography in Kelowna

Robert Lake

This northern Kelowna spot is perfect for bird enthusiasts, particularly during the migratory season. Its unique alkaline wetland environment attracts a variety of species year-round. Photographers can anticipate the graceful American Avocet and the swift Baird's Sandpiper, while the American Coot offers more playful and lively scenes. Public viewing platforms provide the perfect vantage point for capturing these moments.

Maude Roxby Bird Sanctuary

This park shows Kelowna's natural diversity. Edging the Okanagan Lake, it offers a peaceful setting for both birds and photographers. The Great Blue Heron and Red-winged Blackbird are among the stars here, with the distinct Osprey making occasional grand appearances. The sanctuary's trails wind through reed-filled marshes, presenting myriad opportunities for intimate wildlife shots.

Chichester Wetland Park

A broader landscape of flood plains, marshes, and grasslands, Chichester Wetland Park is a destination for photographers seeking both land and water birds. The Northern Shoveler, Red-tailed Hawk, and the melodious Western Meadowlark await your lens. The park's viewing platforms offer sweeping views of the bird habitats, ideal for both wide shots and focused bird portraits.

Bertram Creek Regional Park

With its lakeshore setting and varied habitats, Bertram Creek is a mosaic of photographic opportunities. From the Western Tanager to the elusive Pileated Woodpecker and the dynamic Yellow-rumped Warbler, each visit promises new discoveries. Keep an eye out for the rare American Dipper and the Blue-listed Lewis's Woodpecker, which turn each sighting into a special moment.

Tips for Aspiring Bird Photographers

Camera Settings

To capture the rapid movements of birds, set your camera to shutter speed priority. This setting ensures clarity and detail in each shot, vital when photographing fast-moving subjects.


A long lens, ideally 200mm or greater, is crucial for bird photography. It allows you to maintain a respectful distance while capturing close-up images. While these lenses can be challenging to handle, the results are rewarding, providing crisp, focused images of distant birds.


Maximizing natural light is key. Early morning and late afternoon, when the light is soft and warm, are ideal times. This lighting not only enhances the birds' natural colours but also aids in achieving the right balance of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.

Background Selection

The background can elevate a good photo to a great one. Choose backgrounds that contrast well with your subject to make your photos stand out. Sometimes, a simple shift in your position can significantly improve the composition.

Behavioral Observation

Understanding bird behavior can help anticipate and capture compelling moments. Spend time observing their patterns and movements. This knowledge will guide you to the best spots and moments for photography.

Best Times for Bird Photography in Kelowna


As migratory birds return, the city bursts into a chorus of colour and song. Look for the Lazuli Bunting and the melodious Yellow Warblers, which add a symphony to the spring air.


The sunny days bring out the Western Bluebirds and Belted Kingfishers, offering bright and lively scenes along the lakeshores. Summer in Kelowna is a time of abundant activity, with each day bringing new photographic opportunities.


As birds prepare for their migratory journey, species like the California Quail and Osprey become prominent. The cooler temperatures and changing foliage provide a unique backdrop for photography.


Though colder, winter presents its unique avian wonders. Species like the Downy Woodpecker and Great Horned Owl offer chances for striking winter-themed photos, set against the serene, snowy landscapes.


Kelowna's birdlife offers endless possibilities for photographers to capture nature's beauty. From the lush wetlands to the serene lakeshores, each location provides a unique backdrop for photographing these feathered wonders. Whether you are a seasoned photographer or just starting, Kelowna's natural beauty and diverse bird population make it an ideal destination for bird photography. Pack your gear and set out on a journey of discovery and connection with the avian world of Kelowna.