Bird Watching

Rare Birds of Kelowna: Where and When to Spot Them

A bald eagle lands in its nest with two eaglets, surrounded by branches and set against a clear sky in Okanagan.


In the tranquil city of Kelowna, the allure of birdwatching takes a distinctive turn with the pursuit of rare and elusive avian species. Amidst this scenic locale, bird enthusiasts are treated to a collection of feathered wonders, each adding a unique brushstroke to the natural beauty of the region.

Rare Bird Species in Kelowna

Kelowna is a sanctuary for several rare birds, each offering a glimpse into the diverse avian life that graces this region. The Eared Grebe, with its striking appearance, can be spotted at Robert Lake. Meanwhile, the Lincoln's Sparrow, an unassuming yet charming bird, finds refuge around Munson Pond. The Swamp Sparrow and Orange-crowned Warbler, both rare in their sightings, add to the uniqueness of birding experiences at the Capital News Centre/Thomson Brook Pond.

Prime Locations for Birdwatching

For birdwatching aficionados, Kelowna is dotted with prime locations that are rich in birdlife. Mission Creek Greenway is renowned for its variety of bird species, particularly during migration seasons. Robert Lake, a unique saline wetland, is a hotspot for shorebirds and waterfowl including the rare Eared Grebe. Rotary Marsh Park and Knox Mountain Park are also notable for their diverse bird populations. The Maude Roxby Bird Sanctuary stands out as a dedicated birdwatching spot.

Best Times for Birdwatching

Timing is crucial for birdwatching. In Kelowna, the spring months of April through June and the fall months from September to November are ideal due to migration patterns. Winter also presents a unique opportunity to observe different species like Bald Eagles and Snowy Owls that winter in the area.

Birdwatching Resources and Events

The Central Okanagan Naturalists' Club is an invaluable resource for birdwatchers, offering guided walks and educational programs. The Okanagan Birding Festival in May is a highlight event, featuring bird watching tours, seminars, and photography contests.

Tips for Birdwatching

A successful birdwatching expedition in Kelowna requires some essential gear. A good pair of binoculars is a must-have, and a field guide is helpful for identifying different species. For photography enthusiasts, a camera with a zoom lens is recommended to capture these magnificent creatures in their natural setting.


Kelowna emerges as a birdwatcher's paradise, where rare birds adorn the landscape, creating a vibrant and unforgettable birdwatching experience. This city invites you to explore and appreciate its natural beauty, one rare bird at a time.