Bird Watching

Winter Birdwatching in Kelowna: A Guide to Feathered Winter Residents

A snowy owl resting on a log with its eyes closed, against a blurry, snowy background in BC.


As winter cloaks Kelowna in its serene, crisp beauty, a unique spectacle unfolds for those willing to brave the chill. The city's natural locale becomes a stage for an array of feathered performers, creating a birdwatcher's paradise unlike any other season.

Winter Bird Species in Kelowna

Despite the drop in temperature, Kelowna's winter skies and landscapes are anything but barren. Bird enthusiasts are treated to a variety of species that call this region home during the colder months. From the array of gulls, including the California, Glaucous, Herring, Ring-billed, and Glaucous-winged Gulls, to the melodious calls of Mountain Chickadees and the striking presence of the Common Raven, there's no shortage of avian wonders​. Observers can also marvel at the sight of Downy Woodpeckers and White-breasted Nuthatches in their natural habitat​​. Winter also brings unique visitors like Bald Eagles, Northern Goshawks, and Snowy Owls, offering a rare glimpse into the lives of these majestic creatures​.

Best Spots for Winter Birdwatching

Kelowna boasts several hotspots for birdwatching, each offering a distinct experience. Rotary Marsh Park, near the downtown core, is perfect for sighting Grebes and Loons along Okanagan Lake. Maude-Roxby Wetlands Boardwalk allows for immersive experiences with gulls and waterfowl​. The tranquil trails of Mission Creek Regional Park are ideal for spotting a variety of birds feeding on Kokanee Salmon​. Munson Pond and Chichester Wetland Park are both renowned for their diverse bird populations, offering over 225 and 180 species, respectively​. For those interested in wading birds, Robert Lake Regional Park is a must-visit​.

Tips for Winter Birdwatching

Winter birdwatching in Kelowna is a rewarding experience, but it requires some preparation. The key is to focus on observing the behaviour of common birds, as their activities and interactions can be fascinating​. Additionally, watching birds for extended periods helps in understanding their unique behaviours and subtleties​. Remember to dress warmly, as birdwatching often involves being still for long periods​​. Also, take advantage of warmer, sunnier breaks for increased bird activity​.

Guided Tours and Resources

For those new to birdwatching or looking to deepen their experience, Kelowna offers guided tours, especially around the Maude Roxby Bird Sanctuary. Local nature groups and companies provide expert-led excursions, giving enthusiasts a chance to learn more about the region's avian life.


Winter birdwatching in Kelowna is an enchanting and educational experience. The city's diverse landscapes serve as a backdrop for an impressive array of bird species, making it an ideal destination for birdwatchers of all levels. Whether you're a seasoned birder or a curious novice, Kelowna's winter birds are sure to captivate and inspire.