The Shuswap Is Situated Within The Traditional, Ancestral, And Unceded Territory Of The Secwépemc People.

Nestled in the heart of British Columbia, the Shuswap region offers a captivating birdwatching haven. The diverse landscapes, including lakeshores, riversides, marshlands, forests, and alpine meadows, create a mosaic of habitats that attract a wide variety of bird species.

Planning a birdwatching route leads to exploring the region’s vibrant communities, independently-owned businesses, and exceptional birding opportunities that define the allure of Shuswap.

As you meander along scenic roads and trails, the Shuswap’s picturesque landscapes come alive with the sights and sounds of winged creatures, offering an enchanting connection to nature’s wonders.

Amid the tranquility of Shuswap, visitors can unwind and fully embrace the unique landscapes of the area.

Spring birding in Shuswap

Spring in the Shuswap brings a burst of avian activity, making it an ideal time for birdwatching. Look up to see soaring Ospreys or down into the brush for Chipping Sparrows. Listen for the loud call of Yellow-Headed Black Birds and along waterways, watch for Cinnamon Teals and Hooded Mergansers. The diverse habitats of the Shuswap region offer ample opportunities to witness these and other bird species during the Spring.

Summer birding in Shuswap

Summer birdwatching in the Shuswap is a delightful experience. The season brings a wealth of bird activity to the region’s diverse habitats. Keep an eye out for the striking Western Bluebirds, their vivid blue plumage standing out against the green landscapes. Listen for the cheerful songs of Yellow Warblers in riparian areas. Along lakeshores, you might spot soaring Ospreys and agile Tree Swallows. The Shuswap’s rich birdlife promises exciting encounters with these and other species amid the summer’s natural beauty.

Fall birding in Shuswap

Fall in the Shuswap offers a great opportunity to experience bird migration. Scan the skies for the elegant Sandhill Cranes in their V-shaped formations. Keep an eye on the waterways to spot Hooded Mergansers and Common Goldeneyes. Listen for the calls of White-crowned Sparrows in the fields. The Shuswap’s diverse habitats provide opportunities to witness these and other migratory species during their seasonal travels.

Winter birding in Shuswap

Winter in the Shuswap offers a chilly but exciting experience. While many birds have migrated south, the region hosts some special species through the colder months. Look for the striking Barrow’s Goldeneye in waterways and charismatic Common Ravens, which remain active year-round. In forests, listen for the soft hoots of the Great Horned Owls and the chirps of the Black-capped Chickadees.

Salmon Arm

The Shuswap Region is the traditional territory of the Secwepemc Nation and home to a diverse population of incredible humans, animals, plants and ecosystems. While you are visiting, you are part of our community. We welcome you and ask that you explore with kindness and awareness of the land and people who call this place home.

 Birding
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    Raven (Foreshore) Trail & Christmas Island
    998 Harbour Front Dr NE, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 3L7

    The estuary of the Salmon River is one of the most productive wetland environments in British Columbia. Since the late 1980’s this area has been carefully managed and restored to ensure the integrity of the habitat. A walk along the Raven (Foreshore) Trail and out to Christmas Island takes you through the heart of this incredible habitat. Sightings can include the Western and Clarke’s Grebe, nesting Osprey, colonies of gulls and during migration, thousands of shorebirds. Take your time exploring this special habitat and linger in the purpose built blinds to enhance your chance of an exciting sighting.

Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) - Courtesy of Roger M. Beardmore
 Birding
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    Little Mountain Park
    3698 Okanagan Ave E, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 2B2

     It may take one to two hours to circle the forested perimeter trail in this popular community park. Lovely views of the park, the lake, and surrounding mountains are available from the summit viewpoint of LIttle Mountain. Look for forest birds like Warbling and Cassin’s Vireo, Swainson’s Thrush, Western Wood Pewee, and Pacific Wren. This is a popular dog-walking park, so be prepared to share the trail!

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    McGuire Lake Park
    681 Trans-Canada Hwy, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 4N2

    A shorter paved trail with total accessibility for all users. The trail circles the small lake adjacent to Shuswap General hospital and it is a very pleasant half hour stroll. Many species of ducks frequent the lake as well Red-winged blackbirds, Song Sparrows, and a few foraging warblers. An occasional Double-crested Cormorant will pop over from the main lake, as well as Great Blue Heron. Lots of Western Painted Turtles haul out and bask on the logs, and if one is particularly fortunate, an American Bittern may emerge from a secret hiding place in the reeds!

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) - Courtesy of Roger M. Beardmore
 Birding
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    Marine Peace Park & Wharf
    780 Marine Park Dr #774, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 2W7

    This is a highlight site from any perspective! The views of the lake, mountains and surrounding community are a milestone memory in any season! The birding is also top notch. The spring brings the arrival of the migrants, including all six of Canada’s nominal species of Swallows. (Purple Martin is also a Swallow, but its breeding range is restricted to the southern coast in BC and a small range in the Peace River area). Western Grebes, White Pelicans, several species of ducks and both Trumpeter and Tundra Swans highlight the huge variety of birds that breed or feed on the lake. In the fall, large flocks of shorebirds invade the mudflats of Salmon Arm Bay to take advantage of the fish, plants, invertebrates and micro-organisms that fuel their distant journey to southern wintering grounds. In winter, Short-eared Owls patrol the Reed Grass for rodent prey, and Northern Shrike take advantage of unwary winter finches such as House finch, or Dark-eyed Junco, and the occasional meadow vole that may stray from its burrow

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    Larch Hills
    300-398 Larch Hills Rd,, Salmon Arm, BC

    Approximately a 25 minute drive from downtown Salmon Arm, the main parking lot at the Larch Hills Ski Trails is a good place to use as a base to explore the Larch Hills. At between 1000 and 1400 meters elevation, this coniferous-tree dominated area is very different habitat than the lower elevations of the community and lakeshore. Douglas fir, Western larch, Western red cedar, Engelmann Spruce, Lodgepole pine and western hemlock predominate. Red Crossbills, White-winged Crossbills, three species of chickadee (Black-capped, Mountain, Chestnut-backed), Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Steller’s Jays are regular inhabitants. Great Gray Owls, Barred Owls, and Northern Pygmy Owls are also seen on occasion by the more observant/persistent birder!

Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) - Courtesy of Roger M. Beardmore
 Cafe
 Food
Pine Grosbeak (Pinicola enucleator) - Courtesy of Roger M. Beardmore
 Food
American White Pelican (Pelicanus erythrorhynchos) - Courtesy of Roger M. Beardmore
 Food
Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus) - Courtesy of Roger M. Beardmore
 Shopping
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) - Courtesy of Roger M. Beardmore
 Shopping
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    Pedro Gonzales
    3390 10 Ave SW, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 3K1

    Pedro’s Farm Markets provides the highest quality produce and plants in their farm market and garden centre. A visit to Pedro’s would not be complete without enjoying one of their handmade daily lunch specials and picking up a homemade pie to bring along on your adventures.

 Accommodations
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    Accommodations in Salmon Arm

    There are a number of great accommodation options in Salmon Arm for all types of traveller. If you prefer to camp under the stars or snuggle into a comfortable well-appointed hotel, visit the link to learn more about the options available.

    Book Now
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) - Courtesy of Roger M. Beardmore
 Visitor Centre
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    Ross Street Plaza
    Ross St NE, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 3B8

    At the heart of Salmon Arm lies Ross St Plaza. Stop by to admire some of the bird photography throughout the plaza, explore the visitor information around the square, or catch one of the many events that take place here including the popular Salmon Arm Farmers Market on Saturdays during the summer.

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    Salmon Arm Visitor Centre
    500 2 Ave NE, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 4H2

    Stop by the visitor centre at the Salmon Arm City Hall to speak with one of their friendly local experts to ensure you get the most of your visit to this charming community.

Continue your adventure in Sicamous

Making your way north along the southern shoreline of Shuswap Lake, you enter the welcoming community of Sicamous. With a passion for outdoor exploration and embracing the joys of lake life, no matter the season Sicamous is an exciting destination for nature lovers.

Great Blue Heron in Sicamous
 Birding
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    Riverfront Nature Park
    Adrian Veideman Ln, Sicamous, BC V0E 2V4

    3.7 kilometers of pleasant trails near the mouth of the Eagle River await visitors to Riverfront Nature Park. You can expect wonderful river and Shuswap Lake views, giant cottonwood trees, and the potential for wildlife sightings. This trail does get wet in spring, but the trails are flat with many places to stop and rest. Travel slowly as the bird life is abundant to those who wait and watch – over 97 species have been observed in the area. Link your walk into the wider Sicamous Greenway Trail System to explore the town!

Hairy
Hairy Woodpecker in Sicamous
 Birding
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    Old Town Bay Waterfront
    200 Old Town Rd, Sicamous, BC V0E 2V4

    Located at the west end of Old Town Road, park in the public spaces at the marina before walking down the boat launch and heading east along the shoreline towards the mouth of the Eagle River. On hot days this area is a great place to have a picnic on the beach or take a dip in Shuswap Lake. This is also a perfect area to safely launch a canoe, kayak or SUP to see even more birds and waterfowl, as you paddle along the shoreline and towards the Eagle River. Over 58 species have been observed in the area.

Horned Grebe in Sicamous
 Birding
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    Eagle River Delta
    Columbia-Shuswap, BC

    Along the shoreline where the Eagle River empties into Shuswap Lake, you can observe over 46 species of bird and waterfowl. This area is only accessible by water, so pack your canoe, kayak, SUP or boat and binoculars to enjoy your time floating on the calm waters of the Shuswap. If you don’t have your own watercraft, there are local rental companies that can outfit you for all your floating needs.

Spotted Sandpiper along the Eagle River in Sicamous
 Cafe
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    Blondies Cafe
    302 Finlayson St, Sicamous, BC V0E 2V1

    Discover the ultimate coffee experience at Blondies Cafe, where they believe in simple pleasures; incredible sandwiches, homemade baking and seriously great coffee. Inspired by Australian coffee culture, come start your day or take a break from your routine and “Have a Blonde Moment.”

 Food
Snowbunting in Sicamous
 Food
Hiking in Sicamous - Image courtesy of Darren Robertson
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Northern Shrike in Sicamous
 Shopping
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    Fruit World
    1330 Maier Rd, Sicamous, BC V0E 2V1

    Fruit World is the authority for local produce and specialty items and is conveniently situated for the best selection of products from the Shuswap/Okanagan.  Their wide variety of seasonal fruit and produce, including apples, peaches, cherries and berries, is complemented with a full selection of healthy snacks, preserves, juice, cider and drinks.

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    D Dutchmen Dairy
    1321 Maier Rd, Sicamous, BC V0E 2V1

    D Dutchmen Dairy offers old-fashioned, hand-made dairy products with a focus on top quality ingredients, made on location in Sicamous. We produce 62 different flavours of our artisan ice cream and over twenty flavours of artisan cheese, including Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese in a variety of flavours and their famous chocolate milk and cheese curds.  Stop in for unique gifts & baked goods from Fritz the Baker.

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    Linda's Gifts & More
    329 Main St, Sicamous, BC V0E 2V0

    Linda’s gifts offers a great selection of gifts, including Shuswap and Sicamous branded items: mugs, coasters, hoodies, t-shirts, caps and more for every occasion.

Canvasback in Sicamous
 Accommodations
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    Accommodations in Sicamous

    Discover a range of chain and boutique hotels & motels as well as full-service campgrounds that will make your stay in Sicamous comfortable and enjoyable. 

    Book Now
 Visitor Centre
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    Sicamous Visitor Centre
    446 Main St, Sicamous, BC V0E 2V0

    The Sicamous & District Visitor Centre welcomes guests from across Canada and the world, highlighting all that the Shuswap has to offer. 
    Our staff is all certified in the Destination BC Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor Training Program and able to help guests plan their ultimate vacation in Sicamous and beyond as they travel through B.C.

Alongside the Eagle River - Image courtesy of Darren Robertson

Learn more about conservation organizations in the Shuswap

Salmon Arm Bay Nature Enhancement Society

Formed in 1986 to manage the Salmon Arm foreshore as a nature conservancy, they are responsible for the majority of the work along the Foreshore (Raven) trail.

Learn More
Shuswap Naturalist Club

A local naturalist club dedicated to the study, appreciation and conservation of our natural world. They hold regular nature outings, head to the website to learn more about their events.

Learn More