Bring binoculars! The Okanagan Valley is an important migratory route for birds and almost 300 species can be identified, two-thirds of which breed here. Depending on the habitat, you can spot great blue herons, the rare black-throated sparrow, woodpeckers, warblers, raptors, white-tailed ptarmigan and the boreal chickadee among many others. A third of the South Okanagan is included in the Provincial Land Reserve/Protected Area which means the area around Osoyoos is one of Canada’s best places to birdwatch. Because of the very diverse landscape, ranging from marshes to dry desert, a wide variety of feathered friends can be seen.
Haynes Point Provincial Park and the Osoyoos Oxbows host numerous species in their wetlands. The Golden Mile Trail, 16 kilometers north of Osoyoos, is part of the National Bluebird Trail and Vaseux Lake, 35 kilometers north, is the site of a bird sanctuary and summer banding station. Other bird-rich areas include Anarchist Mountain, the West Osoyoos Benchlands, and Mount Kobau. Pick up a copy of the Okanagan Valley Birding Trail booklet at the B.C. Visitors Centre where Highway 97 meets Highway 3, highlighting 17 birding sites within a 35 kilometer radius of downtown Osoyoos.
A local expert, Greg Byron of Great Horned Owl Eco-Tours, offers birdwatching and ecotours in the wildlands around Osoyoos.