birdwatching Birds of Churchill,Canada


 Bird Watching

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Churchill, especially in July, is renowned for the richness and variety of its bird population. It is a major world-class birdwatching destination.

According to L. Brandson and B. Chartier, compilers of Encounters on Hudson Bay, Churchill Region "What makes Churchill a birder's paradise is its unique location in the tundra, taiga,coastal and boreal forest environments.

Over 150 species of birds frequent the area. The great numbers of species, as well as the presence of these species in their colorful summer plumage attracts many avid birders, who arrive not only by rail but also by air. There is much excitement each day to see which new species have turned up overnight."

Essential gear for birdwatchers visiting Churchill includes bug suit and binoculars or a spotter. Bring along a telephoto lens. 300mm is inadequate. 500mm or longer is better. The best time for birdwatching is at dawn. In July, the sun comes up around 4:30.

A local company, Churchill Wilderness Encounter: Birding Tours of Churchill, Manitoba, offers a significant resource for birdwatching enthusiasts. Locally owned and operated, Churchill Wilderness Encounter offers exclusive five-day birding tours of the Churchill area. Tour guide Bonnie Chartier has over thirty years experience leading birding tours in Churchill and is the author of the ABA/Lane 'Birder's Guide to Churchill'. At least the first time out, it is helpful to go with a tour like this, because otherwise, you might not learn of the best locations for viewing birds. This is especially important for serious bird photographers. Email the company at for details.


Samuel Hearne describes the local birds, by species, in his own inimitable way. Old Sam lived up there in the 1700s and is locally renouned as a great regional pioneer. His words and writing style are fun and still understandable to read.

Virtual Birder A Website devoted to birdwatching, with a strong section on Churchill birds.

Everything Birds, from A Family Bird Watching to Yellow Bird.

updated 4/26/06