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Birding Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Calgary

Calgary's bird sanctuary, known locally simply as “Inglewood”, is located in a quaint urban neighborhood of the same name. Inglewood is the most famous of local hotspots, and in 2021 there were about 140 species of bird reported. It's Calgary's best bet for Wood Ducks, and sharp-eyed gull spotters study the Bow River here for the (unlikely) Iceland, Glaucus, and Black-backed Gulls. Those rarities may be hiding among hundreds of Ring-billed and California Gulls.


There are usually a couple of Great Horned Owls hiding somewhere in the trees, Belted Kingfisher can be glimpsed (but will rarely sit still), and it's a reliable spot for House Finches, Northern Flicker, and Great Blue Heron. Several species breed at Inglewood, so it's easy to find baby Wood Duck, Canada Goose, Common Merganser, Mallard, and others. Visitors are often surprised by brief cameos ; in 2021 I found a Northern Saw-whet Owl being harassed by Black-capped Chickadees, a Yellow-crowned Night Heron hung out for a few days, and there were sightings of Sharp-shinned Hawk, Long-eared Owl, and Rough-Legged Hawk. Expect the unexpected!

In addition to the birds, expect to see deer, muskrat, beaver, and the occasional porcupine.


Unlike other Calgary parks, Inglewood's 'sanctuary' designation prohibits pets and bicycles, and visitors are required to stay on designated pathways. If you're a photographer, Inglewood can be a bit frustrating as there is no place to lie at the water's edge for the ideal low-angle shots, and it's not possible to walk off-path to get the ideal angles. 


Inglewood is a popular spot for school trips; there's a Nature Centre, indoor and outdoor classrooms, and washrooms.


You'll find Inglewood Bird Sanctuary by following 9th Avenue east of  downtown. Check eBird for the latest checklists, and I'll see you on the trail!

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