“Best Places to Bird in the Prairies” Giveaways!

Good Canadian-specific field guides are few and far between, and those for the Prairies are even harder to come by.

Greystone Books has begun to rectify this oversight by publishing a series of books for birders that focus on some of the best birding locations each province has to offer. The first guide in the series looked at British Columbia, and now the newest covers the top spots in the prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). Best Places to Bird in the Prairies is a collaboration between experts from across the provinces: John Acorn from Alberta, Alan Smith from Saskatchewan, and Nicola Koper from Manitoba, who have unparalleled knowledge for their areas.

Maps, detailed directions, and alternate routes for those out-of-the-way locations are provided, but the guide isn’t limited to remote sites; the locales featured are as diverse as the birds that inhabit them, ranging from urban to rural, easily accessible to not very. The guide helps beginning birders as well as those visiting from out of province and abroad to explore the incredible variety of avian species found across the Prairies, and will also guide experienced birders to see target species found only in certain locations.

In Best Places to Bird in the Prairies, three of Canada’s top birders reveal their favourite destinations for spotting local birds in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. They highlight thirty-six of the region’s most highly recommended sites, each of which has been expertly selected for the unique species that reside there. With exclusive lists of specialty birds, splendid color photography, and plenty of insider tips for finding and identifying birdlife year-round, the book is accessible and easy-to-use—an indispensable resource that will inspire both novice and seasoned birders to put on their walking shoes, grab their binoculars, and start exploring.

Eager to get your hands on the Best Places to Bird in the Prairies? Well, you’ve come to the right place! We have two copies of the new guide to give away, from this blog and also from the Alberta Birds Facebook Group; a big thanks to Josh at Greystone Books for making the giveaway possible. That’s two books we’re giving away, so check out the Facebook group for those contest details.

How to win a copy:

1. Please comment on this post below with your favourite birding location in either of the three provinces, or your favourite prairie species.

2. For a second entry, head over to my personal Facebook page Prairie Birder as well as to the Greystone Books Facebook page and “Like” them both.

Please mention below in your comment that you have “Liked” them (if you’ve already liked our pages, that still counts!).

The deadline to enter is Thursday, April 26th. After a random draw, I’ll announce the winner on Friday, April 27th.

Good luck to everyone!

2013 in Review

Looking back on the past 12 months, I did a lot of bird-y things in 2013 — helping out with the Edmonton Nature Club’s Young Naturalists’ Corner at the Snow Goose Chase, raising money for Bird Studies Canada and my local naturalist society with the Baillie Birdathonbirding in Central Park, a month-long internship in Ontario helping with fall migration monitoring, working on my Young Birder of the Year projects, and the Alberta Birds Facebook group I started in 2012 is up to 763 members, including lots of great birders and photographers.

A Savannah Sparrow (digiscoped) in June,

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I added 31 new species to my Life List, putting it at 266 species. I was a little disappointed with my Alberta List, since I saw only 137 species compared to 154 last year. For my Year List, I saw 22 mammal species and 210 bird species.

On of my lifers this year — a Harris’s Sparrow that showed up at my feeders this past spring,

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I added a new species to my humble yard list — a Blue Jay which stayed for only a few minutes in October, but I was very excited to see it,

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A Double-crested Cormorant in Central Park in July,

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