Wings Over the Rockies – Birding on Wheels
Every year birders, nature lovers and adventurists gather for a week long festival around Invermere called Wings Over the Rockies to celebrate the beauty of the Columbia Valley. The festival features many activities for the serious birders as well as activities for nature lovers who enjoy the beauty of the Columbia Valley at a faster pace either biking, running or hiking.
Two staff members at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Naturalists Andi Dzilums and Jocelyn MacGregor are huge supporters of the festival and presenters for a few activities held right at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. As a nature lover with no experience in birding I embarked on my first ever “Birding by Golf Cart” tour at Riverside Golf Course. If you have never been birding before then this is an excellent way to start as you get to completely relax on a comfortable cart with a set of binoculars to see these beautiful creatures closer than ever before.
Not long into the tour we spotted a wood duck, which is a rare type of duck with beautiful feathers. Just around the corner two eagles soared into view towards a Cottonwood tree, acting as their new nesting spot. These eagles had a rather sad story as only a short period of time before the tour their old nest holding some tiny chicks fell to the ground as the tree collapsed bringing the little chicks to their death and the nest to a pile of sticks, feathers and dirt. Near the end of the tour the unique bird that everyone was so anxious to spot was in plain view right in front of us. The Lewis’s woodpecker is a large beautiful bird with a bright pink belly and a red face. This was the highlight of the tour for most, but for me I took to the whole experience and enjoyed learning from Andi and Jocelyn the different facts about the valley and the birds we saw.
The Wings over the Rockies Festival offers a variety of activities. Check out their online schedule to learn more.