This Saturday is the perfect day to go bird watching in the tall grass prairie, as Adventures with Nature Norm and World Migratory Bird Day are falling on the same day. 

Norm Gregoire says they are going to have a bird focused walk to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day. 

“This is the best time of year to see a different variety of birds as they pass through Southeast Manitoba heading North, or even settling down here into tall grass Prairie to breed and nest.” 

He says they see roughly 100 different species that nest in the tall grass Prairie natural area and dozens of other species that pass through on their way farther north or wherever they may settle down.  

Out of those 100 or so species of birds that they have nesting in the area, they have fourteen types of birds that are considered species at risk.  

“Just goes to show you that we have some really special birds that make this little area home as well.” 

Gregoire says they have 28 total species at risk in the tallgrass prairie, 14, or half of which, are birds. 

He says their bird populations face all sorts of different threats. 

“Things like global warming, seasonable weather disturbances, habitat loss or degradation, draining of wetlands, and a big one that I'll focus on this year is loss of insect prey.” 

Every World Migratory Bird Day has a theme that they follow, and this year's theme is insect life and bird life, and how migratory birds rely on insect life. 

Gregoire informs that seven of the 14 birds that are at risk in the tall grass prairie are considered aerial insectivores, which means they hunt insects while flying. 

“There are some incredibly bad stats over the last 60 years or so in Canada, our aerial insectivore population has decreased by roughly 60 percent, that's approximately a loss of 160 million birds across Canada, and a big part of that is to do with insect prey collapse, along with some of the other threats that I listed.” 

Gregoire encourages the southeast to come out to the tall grass prairie and take part in bird watching tomorrow. 

“I have about 15 pairs of binoculars that I'm able to share with everyone, and we'll be headed off on the Agassiz Interpretive Trail.” 

There are two walks tomorrow, the first is from 8am-10am, and the second is from 10am-12pm. 

“The idea is smaller groups moving slow, listening, watching, and learning about every bird that we see, hopefully identifying them.” 

All skill levels of bird watchers are welcome, whether you're an avid bird watcher, a beginner, or even just a love of nature. 

Gregoire will be teaching the group the basics of birdwatching. 

“There's no wrong way to bird watch, but there's a couple of tips that I can point out, things that we can do to increase our odds of properly making identifications and seeing different species and that sort of thing.” 

He asks you RSVP if possible, you can email him at  

“Of course, I do understand that it's Saturday morning and plans change. If there are readers out there that feel, ‘I actually do feel like going out this morning,’ then please come on down.” 


With files from Carly Koop