Bird watchers come to Melita area from all over North America and Europe to view many rare prairie species. Specialties of the region include the Ferruginous Hawk, the Burrowing Owl, the Loggerhead Strike and the Baird’s Sparrow. All of these species are endangered in Manitoba. There are other species that are more numerous near Melita than anywhere else in the the province: birds such as the Gray Partridge and Sharp-Ferruginous Hawk, Sharp-tailed Grouse; prairie specialties like the Willet, Marble Godwit, Upland Sandpiper, Wilson’s Phalarope, Sprague’s Pipit, Grasshopper Sparrow and Chestnut-collar Longspur; and species that are near the edge of their normal nesting range like the Ring-necked Pheasant, Lark Bunting, Willow Flycatcher and Say’s Phoebe.
Manitoba Grasslands Birding Trail
The prairies of southwestern Manitoba have supported many other wildlife species that are considered at risk in Canada. They include species like the Bison, plains Grizzly Bear, Black-footed Ferret, Whooping Crane, Great Prairie Burrowing Owl and Greater Prairie Chicken and Long-billed Curlew formally. These species did live on the plains but are no longer found in the area. Other species that are endangered in Canada but can be found in southwestern Manitoba include the Peregrince Falcon, Piping Plover, Red-headed Woodpecker, Short-eared Owl, Northern Prairie Skink, Small White Lady’s Slipper and the Western Spiderwort. Most of these species are threatened by numerous factors including the loss of habitat through civilization, drainage, grazing and prairie fires. Download the Manitoba Grasslands Birding Trail Guide.