Important Bird Areas
One of the best ways to experience nature and learn about birds in your own community is to visit a local Important Bird Area near you!
Natural areas can be designated as Important Bird Areas if they are home to rare or threatened birds, they support large groups of breeding or wintering birds, they provide necessary stop-over sites for migrating birds, or they host a high diversity of different bird species. IBAs can range from tiny patches of habitat to large tracts of water, and they can be found anywhere from urban areas to the most remote locations on earth.
Many of them also provide exciting opportunities for people to get outside and enjoy nature, go birding, or even become Citizen Scientists by logging their observations of the natural world on online data collection sites like eBird. There is nothing quite like witnessing a huge flock of birds in your local community and realizing that the thousands of individuals in front of you might have come from the Boreal, and may be on their way to a wintering spot thousands of miles to the south. It is not an experience to be missed!
As we hike from Cape Spear, NL to Victoria, BC, and then head north from Edmonton, AB to Tuktoyaktuk, NT on the Great Trail, we will hike within 20 km of 132 Important Bird Areas. As we hike we will be providing short descriptions of each IBA we visit or pass by, and we are encouraging people to visit and learn about these fascinating areas with us! To read more about Important Bird Areas in Canada you can also visit Birds Canada's website here, or to learn about IBAs around the world you can visit BirdLife International's website here.