Ok, it’s time for me to totally geek out on you. I am in fact, a huge bird nerd. No shame here though - to me, birds are so ridiculously interesting and I am into them big time. So yes, while we have great events in the city, fabulous restaurants and wonderful parks, I am going to challenge you to check out something a bit different next time you head out. Just look up! Did you know that the Regina area is a great region to bird watch? This is true especially during spring migration and even well into the summer months. Perhaps you have observed the hundreds – or thousands of snow geese in the sky? Or maybe you have noticed the common Canada goose’s return? One thing is for sure, the birds signal the changing of season. IG @yahsemtough Photo Credit IG’er @yahsemtough (aka Todd Mintz) But if you really look and know where to look, you can see many other cool birds that make their way here and around the city outskirts to breed each year. Whether it is spotting some peregrine falcons downtown or a Swainson’s hawk on a fence post just outside the city, I promise you will see scores of new birds if you simply open your eyes and look. And here’s a little secret – you don’t have to get up at 5 a.m. to see the birds. Though it’s true that it’s a great time of day to spot them due to their activity level (they forage for food in the early a.m./early evening), it’s not necessary. There really isn’t a bad time to look for birds. Here are some of my favourite places for bird spotting in and around Regina. So, get out your binoculars and get spotting! A. E. Wilson Park – This park located in north Regina definitely tops my list for inner city birding (besides my back yard). You may see: brown thrashers, flickers, orioles, mourning doves, several finch varieties, cedar waxwings, vireos, loons, Clark’s grebes, gadwalls, mallards, blue-wing teals, northern shovelers, mergansers, merlins, black bellied plovers and many more! Here is a great list detailing birds that have been spotted in the park from 1985-2010. Wascana Park – For the relaxed birder who wants to get a good walk in while also pay attention to the tweets, hoots and hollers here and there, the park is a great place to wander and spot at the same time. You may see: All the usual park suspects -- mallards, cormorants, loons, scoters, geese, gulls, sparrows, warblers and more. Qu’Appelle Valley / Craven – Head toward Craven in early-mid May to watch for bluebirds that nest in the boxes along Route 99. You may see: The valley is also a fantastic place to spot cedar wax wings, tree swallows, eagles, hawks and turkey vultures and much more. Pick a grid road – Driving along a grid during the spring months can yield you an amazing amount of different bird species (I.E. Grids heading to the valley, like K + S potash road are usually rich with bird species). You may see: Swainson’s hawks (watch the top of the fence and power posts), brown headed black birds, meadow larks, marsh wrens, a large variety of water fowl (ducks, scaups, cormorants, mergansers, grebes, etc) alongside dugouts, ponds and standing roadside water. You may also find a great mix of shore birds like sandpipers, and depending where you end up, also marsh birds and grassland birds, too. *If you are lucky you may even spot bobolinks. Buffalo Pound Provincial Park and Nicolle Flats – This is most definitely my favourite out of city birding spot located within 30 minutes from Regina. You may see: Horned larks, bluebirds, great blue herons, eastern phoebes, belted kingfishers, yellow-headed blackbirds, pelicans, osprey, eagles, western grebes, coots and more. *If you are lucky you alongside the marshy area, you may catch a glimpse of a sora – most often though, they are easier to hear.  Wascana Bird Sanctuary and the Regina Waterfowl Park – Just across from Conexus Arts Centre, the park offers 223 hectares or marshland and is open May through September. You may see: The park is home to many water fowl such as snow geese, Canadian geese, mallards, pelicans and more. The surrounding area around the pond attracts a whole host of other birds such as: warblers, gold finches, house finches, brown thrashers and multiple other bird species. Your own backyard – You will be amazed at the birds you can attract to your own backyard. Just put out some feed and keep your eyes open each day as something new usually comes along each week during migration. You may see: House finches, white crowned sparrows, Tennessee, yellow and yellow rumped warblers, juncos, kestrels, blue jays, chipping sparrows, rose breasted grosbeaks, chickadees, goldfinches, downy woodpeckers and more. You can attract many different types of bird species depending on what you put out for them. Experiment with different feeds such as mixed seed, niger, black oil seed, suet, peanuts, oranges, sugar water, etc., to see what you can attract. Happy birding! Have questions about backyard birding or birding in and around the city? Feel free to comment below or send your question to me at jennsn@myaccess.ca.