Birding

Where nature takes flight

Birders, bring your binoculars! With four North American flyways converging here, the Northwest Territories offers some wonderful birdwatching opportunities through the spring and summer.  About one-fifth of the North American population of ducks, geese and swans nest here, together with songbirds, gulls and terns. Summer or winter you can spot the wily raven – a symbol of the north country. These huge, playful, all-black birds are common in all our communities. Willow ptarmigan change colour with the seasons, and in winter make sudden, almost too late, snow-white dashes for safety. Other year-round residents include chickadees, jays and snowy owls.

Our Stories

Intriguing tales from Canada's Northwest Territories

Pull off you shoes and socks and stride across the Salt Plains, nature's very own foot-spa...

For eco-adventurers, the Northwest Territories is a trip back to nature. 

Keep your binoculars at the ready. Our skies soar with birdlife. These deserve your focus:...

Pack extra adjectives. This is a land of extremes. 

The Mackenzie Delta has the highest concentration of pingos on Earth – approximately 1,350 of them. Eight, including famous Ibyuk PIngo and Split Pingo, are protected by Parks Canada in the 16-square-kilometre Pingo National Landmark outside Tuktoyaktuk. They...

Aulavik National Park Aulavik is our northernmost park, reaching across the pristine, wide-open lowlands of Banks Island. It’s famous for two things: the Thomsen River and muskoxen. The Thomsen, calm and crystal-clear, slides through this...

Nahanni National Park Reserve Nahanni, the best-known Northern park, showcases the South Nahanni River, possibly Canada’s most epic waterway. Framed by four towering canyons, the river spills through the alpine habitat of broad-shouldered...

Located on the south bank of the mighty Mackenzie River where it empties out of Great Slave Lake, just a short way from the Mackenzie River ferry crossing at Fort Providence, this us great spot to take a break before continuing your journey north or south....

Just outside Inuvik, this park features an observation tower with excellent views of the surrounding scenery and prime bird-watching. Watch for falcons, eagles and ducks, our summer residents. There is an abundance of cranberries, blueberries and cloudberries that...

This big boreal reserve protects Canada’s northernmost population of wood buffalo, which are almost inevitably seen browsing along Highway 3. Roadside parks in the area – including North Arm and Chan Lake – provide an opportunity to stretch your legs and explore the...

The North's most colourful neighbourhood bobs on the waves of Great Slave Lake, just offshore of Old Town. Rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore this floating community – or bunk down at the houseboat bed-and-breakfast. 

Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Nááts’ihch’oh, meaning “the mountain that’s sharp like a porcupine,” is named for a spine-like peak long sacred to the region’s First Nations. Nááts’ihch’oh is the Northwest Territories’ newest national park,...

Meaning “Land of the Ancestors,” Thaidene Nëné is a park-in-waiting, slated for federal and territorial protection in the next few years. The park will guard the glorious East Arm of Great Slave Lake – 27,000 square kilometres of spectacular...

Reid Lake is also an excellent base for fishing, swimming, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, power boating, and for extended canoe trips into the surrounding lake systems. From here, canoeists can access the Lower Cameron River...

Forming a seven-kilometre loop around the shores of Frame Lake in the heart of Yellowknife, the city's favourite walking trail has a little of everything. The eastern half of the loop is a paved, sedate urban path, leading you past architectural marvels such as...

What in the world? Just west of Fort Smith in Wood Buffalo National Park lies a shimmering, pearly desert, stretching to the far horizon. A quick hike downhill will bring you to the bizarre Salt Plains, where saline minerals leach from an...

Tuktut Nogait National Park Tuktut Nogait, meaning “young caribou,” is one of Canada’s least visited parks, protecting the calving grounds of the 68,000-strong Bluenose caribou herd near the shores of the Northwest Passage. Most visitors...

Enjoy a break from driving at this roadside park, offering washrooms, a kitchen shelter and a boat launch. Stop and rest on the picturesque shores of Great Slave Lake to take photos or simply to relax with a picnic. Be sure to look around you – the scenery...

The Dempster Highway serves as a boundary for this 8,800-hectare park, which includes two campgrounds (Vadzaih Van Tshik Campground and Gwich’in Territorial Campground), two day-use areas (Ehjuu NJik and Nihtak) and Tithegeh Chii Vitaii...

This seven-kilometre loop around Frame Lake is the recreation trail for activity in the heart of the capital. While the eastern half is paved and passes by residential neighbourhoods, the western half consists of boardwalks over muskeg and wayfinding over...

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