Bald Eagles in a tree
A hidden surprise for bird watchers and nature lovers, the Mackenzie Nature Observatory at Mugaha Marsh is located on a gravel road approximately 14km/8.7mi from town.
The Observatory participates in a joint Migration Monitoring Program with the Canadian Wildlife Service based in Delta, BC. The Observatory operates seasonally during bird migration periods from late July to late September each year. Bird banding begins at dawn and lasts for six hours, varying each day with changes in daylight.
Bird Banding and Species in Mackenzie
Volunteers assist biologists to capture and band birds. The birds are netted with almost transparent netting and placed into cloth bags to ensure that they are not overly stressed. The biologists carefully take measurements such as weight, then band and release the birds. Type and sex are also recorded in order to track and monitor species.
Captured birds of international significance include Hammond's flycatcher, varied thrush, Townsend's warbler and MacGillivray's warbler, and provincially significant birds include yellow-bellied flycatcher, magnolia warbler, and ovenbird.
Visitors are welcome to casually and unobtrusively observe the volunteers at work in the early mornings (usually from about 5am until 9am) near the Marsh, and can enquire at the Chamber of Commerce or Visitor Centre for more information.