Bald Eagles in a tree
Pack binoculars and a camera for amazing birdwatching opportunities in McBride's backyard wilderness.
Horseshoe Lake is an excellent birding location, with a picturesque gazebo overlooking the lake. Aptly named for its horseshoe shape, the lake is actually an oxbow lake that was formed when the Fraser River cut a new path through the Robson Valley.
During spring and fall migration identify the many water birds that land on Horseshoe Lake and along the Fraser River. Watch for colourful wood ducks, green-winged and blue-winged teals, hooded mergansers, redheads, and many more. Check out the area's four grebe species, and a variety of shorebirds like the spotted sandpiper.
Horseshoe Lake is just a short walk or drive, approximately 1km/0.62mi, from the train station in downtown McBride. Follow the main street to the Visitor Centre, turn left on Eddy Road, and pass the school. Turn left on Horseshoe Lake Road, and follow it to the bird watching platform.
Peak times for birdwatching are during spring and fall migrations, when birds not usually found in the area make an appearance. Blue jays and Steller's jays are a good example. Turkey vultures, osprey and bald eagles are among larger raptors, as well as peregrine falcons and merlins. Keep an eye open for swallows, woodpeckers, chickadees, bluebirds, thrushes, and finches.
Contact the McBride Visitor Centre for more information about birdwatching in the area.