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Wings Over the Rockies

The 19th annual festival was a huge success with record events and registrations. Thank you to all participants, field trip leaders and presenters, volunteers and the board of directors.

Check this website in the fall for information on the 20th annual festival.

Fossils and Feathers 2015

The theme for the 19th annual Wings Over the Rockies Festival "Fossils and Feathers" was inspired by the recent exceptional find of a fossil bed of significant importance in the Kootenay National Park.

Our Keynote Speaker and Guest Scientist was Jean-Bernard Caron whose work on the Burgess Shale fossils and the recent Marble Canyon discoveries was a perfect fit. He attended the Festival for several days, delivered the keynote address to the Wings Gala Banquet on May 9, gave a luncheon presentation as well as school presentations and participated in Festival field trips and paddles.

As always, the Festival offered a wide array of speakers, field trips, paddles, and workshops focused on the amazing wetlands and mountains of the Columbia Valley. Our special objective was to educate the public on recent scientific research and discoveries.

To give you an idea of the kinds of events offered, the program for 2015 is still available for viewing in the Day Planner, as well as a PDF of the Flyer. Events for 2016 will be posted in early March and registration will begin in early April.

Costa Rica Tour for Wings Over the Rockies

The Wings Over the Rockies Eagle Eye Tour from February 21 to March 3, 2015 was an extraordinary experience!

Nine participants enjoyed travelling through a variety of habitats including lowland wet and dry forests, high elevation cloud forests and mangroves. The lodging surrounded by such rich habitats was very appealing and offered easy early birding experiences.

The expertise of the outstanding guides, Cam Gillies and Ernesto Carman, made it possible to view an amazing variety of birds, from bright colourful ones to some unusual sightings of rare birds, bringing excitement to the most experienced birders. The group also saw monkeys and other mammals, interesting reptiles, butterflies and spectacular trees and flowers. Another highlight was a tour of Ernesto’s family-run organic shade grown coffee farm.

See the Event Gallery and the Bird Page for a collection of images of this beautiful trip.

The next Costa Rica Eagle Eye Tour for Wings Over the Rockies is from February 2 to 12, 2016. Click on the link to learn more about the itinerary and details of this exciting trip!


Columbia Valley Wetlands

Photo: Vic Panei

The Columbia River Wetlands, one of the longest undisturbed wetland ecosystems found in North America, stretches over 180 km in length from Canal Flats to Donald, BC. This impressive ecosystem gained international recognition when it was chosen a Ramsar wetlands in 2005 and represents one of the few remaining intact portions of the Pacific Flyway critical to migrating birds.

The Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey is a five-year project that uses ordinary citizens to gather important scientific data. The goal is that this data will result in the Columbia Wetlands being designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA). Beyond data collection, this community-based project also aims to enhance and preserve the biodiversity and important habitat of the Wetlands through invasive plant inventories and removal.

If you are interested in observing and counting birds and contributing to real science, please contact Rachel Darvill at or call 250.348.2371.

Full training is provided. The Fall Survey dates are Monday, October 5, Thursday October 15 and Sunday, October 25.

Wings Over the Rockies Festival provides the opportunity for visitors and locals alike to engage in bird watching and to learn about the relationship of habitats, flora and fauna in the Columbia Valley, our backyard – the envy of the world.

Photo: Pat Morrow

Click on the image below to view photos of 2015 and past festival events.

Click on the image below to view some stunning bird photos seen during the festival.


Dates for the Wings Over the Rockies Festival for the next two years:

May 9 to 15, 2016

May 8 to 14, 2017