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The main observation site is the Hay Meadow, Mt. Lorette Site. The site is located in Kananaskis on the bank of the Kananaskis River. It has a view of the open valley. which allows excellent (though rather distant) viewing of the Fisher Range to the east. The bulk of the Golden Eagles and other raptors use this ridge as part of their preferred migration route.

Mt. Lorette Observations

See the seasonal count reports and daily summaries for historical observation counts. The following observations started in Fall 2021.


Observers: Lori Anderson, Glenn Webber

Start Time:

07:00 AM

End Time:

07:45 PM


-5C to -1C

Description of the Day:

The theme that prevailed today was COLD: freezing cold accompanied by cold winds and freezing cold gusts with a low of -5 to a high of -1 + wind chill factor. We had to spend the day close to the shelter. Ridge winds from the North and Northeast increased over the course of the day but averaged about 30km/h with gusts of 50 km/h. Most of the activity transpired on the west side of the valley as birds were found traveling below the ridgeline gaining altitude as they passed Colembola. The majority of the eagles, both migrants and residents, traveled in pairs. A threatening snowstorm maintained its position just north of the valley and every now and then it would advance, entering in front of Colembola and McGillivray only to retreat once again. This went on all day until about 18:00 when it gained strength and dominated. No birds were seen after that and 19:45 we packed up due to the deteriorating conditions. The last Golden eagle was seen at 15:58.

Migrant Golden Eagle Count:

7 ( 1 Adult, 2 Sub-Adults, 4 Indeterminate).

Migrant Other Raptor Count By Species:

3 Bald Eagles (2 Adults and 1 Juvenile). 1 Coopers Hawk.

Period with Most Migrants:

Every hour that had migrants had just two.

Total Migratory Raptors:


Non-Migrant Raptors:

2 Adult Golden Eagles, 2 Adult Bald Eagles, 2 Adult Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Northern Goshawk.

Other Birds of Note:

Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Mountain Bluebird 2 (f,m)
Varied Thrush 3
American Robin 7
Northern Shrike 1
Dark-eyed Junco 1
Canada Goose 2
Northern Flicker 3
Canada Jay 1
Common Raven 3

Other Observations:

Three flickers spent a courtship day together making squeaky-metallic interaction vocalizations. At one point I watched them on a tree as two of them flicked their beaks upwards in a very intentional manner whilst uttering that strange metallic sound.
Another interesting moment was watching a young deer run back and forth from one end of the meadow to the other extreme about six times. It finally stopped and stood next to a buddy for a while. we concluded after much conjecture, that it was just having a good time.

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