Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Canadian Snowbird

Bird watching is not one of our hobbies, but when you are seeing them everywhere, you can’t help but look a bit.  It has become obvious to us that our RV Park here in Las Vegas is on the route of the Canadian Snowbirds’ northern migration.  The northern nesting ground for these birds is the entire country of Canada but most of them tend to roost within a hundred miles or so north of the US northern border.  They have their bird houses in Canada but come the Winter months they migrate in massive flocks to the very southern regions of the United States and sometimes into Mexico as well.  The United States restricts the stay of these birds to a six-month maximum, but they also have to get back to Canada to preserve their free Veterinary care.

It is amazing how many of these birds there are.   In their southern wintering nests, they make up as much as half of the Snowbird population.  They also have very defined due south/north migratory patterns. The Canadian Snowbirds from the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, and Eastern Ontario all migrate to Florida.  The grain belt birds all migrate to Texas, and the birds of Alberta and BC all migrate to Arizona (the elite snowbirds of Vancouver may nest the winter in Southern California).  We have seen them in prodigious quantities in each of these three States over the past years.

Right now, they are flying north through the RV Park of the Main Street Station at a furious pace.  Some nest for one night, others for up to a week, but they are all on their mission to get back to their homeland roosts.  They typically fly in pairs and all have tags like the ones shown below.


DSCN0882Fortunately for us Americans, these birds have bird seed to spread around throughout their stay.  We especially appreciate that they help to build and maintain our casinos here in Las Vegas on their northern flight.  In the photo to the right are two pair of Canadian Snowbirds making final preparations for the flight on north from Las Vegas.

1014464_10152349093849310_530545992_nAt least these Canadian birds are not nearly as annoying as the Canadian Goose.  Most unfortunately, these birds never do return to their native lands.  They take up permanent residence wherever they are hatched and leave a life long trail of poop.  And they don’t contribute a dime to our casino industry.  Could you Canadian Snowbirds round up a few of these Canadian Geese while you are here and take them back with you?


  1. We are watching those birds leave Mesa. Thanks for a clever post.

  2. I really enjoyed the way you wrote this.