Park #1: Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

Date visited: June 26, 2021

Location: SE Calgary

Best Time of Year To Visit: Definitely spring or summer when the migratory birds have returned and are nesting. Plus, in the summer, you can see the birds fledging.

Best Time of Day: Early enough in the morning or late enough in the evening when bird enthusiasts are around. Plus, the fewer people around, the more birds you get to see. More people come around noon, so it’s not as peaceful then.

Welcome to my first park in my Calgary Parks Challenge starting with the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary! Okay, this first park wasn’t selected randomly. We have been wanting to visit since moving to Calgary last October. However, the birds were migrating then, so we felt it was best to wait until the birds were nesting or the baby birds were fledging. That was the best decision!

They said the park hours were from sunrise to sunset. At this time of year, we’re talking 5:00-23:00 or thereabouts. I will make a point of posting the park map too on my challenges.

Map of Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

We arrived around 9 am and saw some prairie dogs near the entrance. We thought we saw our first-ever moose, but as we got closer it turned out to be a mule deer. So close!

Mule Deer

I wish I didn’t have to say this but keep in mind where there’s deer, there are ticks. This park is one of those places where you have to take preventive measures for ticks. Some of the benches have grasses growing through the cracks, so be aware of that if you’re wearing something that exposes your legs.

A Bit of Sanctuary History:

The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary was bought by Colonel James Walker, a commissioned officer of the North West Mounted Police in 1883. His son Selby created the bird sanctuary. It then passed to Ed Jeffries before the City of Calgary purchased the sanctuary in the 1970s. You can read more about Colonel Walker here. There is a school near the bird sanctuary that’s named after him. You can read more about the history of Inglewood Bird Sanctuary here.

Additionally, Colonel Walker House is on the bank of the tributary. We didn’t go in because we doubted it was open. Heck, even the Nature Centre wasn’t open because of COVID-19.

Back to the Birds:

The first part of the bird sanctuary took us to a tributary off of the Bow River. There are ducks and other waterfowl in that area.

A goosander in the tributary

We continued walking to the Bow River and saw some geese there. We were keeping our eyes peeled for eagles and ospreys, but no such luck. Even so, it was great to see swallows flying around. I saw a tiger swallowtail, but couldn’t get a good photo of it. It was getting hot pretty quickly so it was best to see the river earlier (it was the start of this record-breaking heatwave in Canada). Once we got back to an area with more trees, it felt cooler. It was nice to be able to go between the river and a more forested area. I think if we hadn’t had the forested part, we wouldn’t have lasted long!

Pet Peeves and Conclusion:

Normally, I don’t mind seeing people with dogs in parks. However, I am glad that dogs are banned in this park. It’s a sanctuary and it should stay that way. It doesn’t mean there aren’t people who don’t follow the rules though. We did see one person who was walking their dog in the sanctuary. That and the fact that the sanctuary is over the flight path to YYC were my pet peeves for the day.

This was a great park to start my challenge! I would love to see what this park is like in the evening near closing time. I’m sure it’s a quieter time like the morning and there might be owls around. Would I come here in the winter? I don’t know. A lot of the birds would have migrated. I am interested in visiting in the autumn when the leaves change and some birds are still there though. I’m definitely going to come back here again! It made me remember the times I went to the London Wetlands Centre.

If you miss any of my future posts on my challenge or want to reread my past posts, you can go to my page Calgary Parks Challenge. You can also find more photos from the parks on my Instagram page here.

See you at the next park in my challenge!

Author: winteroseca

I'm a Third Culture Kid who has lived in four different countries before and recently moved to Canada. Follow my blog about my life in Canada, plus expat life hacks and more!

37 thoughts on “Park #1: Inglewood Bird Sanctuary”

  1. What a lovely account about the sanctuary! This is definitely my kind of place πŸ™‚ I would like to see pictures from it during fall as well, must be even more beautiful.

  2. I love places like these- I always enjoy time spent in nature and I love watching birds in particular! I’m glad they banned dogs because as much as I love dogs this is clearly not the place for them. It sucks that someone wasn’t following the rules but at least most people were.

  3. Great pics! There’s usually an Osprey nest along Memorial Drive, I think it’s just east of Crowchild Trail, on the river side. There’s a permanent platform on top of a pole. You can see it from the walking path. I’ve seen them there quite a few times, but haven’t been by this year. Maggie

    1. Oh wow! Thanks for that info. I love osprey nests. There is this osprey nest in the SF Bay Area that has a live nestcam feed that’s really cool! The parents are named Richmond and Rosie because it’s in Richmond in the Rosie the Riveter National Park. If you’re interested, I will email you the link. I get a kick out of it. Thanks for commenting 😊

      1. yes, email it. When you get to Banff eventually, there’s a nest on the bridge from Hwy 1 to 1a near Castle Mountain. It’s very easy to find and see. πŸ™‚

  4. “the evening near closing time”. LOL. Me too. I love twilight better than anything. It will be fun since there will be different animals and different scenes. Such beautiful pictures you’ve taken. You must have some training in photography before, but I am no expert in art. LOL. However be save and be careful. If there are not so many people around, you want to be vigilant and know how to protect yourself.

    1. I haven’t had any training. I just practice lol. Well, that’s why I wouldn’t go to a place like that alone. Thanks for commenting 😊

  5. Lovey captures. This looks like a wonderful park to start your Calgary parks challenge! It’s always a good call to be mindful of ticks and check yourself after spending time outside.

    1. Thank you! I absolutely loved it! And yes, I got in the habit of checking for ticks in California. Lyme disease has been on the increase in that area of the world. Thanks for commenting 😊

      1. Good call. Whenever I walk through tall grass or a path that is overgrown with vegetation I can’t help but think about ticks. No thanks!

      2. Tell me about it! There’s NO WAY I’m getting Lyme disease, especially in the US where healthcare is shit!

  6. I’m glad that dogs are banned. Such a place needs to be a protected space for wildlife. It looks like a very peaceful place to be. I don’t know that wherever deers are there, ticks would be there too!

    1. Yeah, I am glad dogs are banned too. It was peaceful at the time of day that I went there. Yes, deer carry ticks, which means tick-borne illness, so best to be on guard. Thanks for commenting 😊

  7. Great that this area is set aside for the birds and also great that dogs are banned. Always good to see wildlife close at hand, but not too close. Your term goosander threw me, but then I realized this is another name for the merganser. Good to learn something new. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    1. Yeah, I agree about wildlife close but not too close. I heard that bears are going into people’s houses and pools because of the heatwave. Rather scary! I actually wasn’t sure whether to use goosander or merganser, but now I know I can use either one. It’s my pleasure to share this! Thanks for commenting 😊

  8. I like the fact that it is not only a park, but also a place to make life easier for the birds, we owe them that! Thanks for the review.

    1. I completely agree! The animals were here first and we live on their territory. You’re welcome and thank you for commenting 😊

  9. I agree, dogs should not be in a park like that but there’s always one or two dolts who break the rules. You could get some nice bird photos in there. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

    1. I wasn’t close enough to get many bird photos, but the park did have some other interesting wildlife that I managed to get. My Mum worked at Yosemite and she said the term employees use there to refer to people who disturb the peace is “turkeys”. Get it? Because they are loud, annoying and entitled. Thanks for commenting 😊

      1. I remember it from the original Hawaii Five-O series around 1968. The remake doesn’t interest me…

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