Old Wives Lake Nature Area

Come experience the breathtaking serenity of Old Wives Lake. This newly developed nature area, set along the south shore of Old Wives Lake, has a 2.4 km walking trail, a look out deck, gazebo and picnic areas.

The combination of abundant wet lands and the vicinity of Old Wives Lake and Lake of the Rivers makes the Mossbank district a bird watcher’s paradise! On the right are pictures recently taken of a few of the amazing birds in the Mossbank District. Old Wives Lake is a Federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary and an important breeding and moulting area for both dabbling and diving ducks, and small numbers of Canada Geese.

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Baby owl perched on a tree branch.

Baby Owl

Species of ducks that breed near the Lake include Mallard, Gadwall, Pintail,Wigeon, Canvasback, Redhead Lesser Scaup and Ruddy Duck.The Lake is also a spring and fall staging area that attracts large concentrations of ducks and lesser numbers of Canada, White-fronted and Snow Geese and Tundra Swans.

Avocet

Avocet

The Lake contains the Isle of Bays, which is isolated enough to provide protective nesting habitat for the White Pelican, Black-crowned Night and Great Blue herons, Double-crested Cormorant, Western Grebe, California and Ring-billed gulls and the Common Tern.

Upland Sandpiper

Upland Sandpiper

A variety of shorebirds are common to the Lake. Commonly breeding species are American Avocet, Marbled Godwit, Killdeer and Willet. Suspected breeders include Spotted and Upland sandpipers, Long-billed Curlew, Wilson’s Phalarope, Common Snipe and the endangered Piping Plover.

Sanderlings

Sanderlings

Common visitants are Black-bellied and Semipalmated plovers, Greater and Lesser yellowlegs, Hudsonian Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Sanderling, Red-necked Phalarope, Short-billed Dowitcher, Dunlin, and Semipalmated, Least, White-rumped, Baird’s, Pectoral and Stilt sandpipers.

Other birds known or believed to nest in the area are Eastern and Western kingbirds; Barn Swallow; Sprague’s Pipit; Marsh Wren; Yellow-throated and Yellow warblers; Red-winged, Yellow-headed and Brewer’s blackbirds.

Avocet

Avocet

The Brown-headed Cowbird; Western Meadowlark; Chestnut collared Longspur, Lark Bunting; Clay-coloured, Vesper, Savannah, Baird’s, Le Conte’s and Song sparrows; Northern Harrier, Swainson’s Hawk, the threatened Ferruginous Hawk, Grey Partridge and Sharp-tailed Grouse can also be seen at Old Wives Lake.

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

During the annual Old Wives Lake Festival, birdwatching tours of Old Wives Lake are available.

Source
Environment Canada

Picture Credits:
Brent Anderson (baby Owl),
Donald Smith (all others)

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture