This article originally appeared on the Manitoba Hot blog.
A trip to Manitoba wouldn’t be complete without a little adventure. And in this prairie province, wildlife and adventure go hand in hand. From the quiet appearance of the majestic moose, to the impressive flight of the bald eagle, here are some of Manitoba's most amazing wildlife and some tips on where you can spot them on your next trip.
Where do bald eagles like to hang out? These distinctive birds of prey are often found near water fishing for their next meal. These eagles also build large nests in forests and migrate along river valleys such as the Red or Pembina Rivers — so remember look up! To increase your chances of seeing these majestic birds, plan a day trip and spend some time in Hecla / Grindstone Provincial Park, Whiteshell Provincial Park, Riding Mountain National Park, or Pembina Valley Provincial Park.
Looking to cool off on one of Manitoba’s warm summer days? You’re not the only one. Moose can often be found wading in the water to escape the heat. While their size and antler span is quite impressive, moose are notoriously quiet, elusive and difficult to spot. The most common moose sightings in the province occur in Riding Mountain National Park, Hecla / Grindstone Provincial Park, Nopiming Provincial Park, and in northern Manitoba.
The piping plover is a small, sand colored bird who happens to love the beach. And though you may not associate Manitoba with sandy stretches, beaches are very popular in this province meaning that people are often in the piping plover’s habitat without even knowing it. The impact on their habitat has put the bird on Manitoba's endangered list, but enclosures have helped facilitate safe viewing of the plovers and safe nesting zones. The white sand beach of Grand Beach is where to go should you wish to catch a glimpse of this cute little bird.
The habitats for this member of the deer family have been reduced in recent years, but they can still be spotted in the forest of Manitoba’s parkland regions. Autumn is a particularly good time to head to Riding Mountain National Park, where Parks Canada can take you on an elk bugling adventure through the woods during rutting season. Elk can also be found in Asessippi Provincial Park.
While many Manitoba locals are used to seeing deer across the field or even in their backyard, the white-tailed deer still evokes a sense of pastoral whimsy. There are 150,000-160,000 deer in Manitoba, with plenty of viewing opportunities at FortWhyte Alive in Winnipeg, Birds Hill Provincial Park and Whiteshell Provincial Park.
Northern Prairie skink
The Northern Prairie Skink holds the unique title of Manitoba's only lizard. With short legs and a long tail, skinks primarily spend their winter months underground, emerging in summer to scurry across the sandy soil. Head to Spruce Woods Provincial Park and you might just see one resting in the desert-like landscape.
All around Manitoba, you’re sure to spot some majestic wildlife. Whether you’re near the city, or up north, be sure to look around the next time you’re in the wilderness.