The ancestral, traditional and unceded territory of the Osoyoos Indian Band and its people.

This particularly special destination on the BC Bird Trail presents an entirely unique climate filled with grasslands, highlands, desert and mountains – all situated around Osoyoos Lake.

Due to its mild climate, Osoyoos’ traditional lands are an ideal year-round road trip destination – from the peak of the Anarchist Mountain Lookout to the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre.

To the west of Osoyoos Lake lies Main Street and the town’s eclectic downtown core full of unique local shopping and dining opportunities. But adventurous birders that head east along the Crowsnest Highway are presented with some truly exceptional birding opportunities.

One of the most productive birding areas is at the north end of Osoyoos Lake. The oxbows of the river and surrounding dykes are a fantastic habitat, with over 250 species recorded in the area around Road 22.

  • Osoyoos Lake comes alive in spring, with plenty of waterfowl. Cinnamon Teals, Green-winged Teals, Redheads, and Northern Pintails arrive, joining the wintering species like Common & Barrow’s Goldeneyes, and Common & Hooded Mergansers. Warblers and swallows will start showing up in spring as well, and a regional favourite, the Osprey, can be found perched near or circling above the lake as they watch for fish.
Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena)

Catch swallows galore over the lake and fields! Barn, Tree, Violet-green, Bank, Cliff, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows can be found – getting a photo of any of these quick species is tough, but you’ll have plenty of opportunities. Flycatchers flock to the region in warmer weather, too. Willow, Western Wood-pewee, Least, Hammond’s, and Dusky Flycatchers are around, plus Say’s Phoebe and Western & Eastern Kingbirds. Along the shores, watch for Long-billed Curlews, Wilson’s Snipes, and Spotted Sandpipers. You’ll see lots of colour in the trees as well, with American Goldfinches, Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Lazuli Buntings, and Bullock’s Orioles!

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena)

Majestic Sandhill Cranes can be seen during migration seasons. Along with these giant birds, tiny visitors like Ruby-crowned Kinglets can be found in fall as well. Two remarkable raptors are common in the season: Northern Harriers and American Kestrels. Both are uniquely adapted to their environment and can hover in place as they prepare to dive on prey in the fields below.

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena)

Wintering waterfowl arrive on Osoyoos Lake, like Common & Barrow’s Goldeneyes, and Common & Hooded Mergansers. Some raptor species are more common in the colder months as well, including Rough-legged Hawks and Golden Eagles. An exciting winter sight is the Northern Shrike – an adorable (but vicious) predatory songbird!

Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena)

Exploring the North Basin

As the Okanagan and Crowsnest Highways intersect, the nation’s warmest lake signifies your arrival to Canada’s desert. Recharge along Main Street Osoyoos and gather supplies ahead of your next big day out.

A bluebird at the Osoyoos Desert Centre
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    The Osoyoos Desert Centre
    14580 146 Ave, Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V2

    North of Osoyoos, this interpretive centre focuses on preserving the unique antelope-brush ecosystem. Enjoy a guided or self-guided tour along the 1.5 km boardwalk, explore hands-on displays in the interpretive building, and stroll through the native plant garden.

Osoyoos Oxbows Trail
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    Osoyoos Oxbows Trail
    999 246th Ave, Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V2

    Located at the north end of Osoyoos Lake, the Oxbows are a wetland and important bird area (IBA). One of the few remaining wetlands in Osoyoos, it is home to many rare or threatened species of birds, amphibians and insects. The trailhead at Road 22 leads through fantastic birding habitat around the oxbows and dyke, with over 250 species recorded.

A ruddy duck at sẁiẁs Provincial Park
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    sẁiẁs Provincial Park (Haynes Point)
    32 Ave, Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V2

    Head down to the wetlands area and follow the self-guided interpretive marsh trail to access a viewing platform and watch for a bustle of waterfowl, with Mergansers, Goldeneyes, and several species of ducks, especially in winter and spring!

A yellow-headed blackbird in Osoyoos
A California quail in Osoyoos
Bullock's oriole
 Visitor Centre
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    Hotels and resorts in Osoyoos

    From affordable motels to convenient hotels and even luxurious resorts, there’s plenty of options to choose from to spend your night comfortably in Osoyoos.

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Along the Crowsnest Highway

Under the watchful eyes of Anarchist Mountain, the traditional lands surrounding East Osoyoos provide innumerable opportunities for self-reflection, inspiration, and world-class wildlife viewing.

Anarchist Mountain Viewpoint
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    Anarchist Mountain Viewpoint
    1345 BC-3, Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V6

    A stunning viewpoint located just outside of Osoyoos along Highway 3.

    Watch soaring raptors, and keep an eye out for Lewis’s Woodpeckers, one of the stars of the region.

Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre
Birdwatching at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre
The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The-Berry, photo by Destination BC and Indigenous Tourism BC
Exploring Osoyoos Oxbows Trail
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    Campgrounds and RV parks in Osoyoos

    Plan your perfect vacation with rustic campgrounds and lakefront RV resorts.

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Events at the Osoyoos Desert Center

Check for birding-related events held throughout the year.

The annual Meadowlark Nature Festival

Explore and celebrate the spectacular natural environment of the Okanagan Similkameen every May.

The South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls (SORCO) Annual Open House

Every May, this by-donation open house allows visitors to see the many resident and recovering eagles, hawks and owls at the shelter.