Calgary's critters: A hinterland who's who on wildlife in the city

Each week in May we'll be taking a look at some of the wildlife of all shapes and sizes that share our city. This week we take a look at birds of prey.

Have your own wildlife pictures? We want to see them

This osprey nest near the Calgary Zoo is one example of birds of prey that live in our city. (Submitted by Brian Keating)

Each week in May we'll be taking a look at some of the wildlife of all shapes and sizes that share our city.

This week we look at birds who can cause some serious damage on their prey as they soar over Calgary from above.


The osprey, also known as the fish hawk, captures its food by diving into nearby rivers in Calgary. 

(Submitted by Gordon MacPherson)


Merlins feed on birds and have become increasingly common in urban settings, according to naturalist Kevin Van Tighem. The province says merlins can range throughout North America, and can migrate as far as South America in the winter. 

(Phil Smith/Flickr)

Bald eagle

The bald eagle, know for its white head and tail, is found only in North America. The province says it mostly lives in the mountain and northern regions of Alberta. This one was photographed in Calgary's Fish Creek Park. 

(Submitted by Tim Hopwood)

Ferruginous hawk

Ferruginous hawks are the largest of the hawks soaring in North America, according to the province. This one takes flight in Calgary's Nose Hill. 

(Submitted by Catherine Reinhart) (Submitted by Catherine Reinhart)

Swainson's hawk

Named after a British naturalist,  Swainson's hawk prey mostly on small rodents and are particularly partial to Richardson's ground squirrels (what most people know as gophers).

(Submitted by Jeannette Ridley)

Great grey owl

This great grey owl hangs out in Griffith Woods Park, a natural environment that lies along the Elbow River's banks in southwest Calgary. It is the largest of all the owls in Alberta, according to the province. 

(Submitted by Tim Hopwood)

Great horned owl

The great horned owl is a provincial bird and is readily identified by its "large size and prominent horns," according to Alberta Parks. 

(Submitted by Debra Beaton) (Debra Beaton)

And this is a great horned owlet, spotted at St. Patrick's Island in Calgary.

(Submitted by Ken Anderson)

Northern pygmy owl

The province says the small northern pygmy owl ranges from Alaska to Central America, mainly west of the Rockies. Here's one that delighted Alberta bird watchers more than a year ago in Fish Creek's Bebo Grove. 

(Submitted by Pam Hawkes)

There are plenty more birds of prey that call Calgary home. Send us your pictures at

Stay tuned as we bring you more wildlife pictures throughout May as spring continues to ramp up. Have a picture you're particularly proud of from Fish Creek Park, then you can enter it into the Friends of Fish Creek Photography contest starting in July.