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 mostly gallinaceous birds — or heavy-bodied ground-feeding birds — and their water-loving counterparts.

Have your own wildlife pictures? We want to see them

These wood ducks are just some of many birds who can be found on the ground or water more often than air. (Submitted by Carl Marr)

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 mostly gallinaceous birds — or heavy-bodied ground-feeding birds — and their water-loving counterparts.

Sharp-tailed grouse

The sharp-tailed grouse, named for its narrow feathers pointed with white edges, are scattered throughout Alberta. 

(Duane Starr)

Ring-necked pheasant

The ring-necked pheasant is a native of Japan and southern China, according to the province, and was first successfully introduced into southwestern Alberta in 1908.

(Phil Smith)


​Also known as the Hungarian partridge, the province says the gray partridge is a small bird introduced to Alberta in 1908. It is a native of the bush plains of Europe and western Asia, but this partridge couple has found a home in Parksdale. 

(Submitted by Martha Bondy)


National Geographic says the killdeer can be common around human developments, often forms flocks after breeding in late summer and is common across North America. 

(Phil Smith)


The province says the trumpeter swan bred throughout Alberta but was near extinction by the early 1900s. It has been gradually recovering since 1944. 

(Submitted by Tara Little)

Canada goose

A Canada goose wanders around the University of Calgary campus during a short rainstorm. Geese and their goslings become a common sight in many urban areas of Calgary in the spring.

(Katy Anderson)


Loons are known for their signature call but can also be agile divers that feed on small fish after fast underwater chases. This one was pictured near melting ice on the Glenmore Reservoir. 

(Diane Stinson) (Diane Stinson)

Mallard duck

This mallard duck, which was nesting in the yard of CBC wildlife columnist Brian Keating, nests throughout most of North America and winters from southern Canada to Panama.

(Submitted by Brian Keating)

Wood duck

This wood duck, a species of perching duck found in North America, floats in the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. 

(Submitted by Mike Kelly)

Common merganser

Female and male common mergansers look quite distinct, but they both eat fish and nest in tree holes. 

(Submitted by Dianne Thomas)

There are many other birds in Calgary, including harlequin duck and ptarmigans. Have pictures of other birds found more on the ground or water? Send them to

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.