Ptarmigan Trek

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Lead Presenters: Nick Bartok, P. Biol.   Kent Russell, P. Biol.

Dates and times: Wednesday November 20, 2019 (1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.)

Locations: Fairmont Lake Louise Lobby / Columbia Icefields Parkway

Cost: Members: $65.00

Non-members: $80.00

CCP: This workshop qualifies ASPB members to earn 4 Professional Development Hours towards their CCP requirements.

Food: Please bring your own snacks, lunch, and fluids for the field trip. There will NOT be opportunities to purchase food throughout the day.

What to Wear: We will be going on the field trip rain, snow, or shine so bring clothes that can protect. We will be making frequent stops with short walks (<500m) at each location so make sure your footwear is appropriate.

What to Bring: Everyone should bring binoculars and a notebook. If you have access to a spotting scope and a field guide, please bring them too.

Workshop Description:

The workshop designed to search for the elusive White-tailed Ptarmigan, a year-round species in Alberta, but is tricky to find. In the summer months, ptarmigan are typically at high elevation; however, in the winter months this species can be found at lower elevation along the Columbia Icefields Parkway. We will ‘trek’ along the Parkway, stopping at a few locations ptarmigan have been found historically. We may also observe other Banff National Park specialties such as, but not limited to: Clark’s Nutcracker, Canada Jay, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and White-winged Crossbills. Participants will be shuttled around by bus leaving from the hotel and returning to the hotel.

Lead Presenter Biography:

Nick Bartok: Nick has worked on many avian projects across North America, including: secretive marsh bird surveys along the Lower Colorado River of southwest Arizona, Burrowing Owl research at the Salton Sea in Southern California, and bird banding in Ontario, Arizona, Oregon, California, British Columbia, Costa Rica, and Belize. Currently, he is working for Western EcoSystems Technology, based in Calgary, as a wildlife biologist / team lead.

Kent Russell: Kent has worked on many avian projects across Western Canada, including breeding bird surveys in all western Canadian Provinces, Territories, and habitats, grouse lek, burrowing owl, forest owl, secretive marsh bird, and aerial waterbird/raptor nest surveys throughout Alberta, and waterfowl banding in Alberta. Kent is also an avid birder and has done self guided birding trips to a number of countries such as Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Nepal and Vietnam. Currently, he is working for Western EcoSystems Technology, based in Calgary, as a wildlife biologist / project manager.  

Please note: The ASPB reserves the right to cancel this workshop if we do not have sufficient people signed up by 6:00 p.m. on Friday, November 15, 2019. A full refund will be returned.


  • Member - $65.00
  • Non-member - $80.00


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The ASPB is not responsible for the content of this presentation; the information and views expressed by the presenter(s) are their own.