Wildlife of Saskatchewan

Europe and North America

Unlike Europe which offers little room for wild animals due to the dense population - and where animals are very shy even in less heavily populated areas - spotting different wild animals in Canada is nothing unusual.

Especially during dusk and dawn you can see pronghorns, white-tailed deer and mule deer, during the day different bird of preys and smaller game like jackrabbits and gophers.

Wildlife of the Prairie

The prairies are home to a great variety of animals you can’t find in Europe or that have been pushed into hard-to-reach areas in Europe. A good example for that is the Golden Eagle, which hunts for jackrabbits and sharp-tailed grouses in the riverhills, while they can only be found anymore in mountain regions in Europe.

There are many birds of prey you can see on the posts around the ranches - hawks, kestrels, eagles. Thanks to the closeness to Lake Diefenbaker you can sometimes also see bald eagles, but the bigger golden eagle is a more common sight. In the evening hours, a great-horned owl does its rounds over the Ranch, but smaller birds, too, like nighthawks, barn swallows and western kingbirds live in the bushes and small tress of the hills.

Next to the highly developed bird world and their prey, you can also see coyotes and different artiodactyls in the hills or fields, there are even moose living in the area, though you see them less often than the other animals.

And then there are the snakes.

My sightings

In the early hours of the morning or shortly after sunset, deer tend to turn up in the yard or backyard, down at camp I have already spotted them during the day, too, when they went down to the lake to drink.

Coyotes you hear more often than seeing them - especially after moonrise their howling sounds over the prairies, and it has something primordial, something wonderfully relaxing to fall asleep to that sound. But sometimes you can also see them running over the prairie.

Jackrabbits and gophers regularily dash back to their holes when we drive past them with the truck, and especially the gophers are a big problem for farmers down here, because they dig holes into their fields and roads and replicate faster than rabbits.

My favourite sightings, though, are the bull snakes and the golden eagles. The snakes, growing up to two metres of length, tend to sun themselves on the tank lids in front of my bedroom window and hunt for gophers and small birds down at camp, and a pair of golden eagles have their nest close to the ranch, so the adult birds now regularily take their young over the camp to give them flying lessons.

When you see the eagles flying, they don’t look terribly big, but if they land somewhere, or glide directly over the ground, you realise what giant predators those birds are.

Seeing all these wild animals everywhere makes me happy, and especially when the eagles are circling again, I like to stop for a moment just to watch them.

« Back to Overview

     · · ·