Date of this Version
Riding Mountain National Park is located in southwestern Manitoba within easy reach of important centres of population. From park headquarters at Wasagaming, it is only 140 miles southeast to Winnipeg, 57 miles south to Brandon, 35 miles north to Dauphin, and 102 miles to the International Boundary. Most of the surrounding country is devoted to agriculture.
The total park area approximates 1,148 square miles. Except for restricted tourist areas, it remains in a primitive condition, with unspoiled forests, prairies, streams, and lakes.
Up to the time the area was set aside as a park in 1929, comparatively little was known about its native wildlife, and no complete faunal survey had been attempted. Most of the information available pertained to the big game and fur-bearing mammals. Preliminary ornithological investigations were undertaken by Angus Shortt and Richard Sutton in 1938 and 1939. In 1940 the writer commenced for the Department of the Interior, Ottawa, a general faunal survey which was carried on at intervals as opportunity permitted, from 1940 to 1946. The mammal results are incorporated in a separate bulletin in this series. This report attempts to present all pertinent data on the birds of the park available to the writer. It includes the observations of Sutton and Shortt for the National Museum of Canada, June 3 to August 12, 1938, and observations by the former incidental to other work in the park during the summer of 1939; Sutton' s list was later consolidated by Taverner (1940) with other data available in the National Museum at Ottawa.
Since 1940 a distinct advance has been made in the. ornithological knowledge of the park, but the area is so large and complex that there is still much to be learned.