Broomhill is a site for prairie lovers and grassland bird enthusiasts. Tucked away in the southwestern corner of Manitoba in an area known as Poverty Plains, this 330 hectare wildlife management area is rich in rare mixed-grass prairie birds and wildlife. Bring your camera — the spring wildflowers are beautiful and the butterflies bountiful. Many of Manitoba’s rare and endangered species are native to our shrinking grasslands habitats. If you want to catch a glimpse of these special species, Broomhill is the place to go.
The endangered Loggerhead Shrike, Baird’s Sparrow and even the little Burrowing Owl have been found here. Look for the Ferruginous Hawk, Sprague’s Pipit, Say’s Phoebe, Willow Flycatcher, Upland Sandpiper and even the non-native Gray Partridge and Ring-necked Pheasant. Watch and listen for the Sharp-tailed Grouse. You may find them feeding on buds, flowers or insects in the WMA. In late April or early May, listen for sharpies cooing and cackling on their dancing grounds known as “leks.” Use a little stealth to get in sight of, but not too close to, the lek and you will be rewarded with a rare spectacle – dancing birds. In the courtship ritual the males dance for the females – heads down, tails pointing skyward, the males pound the ground with their little feet. At centre stage are the best dancers, the dominant males. The best time to visit the grassland is early morning or evening, when the wind is down and the wildlife up.
Taking a walk across the mixed-grass prairie
Mixed-grass prairie; stands of willow, aspen and prairie shrubs
Ferruginous Hawk, Sprague’s Pipit, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Loggerhead Shrike, Baird’s Sparrow, Burrowing Owl
In spring be careful where you step; many grassland birds nest on the ground.
No entrance fee