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British Columbia

Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stefferi ©Glenn Bartley Website

Birding British Columbia

To fully appreciate the birding experience its valuable to have an understanding of the geography of the province, and the general regions in which bird species are found. It will help with planning your trip and compiling a list of which species can be seen where. British Columbia has ten separate eco-regions. But just four will produce all the birds that can be found in the province – the Georgia Depression, the Okanagan Valley, the Peace River Parklands and Taiga Plains. A brief description of each and a hint of the bird species found there are set out below.

Northeast Pacific ocean or Pelagic Waters
Two currents run in the area; the cool Alaskan current reaches Queen Charlotte Islands in summer and the warmer California current reaches northern Vancouver Island at the same time. Organized pelagics usually take place in fall off Vancouver Island. A drive into Washington State may give more pelagic opportunities. Serious pelagic birders might find Laysan Albatross, Short-tailed Albatross, Mottled Petrel and Parakeet Auklet.

Humid Maritime Highlands - Coast & Mountains
Along the Pacific coast, the Coast Mountains, Nass Mountains, Nass Basin and Nass Ranges hold huge, irregular strips of wet coniferous forest dominated by Douglas fir, red-cedar, yellow-cedar, western hemlock, Sitka spruce and amabilis fir. The region includes the windward side of these mountains, the western coast of Vancouver Islands and all of the Charlotte Islands. Along water courses the deciduous trees hold warbling vireo. The coniferous woodland is not particularly rich in bird life but holds Band-tailed Pigeon, Spotted Owl, Western Screech-owl, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Steller's Jay, Northwestern Crow, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Winter Wren, Varied Thrush, and Townsend's Warbler.

The littoral waters of the coastal inlets, islands, straits, shores and adjacent lowlands are species rich and the coastline is a major flyway for a plenitude of species from shorebirds and waterbirds to a mixture of passerines. The habitat is similar to that of the Georgia Depression so see that paragraph for typical birds. The temperatures along the coast rarely drop to zero in winter and the snowfall is light but as one ascends temperatures drop accordingly. Summer is rarely above 20C to 30C and it is cool at night and cloud cover and precipitation is abundant all year with the driest period being July through September.

Southern Interior - Okanagan Valley
The dry interior of British Columbia is the northernmost extension of the great semi-arid steppe plateaus of the western United States; known collectively as The Great Basin. The Okanagan Valley is one of the only desert-like habitats in Canada and is a must for any birder's itinerary as it provides an excellent illustration of the attitudinal zonal vegetation and consequent segregation of bird species. The diversity of habitat makes it species rich and there have been some 308 species recorded, 193 species breeding and 107 resident. Where the original steppe remains typical species includes Long-billed Curlew, Mountain Bluebird, Grasshopper Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Lark Sparrow and Western Meadowlark. Where sagebrush dominates expect Sage Thrasher and Brewer's Sparrows. In arid valley bottoms watercourses attract migrants and resident breeders alike. Grouse, Owls, and passerines can be found. Rocky bluffs may hold chukar, swift and swallows, Canyon and Rock Wren etc. Scattered Ponderosa pines attract woodpeckers, etc. The zonal divisions abound and anyone visiting the area would do well to invest in a local guidebook to appreciate what can be found where.

Central Interior - Cariboo Plateau
To the east of the coat mountains lies the region between the Fraser Basin and the Thompson Plateau containing the Chilcotin, Cariboo and Nechako plateaus. Patchwork areas of lodge-pole pine and Douglas fir punctuate the major grasslands and gentle hills. Great Grey Owl skulk in the forest edge, and the grasslands hold Swainson's hawk, Savannah Sparrow and Sharp-tailed grouse; a mix of southwestern and northwestern species. Meandering streams and low depressions have created numerous small lakes and marshes that dot the area. The wetlands have concentrations of breeding waterfowl including the only colony in the province of pelican. Breeding Sandhill Crane, Greater Yellowlegs and yellow-headed Blackbird are typical. The region has a typical continental climate of cold winters and warm summers.

Sub-Boreal Interior
The sub-boreal interior is the northernmost extension of the humid uplands. The towns of Quesnal, Prince George and Mackenzie lie within its borders. A gently rolling countryside that abounds with lakes, rivers and wetlands. Boreal owl and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher are typical. Precipitation is all year round with very cold winters and warm summers.

Boreal & Taiga Plains - Peace River Parklands
The northeast corner of British Columbia consists of semi-open country of deep river valleys, moist shrub-lands and groves of trembling aspen, and, in the higher elevations are spruce and lodge-pole pine. Typical of the area are Black-and-white, Cape May, Bay-breasted, and Canada warblers, Le Conte's and Swamp Sparrow and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. The Peace River Parklands are described in the top spots below.

Northern Boreal Mountains - Sub-Arctic Highlands
The north of the Province consists of high plateaus and mountains with intermontane lowlands influences by Arctic air. Gyrfalcon, Short-eared Owls, Ptarmigan and waders are typical. Say's Phoebe breed as do Gray-cheeked Thrush, Golden-crowned Sparrow and Smith's Longspur etc. Redpoll, Rusty Blackbird and Gray-crowned Rosy Finch are among the specialities along the Haines Road. Winters are long and cold, summers short and cool and precipitation hardly varies throughout the year.

Alpine
Alpine is widespread in British Columbia in the high inaccessible peaks. The only accessible areas are ski developments and logging roads from which the characteristic birds can be seen such as Gray Jay, Golden Eagle, Willow Ptarmigan etc.

Georgia Depression
The Georgia Depression is a large basin containing the east coast of Vancouver island (with the Southeast Coastal Lowlands); and the Lower Mainland, the coastal lowlands surrounding the city of Vancouver, north to include the Sunshine Coast and eastwards along the Fraser valley. Although it lies within the Humid Maritime Highlands Eco-division it is distinguished from the wet coastal woodland and high mountains by an expanse of fertile, marshy alluvial plain – the Fraser Delta (and other lowlands). It holds a juxtaposition of varied habitats including drier deciduous forests, mixed forest, urban parks, urban development, agricultural areas, open sandy shore, rocky coastline lagoons, intertidal mudflats and both freshwater and saltwater marshes.

The population of over two million people does not over impact on the avifauna and dedicated watchers spot many accidentals in this area. Many bird species are best looked for here as opposed to any other part of the province. They are too numerous to list but include herons, geese, swans, ducks, shorebirds, gulls, alcids, owls, and many passrines. Saught after species include Crested Myna, (Vancouver) Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Tufted Puffin, Little Gull, Anna's Hummingbird, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Spotted Towee, Western Tanager and many more. The georgia Depression is also a major flyway for migrants and of international importance for wintering loons, grebes, and ducks. The Fraser delta is particularly good for raptors. The whole area has the best climate in Canada with dry warm springs, sunny summers, and mild autumns.

The text above is a precis of some opening pages of Keith's The Birder's Guide: British Columbia details below in the useful reading section. Fatbirder

For ABA listers BC is noted for its population of Sky Lark, which was introduced to southern Vancouver Islands late nineteenth century… the only resident population in the ABA area.

Top Sites

Boundary Bay

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundary_Bay

Satellite View

There are amazing tidal flats situated south of Vancouver. It has been declared an IBA for shorebirds on migration

Clover Point - Victoria

Satellite View

The most productive site in Western Canada for littoral species of the Pacific ocean and those that favour rocky coastlines. Sit in your car and scan offshore for various loons, grebes, cormorants, waterfowl, gulls, terns, skuas and alcids. The rocky shoreline produces such shorebirds as black oystercatcher, black turnstone, surfbird and, rarely, rock sandpiper.

Haida Gwaii

Information

Satellite View

This site is noted for the Eurasian vagrants that have show up there, like Rustic Bunting, Common Crane, Curlew Sandpiper, Brambling, Red-throated Pipit, Red-legged Kittiwake

Iona Sewage Treatment Plant (Lagoons) - Vancouver

Satellite View

The sewage works act as a roosting site for thousands of migrating shorebirds and are famous for its vagrants with such records as spoon-billed and curlew sandpipers, red-necked and little stints and ruff.

MBS George C Reifel

Website

Satellite View

A great Vancouver area of coastal wetland birding that has had some great birds turn up over the years and always has something of interest.

McKinney Road - Okanagan

See Vaseaux Cliffs

Peace Island Parklands

Satellite View

Much of the avifauna that resides in eastern Canada terminate their ranges at the boundary formed by the Rocky Mountains. These mountains form the border between Alberta and British Columbia. The exception is an isolated area in northeastern British Columbia that lies to the east of this barrier; the Peace River Parklands. Here birders come to add these eastern birds to their provincial lists. Many sites in the area have their own specialities, but Peace Island Park Road has the best selection. Eastern phoebe, blue-headed and Philadelphia vireos, various eastern warblers, Rose-breasted grosbeak, Baltimore oriole and Nelson's sharp-tailed sparrow are amongst the species found.

Vaseaux Cliffs

Satellite View

Both the McKinney Road and the Vaseaux Cliffs are the sites to observe Canada's desert specialities. White-throated Swift, White-headed Woodpecker, Gray Flycatcher, Canyon Wren and Sage Thrasher are found at the nothern extremities of their range here.

WA Creston Valley

Website

Satellite View

Located in the southeast corner of British Columbia. This is an amazing wetland and the only place in BC with nesting Forster's Terns

Contributor

Keith Taylor

Author - Birders Guide to British Columbia

Victoria BC

huet_2000@yahoo.com

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 573

As of June 2018
Provincial Bird - Steller's Jay Cyanocitta stefferi

Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

iGoTerra Checklist

Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web

Useful Reading

A Birder's Guide to British Columbia

(A Walking Guide to Bird Watching Sites) | by Keith Taylor | Steller Press Limited | 1998 | Paperback | 307 pages, Line illustrations, maps |

ISBN: 1894143000

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Best Places to Bird in British Columbia

By Russell Cannings & Richard Cannings | Greystone Books | 2017 | Paperback | 211 pages, 30+ colour photos, 28 b/w maps |

ISBN: 9781771641661

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birdfinding in British Columbia

By Russell Cannings & Richard Cannings | Greystone Books | 2013 | Paperback | 466 pages, b/w illustrations, b/w maps |

ISBN: 9781771000031

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of British Columbia

By R Wayne Campbell & Gregory Kennedy | Lone Pine Publishing | 2009 | Paperback | 384 pages, 343 colour illustrations, 334 distribution maps |

ISBN: 9781551052281

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Coastal British Columbia

Nancy Baron & John Acorn | Lone Pine Publishing | 1997 | Paperback | 220 pages, Colour Illustrations |

ISBN: 1551050986

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Southwestern British Columbia

Richard Cannings, Tom Aversa & Hal Opperman | Heritage House Publishing Co. Ltd. | 2005 | Paperback | 432 pages, 400 colour photos |

ISBN: 1894384962

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Quick Reference to British Columbia Birds

By Gary Ross, Ted Nordhagen & Eva Pluciennik | Lone Pine Publishing | 2013 | Unbound | 12 pages, colour illustrations |

ISBN: 9781551058962

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

BC Checklist

Find a checklist on line at Keith Taylor's very useful website: http://www.telusplanet.net/driftwood/checklst.htm

Organisations

British Columbia Field Ornithologists

Website

The BCFO was formed in 1991. The purposes of the society are: To promote the study and enjoyment of wild birds in British Columbia To disseminate knowledge and appreciation of birds to our members and to the general public through the regular publication of a journal and newsletter. To foster cooperation between amateur and professional ornithologists, and to support the research programs of the Royal British Columbia Museum, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, and the universities, by promoting cooperative research programs, bird migration and population surveys, Christmas Bird Counts, and bird atlas programs. To support natural history and conservation organizations in their efforts to preserve birds and their habitats.

British Columbia Waterfowl Society

Webpage

5191 Robertson Rd, Delta, BC, V4K 3N2, Canada - Phone: (604) 946-6980 - The British Columbia Waterfowl Society is a private non-profit conservation organization that was formed in 1961 to conserve and promote waterfowl and wetlands in British Columbia. For the past 40 years, the Society's focus has been the stewardship of the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary which is located on Westham Island, just outside of the City of Vancouver, British Columbia…

Burns Bog Conservation Society

Website

Burns Bog is an excellent example of living organisms and the physical environment acting together to produce a self-sustaining ecosystem, a super-organism. We cannot preserve small patches of bog and expect them to survive.

Central Okanagan Naturalists' Club

Website

Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month, September to May, at 7:00 p.m., at Evangel Church, 3261 Gordon Drive, just south of KLO Road, Kelowna, BC. Meetings begin with a business meeting, including the introduction of guests and new members, and reports of recent sightings. This is followed by a presentation from an invited speaker.

Comox Valley Naturalists Society

Website

The Comox Valley Naturalists are birders, botanists, and nature enthusiasts. Our society is over 30 years old and is affiliated with the Federation of BC Naturalists…

Federation of BC Naturalists

Website

This is an exciting year for the Federation of BC Naturalists. We celebrate our 30th Anniversary and look back with pride on our many activities and accomplishments. In the year 2000 well be putting more emphasis on education, and biodiversity and ecosystem protection.

Fraser Valley Birding

Website

Welcome to Fraser Valley Birding, British Columbia, Canada! Our checklist area has recorded over 349 species of birds. Typically, over 230 different species are recorded annually. This site offers birders of all levels and interest a complete source for birding information what kinds of birds can be seen and where.

Nature Vancouver

Website

The Vancouver Natural History Society (VNHS) was founded in 1918 by Professor John Davidson with the following objectives: To promote the enjoyment of nature. To foster public interest and education in the appreciation and study of nature. To encourage the wise use and conservation of natural resources. To work for the complete protection of endangered species and ecosystems. To promote access to, and maintenance of, natural areas in the vicinity of Vancouver…

North Island Wildlife Recovery Association

Website

Welcome to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Associations place on the World Wide Web. This is where N.I.W.R.A will keep you up to date on what is happening with our wildlife on Vancouver Island, B.C…

South Okanagan Similikameen Conservation Program

Website

The South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program is a partnership of fifty organizations that work together to conserve the unique biodiversity and environment of this region. The membership is a diverse array of government, non-government, First Nations and academic institutions. SOSCP has been working collaboratively in the South Okanagan Similkameen community, coordinating and facilitating partner activities and improving the effectiveness of conservation efforts for over 17 years.

The Nature Trust of British Columbia

Website

The Nature Trust of British Columbia is the oldest and largest provincial land trust in BC. We acquire ecologically significant land usually through purchase or donation. Then we care for this land in order to protect nature with its diversity of wildlife and plants, and their critical habitats.

Trumpeter Swan Society

Website

The Trumpeter Swan is North America's largest bird and one of its rarest. It embodies grace, beauty, and unspoiled wildness. It is the crown jewel of healthy wetlands.

UBC Birding Club

Website

Founded in 2011 and housed in the beautiful UBC Vancouver campus, the UBC Birding Club is the only club at UBC dedicated to all those with a love for birds.

Vancouver Avian Research Centre

Website

The Vancouver Avian Research Centre conducts bird monitoring and banding programs at 4 locations in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland…

Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia

Website

Wild Bird Trust is dedicated to the protection of birds and their habitats, on the principle that all wildlife must benefit. Wildlife sanctuaries will be established throughout British Columbia. Each sanctuary will be restored and enhanced to optimize habitat for wildlife.

Reserves

Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)

CA Maplewood Flats

Information

Satellite View

In addition to birds, many mammal, amphibian, reptile and insect species may be observed. Harbour Seals are commonly sighted. Mule Deer, Coyote, Raccoon, Douglas Squirrel and the introduced Gray Squirrel may be found. Rarely observed are River Otter, Black Bear and Northern Sea Lion.

MBS Esquimalt Lagoon

Website

Satellite View

A saltwater lagoon located at the base of the Royal Roads property, next to the Fort Rodd Hill / Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites and a view across Esquimalt Harbour at Dockyard…

NP Glacier

Webpage

Satellite View

Glacier National Park contains three distinct life zones created by elevation. The higher the elevation, the more often precipitation occurs as snow rather than rain. Deep, lingering snow and colder temperatures at high elevations shorten the growing season, until an elevation is reached beyond which no trees can grow…

NP Kootenay

Webpage

Satellite View

Established in 1920, Kootenay National Park is one of 39 national parks in Canada. Together, they celebrate and protect the diversity of the nation`s great landscapes. Kootenay National Park represents the south-western region of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. From glacier-clad peaks along the Continental Divide to semi-arid grasslands of the Rocky Mountain Trench, where cactus grows, this is a park rich in diversity of landscapes and ecology…

NP Yoho

Webpage

Satellite View

Established in 1885, Yoho National Park is one of 39 national parks in Canada. Our nation's parks celebrate and help protect the diversity of Canada's landscapes and the life within. Yoho represents the western slopes of the Rocky Mountains region, and is also a Cree expression of awe and wonder for this place of rock walls, spectacular waterfalls and soaring peaks…

NS Morrell

Website

Satellite View

Located in South Nanaimo (near downtown); Morrell Nature Sanctuary is 278 acres of second growth forest with 11 km of trail systems and is free to the public year round from dawn till dusk. William Morrell donated these lands in 1973 for public use and conservation. Last logged in the 1920s, the Sanctuary is an example of a preserved 2nd growth forest.

NS Swan Lake Christmas Hill

Website

Satellite View

The Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary was created by the Municipality of Saanich in 1975, and is developed and managed by a registered non-profit society. The Societys mission is to manage the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Sanctuary as a focus for fostering an understanding and appreciation of nature through direct experiences that will develop personal responsibility for the care and protection of the natural environment.

PP Brackendale Eagle

Webpage

Satellite View

The Society was founded by a group of concerned local residents, some of whom have been involved with eagle conservation for many years, and others who are relative newcomers to the cause. Respect for this unique natural wonder crosses demographic lines…

RNP Burnaby Lake

Webpage

Satellite View

Burnaby Lake Burnaby Lake is situated in Burnaby, British Columbia, which lies in the Coastal Douglas Fir (CDF) Biogeoclimatic Zone of British Columbia. It is a 750 acre wildlife conservation area owned by the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and is managed by the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) in cooperation with the City of Burnaby…

RP Colony Farm

Information

Satellite View

Colony Farm Regional Park was established in 1996 following the Land Use Plan which identifies areas to be set aside for agriculture, wildlife and recreation. Greater Vancouver Regional District Parks (GVRD) is committed to implementing the plan and has initiated many projects that support it including extensive wildlife habitat enhancement projects including tree and hedgerow planting and wetland creation…

Vancouver Parks

Website

These parks have features devoted to birding, including a viewing tower and providing packages of grain to feed the birds. Burnaby Lake (Burnaby); Crippen (Bowen Island); (Richmond); (Coquitlam). Detailed information on bird watching facilities at these sites will be made accessible as more information is added.

WMA Creston Valley

Website

Satellite View

Hours Of Operation: The area is open 24 hours, 7 days per week. The Interpretation Centre is open from May 11th (Mother's Day) 2003 to October 12th, 2003. From May 11th to August 31st we are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Fall hours for September and October are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.

WS Starratt

Bird News

Satellite View

The wildlife sanctuary is managed by the B.C. Wildlife Branch and Ducks Unlimited…

Forums & Mailing Lists

Birding in British Columbia

Forum

A starting place for birding information for British Columbia, Canada. This web site features a birders discussion forum…

Birding Vancouver Island

Mailing List

Birding discussions for Vancouver Island and anywhere else in the Pacific Northwest, along with bird sightings and birding hot spots.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Canbird World Bird Tours

Tour Operator

Join Canbird's worldwide birding tours and enjoy some of the world's most spectacular bird species, wonderful wildlife, incredible sights and unique accommodations…

EcoToursVictoria

Tour Operator

This site lists all the Ecotour Specialists that operatein and around Victoria BC and further afield on Vancouver Island. Other associated activities are also included. We have included lots of photos and made it easy for you to contact operators or see services offered on their website.

Rafting with Raptors

Tour Operator

The Squamish Valley is the winter home to a record-breaking 3,769 Bald Eagles. The mild months of November through February are the hot months to view these feathered monarchs. Silently and unobtrusively floating past the congregating Eagles is truly a unique British Columbia experience…

Vancouver Island Birds

Tour Operator

Vancouver Island Birds is an online magazine featuring photographs to celebrate and enjoy the birds of Vancouver Island. The purpose of this website is to share the many birds that I have been fortunate enough to encounter, enjoy, and photograph…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2008 [09 September] - David Mason

Report

British Columbia and Vancouver/Vancouver Island had been on our radar for some time, especially after our son Nick’s visit a few years earlier and following our intensive birding trip to Ecuador at the start of the year we both fancied something with a more relaxed pace and the option of some more normal holiday activities thrown in for good measure…

2012 [06 June] - April Grunspan - Alaska and British Columbia

Report PDF

Avie, my husband, and I took a fourteen day cruise on Holland America's flagship MS Amsterdam from June 15 - 29. This is the last year Holland America is offering this itinerary and we'd been speaking about trying to bird Alaska for several years. This seemed like the perfect opportunity and we grabbed it…

2013 [05 May] - Bram Vogels

Report PDF

We booked a flight with Air Canada to get to British Colombia. We flew from Schiphol to Chicago and then to Vancouver. Everything went very fast in Chicago and within 30 minutes we were at the other gate, so time enough to have our first big hamburger. The return flight was with airtransat, a direct flight from Vancouver to Schiphol. A cheap flight, but the places on the plane were very small and the entertainment was absent…

2014 [09 September] - Bob Sundstrom

PDF Report

...The first morning of the tour was devoted to inland birding near Scatter Creek south of Olympia, Washington. Here a Northern Pygmy-Owl perched for fine scope views, as a trio of Hutton’s Vireos and a family of Red-breasted Sapsuckers showed their alarm at the hooting owl. At leader Bob Sundstrom’s yard where we birded and picnicked, Band-tailed Pigeons perched in tree tops, seed feeders were busy with Purple and other finches, Spotted Towhees and a Black-headed Grosbeak picked up fallen seed, and an assortment of swallows and other birds put in their appearances....

2016 [07 July] - Stefan Schlick - British Columbia & Yukon

PDF Report

The main goal for this birding trip was to learn calls and habitat for some of the northern breeders (including the eastern birds), better understand the range of some species and – of course – take in the scenery of the epic Canadian north. It was also very interesting to study subspecies (Junco, Fox Sparrow, Merlin, …) and to be in hybridisation zones (sapsuckers).

2016 [09 September] - Daniel Watson

PDF Report

...There were several surprises whilst we visited but sadly due to an already packed schedule we were unable to witness these; Marbled godwit and Sharp tailed sandpipers in with the wader flocks, multiple Chestnut sided warblers in the greater Vancouver region, and even two species of albatross from a pelagic....

2017 [08 August] - Anna Wittmer - Vancouver Island

PDF Report

This was a fantastic Vancouver Island birding tour with a wonderful pair of participants. We found our number one target, Eurasian Skylark, and a nice variety of sea- and shorebirds. Several of the avian highlights were Surfbird, Black-throated Grey Warbler, and American Dipper. We were also treated with marine mammals such as orca, gray whale, Black Sea harbor porpoise, and harbor seal.

2018 [05 May] - Daniel Branch & Paul Collins

PDF Report

We chose Vancouver as a des tination mainly because we wanted to see Varied Thrush. This was not the only reason we chose to visit Vancouver, however, as there are many west coast species that would be otherwise difficult to encounter. Many of the warblers and other migrant species t hat we encountered are restricted to the west coast, and Vancouver presented an excellent opportunity to see these species.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Comox Valley Ocean-Front B&B

Accommodation

Comox B&B Vancouver Island bed and breakfast lodging and self-catering Vacation Rental suite accommodation in the Courtenay - Comox Valley area…

Dawn Chorus B&B - Kispiox Valley

Accommodation

Centrally located in northwest B.C. just off Highway 16, the Kispiox Valley is a day`s drive, or less, from Prince Rupert, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Alaska, the Yukon, Prince George, and a half an hour historic Hazelton and the re-created village of Ksan. While we are not a birding tour company, we are certainly avid birders and have a good knowledge of the local bird scene here, guided birding is available…

Mulvehill Creek Wilderness Inn B&B

Accommodation

Ideal birding on a secluded peninsula on Arrow Lake with over 100 species year round…

Twin Peaks Resource - Valemount

Accommodation

Valemount is the home of Starratt Wildlife Sanctuary. Surrounded by beautiful nature and the awesome peaks of the Rocky Mountains, the Cariboo Mountains and the Monashee Mountains, Twin Peaks Resort is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the silence. In the summer, salmon that come all the way from the Pacific swim in the river McLennan which flows through the resort.

Whiffin Spit Lodge B&B

Accommodation

Bird watchers & Naturalists are drawn to Whiffen Spit Beach which shelters Sooke Harbour from the crashing waves of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Here they find an excellent vantage point for observing seabirds, shorebirds, marine mammals & intertidal life. East Sooke Park offers one of the best sites in the Pacific Northwest to observe the fall Raptor migration (starting mid-September). Witty`s Lagoon & Esquimalt Lagoon are also excellent Bird-Watching spots…

Festivals

Vancouver International Bird Festival

Website

The Vancouver International Bird Festival (VIBF) was created to build on the success of Vancouver Bird Week which has been enjoyed in the city since 2013.

Wings Over the Rockies Bird Festival

Website

Every year, the Wings Over the Rockies Festival is celebrated in the Upper Columbia Valley in early May. Wings Over the Rockies is a festival that contributes to a long-term vision of sustainability for our communities - balancing the needs of human and natural systems.

Observatories

Rocky Point Bird Observatory

Website

Satellite View

Rocky Point Bird Observatory (RPBO) is one of 21 member stations of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network (CMMN) and one of two in B.C. It seeks to influence and inform conservation and ecological management practises of migratory birds in western North America through monitoring, scientific research and public education.

Museums

MRNE 440 - Biology of Marine Birds

Webpage

A study of the interrelationship of birds and the marine environment; the systematics and ecological relationships, behaviour, life histories, movement and conservation of marine birds; census techniques and methods of studying marine birds in the field will be treated utilizing seabirds and marine-associated birds in the Barkley Sound region. Seabird identification, classification, morphology, plumages and molt will be examined in the laboratory.

Royal British Columbia Museum

Webpage

The Royal British Columbia Museum is pleased to bring its collection of bird calls, images and top scientific information to the public through the creation of the Grace Bell Collection Web site. This website is part of a series of Virtual Exhibits on Canadian birds being created by museums across Canada, through partnership with the Canadian Heritage Information Network (or CHIN).

Blogs

A Victoria Birder

BLOG

Last updated 2016

Abu Anka - Gyrfunken

BLOG

Last updated November 2014

BC Rare Bird Alert BLOG

BLOG

…broken down by region and managed by several individuals…

Birding in Vancouver

BLOG

Birding in and around the city of Vancouver, Canada…

Dick Cannings - Birds and Books

BLOG

I am a biologist, birder and author living in the Okanagan Valley of southern British Columbia. I have the good fortune to live in the house I was born and raised in, lulled to sleep by the hoots of Great Horned Owls and woken by meadowlark song

Field Notes

BLOG

Last update July 2017

Jeremy Gatten - The Naturalest Naturalist

BLOG

Last updated October 2017

John Gordon - Listening to Birds

BLOG

John Gordon listening to birds… Birding stories and photographs from Canada…

Jon Carter - A British Birder in British Columbia

BLOG

Relocated, with my wife Jenny, to Vancouver Island from Lancaster, north west England in October 09. I have been birding since I was a lad and have enjoyed the experience of starting all over again in a new land.

Logan Lalonde - Intense Birder

BLOG

Last updated August 2015

Nathan Hentze - Volant BC

BLOG

My name is Nathan Hentze and I’m a birder, professional biologist, and father. I live and grew up in coastal British Columbia, but have called a few other regions of BC home over the years, allowing me to explore many corners of this great province. Birds have also taken me to a few other places around the world (not literally, I usually traveled by car or plane), most notably an extended trip with my lovely wife to South America.

Nora Flower - Island Rambles

BLOG

Welcome to my blog world. This is a photo blog, poetry and short story blog about my life on Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. I take photos of the birds and scenery I find. I hope you enjoy your time here and please come back again. PHOTOS WILL ENLARGE IF CLICKED. The photos are slide show enabled if you click on them. If you click on the top lighthouse photo it always takes you to the most recent summary list of my postings.

Russell Cannings's Blog

BLOG

Last updated December 2017

Other Links

Birding British Columbia

Website

An Online Birding Information & Naturalist Guide for British Columbia, Canada.

Birding in the Gulf Islands

Website

Locals can usually always tell a first time visitor to the Gulf Islands. They`re the people who have stopped their cars and are staring in fascination at an eagle fishing in the lagoon, or the blue herons, still as marble, patiently watching the water…

Birds of BC

Website

Individual monographs and pictures

Brandon Optics

Website

Olivon Optics, established in 2003, has developed a line of Spotting Scopes, Rifle Scopes, Tripods and Accessories that we believe offer the best value in the industry today. Olivon Optics provides a direct line of optical products from the manufacturers to the end users, bypassing the hefty levels of distributors and retailers. By avoiding the numerous “middle-men” in between the manufacturers and end users, we are able to bring you the best prices possible. Our products carry the lowest prices, offered exclusively by the manufacturers themselves…

British Columbia Beached Bird Survey

Website

Bird Studies Canada in partnership with the Canadian Wildlife Service invites birders to participate in a new regional program to survey beached birds in British Columbia!

British Columbia Rare Bird Alert

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This blog was created to inform the public of notable bird reports around the province of British Columbia. I hope that both visiting and resident birders will find this site useful for keeping up-to-date in a region as large and diverse as BC…

British Columbia Wildlife Watch

Website

British Columbia Wildlife Watch is a program of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. It is funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund with financial administration by the WBT Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia.

Greater Vancouver Viewing Sites

Website

Lots of pages for different areas…

Jon Carter - A British Columbia Bird-finding Guide

Google Map

Interactive map of ALL the BC birding sites!

Vancouver Birdfinding sites

Google Map

Interactive map of the biding sites around Vancouver…

Photographers & Artists

Library - Global Bird Photos Collection

Gallery

Located in Maple Ridge, BC. Global Bird Photos Collectionspecializes in the marketing of quality bird photographs to the world for elite bird photographers…

Photographer - Adam Jackson

Gallery

Nature and wildlife images from Vancouver Island…

Photographer - Glenn Bartley

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I have been enchanted by nature and wildlife for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Toronto, Ontario I can recall countless hours spent glued to national geographic magazines, natural history books or watching David Suzuki's "The Nature of Things" on TV. Those days I took any opportunity I had to study and learn about animals of all kinds…

Photographer - Liron Gertsman

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Liron Gertsman is a 17 year old nature photographer based in British Columbia, Canada. His photographic adventures have taken him across North, Central America and South America.

Photographer - Martin Smart

Gallery

Welcome to my wildlife photography website. The majority of my photographs have been taken on or around Vancouver Island and in other parts of BC & the USA…

Photographer - Tim Zurowski

Website

I am a freelance nature photographer, specializing in avian, wildlife & nature photography. My passion for birds & nature started at a very early age. However, it wasn't until my kayaking, canoeing & camping excursions that I felt the need to capture these experiences on film. I have pursued bird photography across the continent, but now tend to focus more on my native Vancouver Island…