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Ready, Set, Spot! The Ultimate Guide to the Best Birdwatching Spots in Vancouver

Guide to Birdwatching Spots in Vancouver
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Do you remember Flappy Bird? The game where you had to guide a pixelated bird through a tricky obstacle course? 

Well, forget about the app because Vancouver has something even better! It’s a paradise for birdwatchers, with plenty of opportunities to spot amazing feathered creatures in their natural habitat. 

In our guide, we’ll show Vancouver’s best birdwatching spots, including peaceful sanctuaries, hidden gems, and prime locations to witness these fascinating creatures. So, wear your walking shoes and prepare for a real-life birdwatching adventure! 

1. George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary


Address: 5191 Robertson Rd, Delta, BC V4K 3N2, Canada

Contact details: +16049466980

Operating hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

The George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary is a protected area in Delta, British Columbia. It is part of the Fraser River estuary, a designated site of Hemispheric Importance by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network.

Over 264 species of birds have been recorded in the sanctuary, making it a haven for bird enthusiasts. During the fall migration, seeing up to 80,000 snow geese descending upon the area is truly spectacular.

2. Wild Bird Trust of BC


Address: 2649 Dollarton Hwy, North Vancouver, BC V7H 1B1, Canada

Contact details: +16049292379

Operating hours: Saturday – 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Wild Bird Trust of BC manages the Maplewood Flats Conservation Area. It offers a variety of habitats for birds, from forests and fields to the shoreline. 

The Trust offers educational programs and guided walks to help people learn more about the birds and the importance of conservation. Situated on Vancouver’s North Shore, it provides a peaceful escape from the city while being easily accessible. 

3. Burnaby Lake Regional Park


Address: 4519 Piper Ave, Burnaby, BC V5A 3B5, Canada

Contact details: +16045206442

Operating hours: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Burnaby Lake Regional Park is an urban oasis along the Pacific Flyway, a major migratory route. It’s a perfect stopover and refueling station for feathered travelers.  

With its temperate climate, the lake attracts migrating birds, provides a winter sanctuary for birds from the north, and is a year-round home for many resident species. Remarkably, over 200 bird species have been spotted in the park.

4. Boundary Bay Regional Park


Address: Boundary Bay Rd, Delta, BC V4L 1N2, Canada

Contact details: +16045206442

Operating hours: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Boundary Bay Regional Park is a world-class birdwatching destination located on the western shore of Boundary Bay. This area is part of the Fraser River Estuary, a crucial ecosystem for migratory and wintering birds.  

Boundary Bay Regional Park is an Important Bird Area, and over 1.5 million birds from 20 countries visit it annually. With over 300 species of birds, including 50 species of shorebirds and impressive numbers of waterfowl, it’s a birder’s paradise.

5. Colony Farm


Address: Coquitlam, BC, Canada

Contact details: +16045206442

Operating hours: 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Colony Farm, also known as ƛ̓éxətəm Regional Park, is an urban birding oasis. Here, you’ll find open fields, a network of trails, and a large pond that attracts water birds and wetland species.

One of the things that makes Colony Farm unique is its participation in the Vancouver Avian Research Centre’s bird banding program. This program involves capturing birds, recording data like wingspan and weight, and then releasing them unharmed. 

6. Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park


Address: Brackendale, BC V0N 1H0, Canada

Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park is world-famous for its wintering bald eagle population. Every fall, between October and January, thousands of bald eagles gather to feast on the salmon that return to the Squamish and Cheakamus Rivers to spawn.  

There’s an Eagle Run viewing shelter located on the municipal dyke across the river from the park. This provides a prime location for viewing the eagles with stunning views of the river and the surrounding mountains. 

7. Queen Elizabeth Park


Address: 4600 Cambie St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2Z1, Canada

Contact details: +16048737000

Operating hours: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Queen Elizabeth Park, a sprawling 52-hectare park, is a haven for locals and feathered residents. Its diverse topography, manicured gardens, natural woodlands, and quarry pond create a rich habitat for various bird species.

Over 150 species of birds have been recorded in Queen Elizabeth Park. The park’s most scenic area, the Bloedel Conservatory, attracts hummingbirds with its vibrant floral displays, while the arboretum provides a haven for owls, hawks, and other birds of prey.

8. Iona Island Treatment Plant


Address: 1000 Ferguson Rd, Richmond, BC V7B 1W8, Canada

Contact details: +16044326200

Operating hours: Monday to Friday – 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant might not be your typical birding destination, but be aware of its industrial name. This island boasts the title of one of the best birding locations in the entire province.

These man-made ponds, surrounded by a low fence for safety, teem with nutrients that attract various birds. Remarkably, Iona Island has recorded nearly 300 species of birds, making it the second location in Western Canada with the highest bird diversity.

9. Roberts Bank

Address: 2 Roberts Bank Way, Tsawwassen, BC V4M 4G2, Canada

Roberts Bank is a world-renowned destination for birdwatchers, especially during spring migration (April to May). It’s a critical stopover point for millions of shorebirds on the Pacific Flyway, making it one of Canada’s most important bird sanctuaries.

The Fraser River Delta, where Roberts Bank is located, provides a rich feeding ground for shorebirds. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded at Roberts Bank, some of the most notable being the Western Sandpiper, Dunlin, and Black Turnstone. 

10. Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal


Address: 1 Ferry Causeway, Delta, BC V4M 4G6, Canada

Contact details: +16043317288

The Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal jetty juts out into the Salish Sea, offering prime territory for spotting various bird species.  The long, rocky outcropping creates a diverse habitat that attracts land and water birds.

One of the highlights of birding at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal is the chance to see shorebirds. With their long legs and specialized beaks, these fascinating birds can be spotted foraging along the water’s edge. 

11. Brunswick Point Trail

Address: 3352 River Rd W, Delta, BC V4K 3N2, Canada

Brunswick Point Trail is a pleasant walk along the dikes of the Fraser River. Because of its proximity to Westham Island, a renowned bird sanctuary, Brunswick Point benefits from a spillover effect, attracting various waterfowl and shorebirds. 

From majestic Bald Eagles soaring overhead to colorful hummingbirds flitting amongst the flowers, there’s something for every birding enthusiast. The marshy areas along the trail are a prime spot for spotting ducks, geese, herons, and other wetland birds.

12. Grouse Mountain


Address: 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada

Contact details: +16049809311

Operating hours: 9:00 AM to 9:30 PM

Grouse Mountain’s alpine environment attracts a variety of bird species, from the majestic Bald Eagle soaring above to smaller songbirds flitting through the trees.  The mountaintop location provides stunning panoramic views.

The Birds in Motion Show is a daily educational program that allows visitors to witness the incredible flying skills of birds of prey up close. Watch the golden eagle ride the thermals, and the Peregrine Falcon make its heart-stopping dives.

13. Mount Seymour Park


Address: Mt Seymour Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7G 1L3, Canada

Contact details: +18006899025

Mount Seymour Provincial Park’s varied habitats, from the entrance woods teeming with songbirds to the higher-elevation old-growth forests, provide a perfect breeding ground for many species. 

Some of the park’s specialties include the melodic Warbling Vireo, the striking Black-headed Grosbeak with its bold black head and bright yellow breast, and the dazzling Western Tanager, its body ablaze with orange, red, and yellow. 

14. Cypress Provincial Parks


Address: West Vancouver, BC V0N 1G0, Canada

Contact details: +16049265612

Cypress Provincial Park is a haven for birdwatchers, with over 127 species recorded in the area. The park’s diverse habitats—from old-growth forests and wetlands to mountain slopes and meadows—provide shelter and food for a wide variety of birds. 

You can spot resident birds like the Canada jay, Sooty Grouse, Red-breasted Sapsucker, and Northern pygmy owl. The park is also a hotspot for migratory birds, with raptors like Sharp-shinned hawks, Cooper’s hawks, and Red-tailed hawks.

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