Bird watching is a perfect way to mindfully connect with nature. An outdoor activity that can be done safely distanced, birdwatching is ideal for responsible exploration during COVID times. And don’t let the cooler weather of fall and winter put a damper on your outdoor adventuring. These are great times to go out and explore, especially if you’re seeking a calming and peaceful atmosphere. Never birded before? Don’t worry! Birding is an accessible pastime available to everyone. Aspiring birders can use the newly launched BC Bird Trail as their resource to plan their first birding excursion, big or small. Birdwatching is your opportunity to pair forest bathing with wildlife observation, explore the outdoors and seek encounters with some of British Columbia’s fabulous winged friends. Here are six birds to keep an eye out for while exploring The BC Bird Trail. —Vita Daily
great blue heron. One of B.C.’s most iconic birds, the Great Blue Heron, is big, beautiful, blue and stately. Pay a visit to Willband Creek Park or Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve on the Fraser Valley Bird Trail, or Tsawwassen’s Great Blue Heron Heronry on the Richmond Delta Bird Trail for a glimpse of these legends.
bald eagle. The Bald Eagle may be America’s bird, but they’re no stranger to Canada. In fact, we have the highest population in Canada right here in B.C. Our population is recovering and booming thanks to a ban on the insecticide DDT. To see the largest eagle flight enclosure in Canada, head to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre on the Central Vancouver Island Bird Trail.
northern flicker. This ground hunting woodpecker is an impressive-looking bird that can be seen almost anywhere—even your own backyard. Fun fact: we have red-shafted Northern Flickers in the West where the East has yellow-shafted!
red-winged blackbird. Their red and yellow wing pattern and mechanical call make the Red-winged Blackbird an exciting bird to find. They can be found in marshes, around lakes and in grasslands.
hooded merganser. Not just another duck in the water, the Hooded Merganser’s beautiful crest and elegant fishing technique is worth a closer look. Also, their beaks are serrated (what!?). You can find these guys on the Central Vancouver Island Bird Trail.
red-tailed hawk. Found on power lines and soaring in wide circles over farmlands and fields, these birds are surprisingly common and hard to miss if you look closely. Fun fact, the iconic eagle call in old westerns was actually made by red-tailed hawks. Try Boundary Bay Regional Park on the Richmond Delta Bird Trail for an encounter with a red-tailed Hawk.