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  Viewing Birds in British Columbia While Sea Kayaking  

sandpipers - photo by Tim Fitzharris

marbled murrelet

Ocean Kayaking and Seeing Birds While Paddling


Bird-watchers can delight on any of our kayaking adventures as British Columbia is spot some of the world’s most rare and beautiful birds. At least 220 species are sighted on Vancouver Island each year, making it a bird-watching destination of global significance.

There are several reasons for British Columbia’s healthy bird population. First, Vancouver Island and the surrounding region are situated on a major bird migration route called the Pacific Flyway. Just as a busy interstate can make a small town a booming metropolis, a bird migration route will make an area an excellent birding location. Many of those birds “just flying by” will stop in British Columbia to rest and feed, some even staying for an entire season. In fact, the winter can be one of Vancouver Island’s best bird watching times because so many migrating birds remain here through the season. In addition to the birds that stop along their migratory route are those that live here year-round. British Columbia already has hundreds of resident species’ of birds in addition to those that are only seasonal. Making this a popular bird watching destination year-round.

Spring and summer, when the majority of our trips take place, can be a great time to see some heightened activity among the bird population. This is because it is breeding season and you are likely to hear singing and see nesting on your trip. In the fall, we welcome an added population of migratory birds such as Savannah sparrows, waterfowl and turkey vultures. Of all the birds you may see on your trip, the year-round resident the Bald Eagle is likely the most impressive. Those who make the trip to British Columbia during the winter may have the added treat of seeing these birds as they feed on the salmon in our rivers.

No matter what time you come, you are guaranteed to feast your eyes on some incredible creatures of the sky. Some of our favorites that have been spotted on trips are Bald Eagles, Canadian Geese, Barred Owls, Golden Eagles, Grey Jays, Kingfishers, Osprey, Rufous Hummingbirds, Snowy Owls, Trumpeter Swans, Tufted puffins and White Pelicans.

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