Snowy Owls Return to Vancouver

Photo Credit: Remy Scalza | Flickr

The snowy owls are back.

The cuddly looking birds with white feathers and giant yellow eyes have again taken up residence in Delta, outside of Vancouver, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.  More than two dozen of the enormous owls, which stand up to 61 centimetres and have a wingspan of 1.5 metres, are currently living in Boundary Bay Regional Park.

For wildlife lovers, it’s a rare treat.  While the owls also appeared last year, they are far from a common sight in the area.  They spend their summers on the arctic tundra, growing fat on lemmings hunted on the open plains.  When cold weather hits, they migrate south, occasionally ending up in the Lower Mainland.

Thousands of birdwatchers flocked to Delta and Tsawwassen to see the snowy owls last year.  On some days, the dykes along the bay were nearly wall-to-wall tripods, as eager photographers lined up for shots.

Wildlife experts warn, however, that too much disturbance could be lethal for the animals, which are already weakened from the long flight and a lack of food over the summer.  People wanting a peek at the owls are urged to keep a respectful distance and use binoculars and scopes.  Agitating the birds or causing them to take flight could deplete their already limited energy reserves and actually kill the animals.   Continue reading:
Snowy Owls Return to Vancouver

Bald Eagles Return to Vancouver

Photo credit: jscott7357 | Flickr

It’s that time of year again.  Thousands of bald eagles have returned to the regions surrounding Vancouver as part of their annual migration south.  For wildlife lovers, it’s a rare chance to see the iconic birds in the wild – flying, feeding on salmon and roosting in trees.

Several local sites have earned reputations for fabulous eagle watching.  Grab your camera and binoculars and check out these eagle hot spots.  Just remember to always maintain a respectable distance and never disturb the birds.   Continue reading:
Bald Eagles Return to Vancouver

For the Birds: World-class bird watching on Vancouver’s doorstep

Photo credit: USFWS Headquarters | Flickr

I’m staring at a regal, metre-tall sandhill crane, its slender legs knee-deep in a seaside marsh outside of Vancouver.  It sizes me up with its bright pink head – flamboyant colors worthy of a flamingo – then extends its elegant neck and lets out a majestic, ear-splitting squawk.

The stunning bird’s winter home is the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, a 850-acre wetland on the Fraser River, approximately 40 minutes from downtown Vancouver in Delta.  The sanctuary is one of a network of parks and habitats along the Fraser Delta that make the area a top destination for bird watchers.

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For the Birds: World-class bird watching on Vancouver’s doorstep

The Bald Eagles are Back in Vancouver

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jscott7357/3608301830/

Every winter, thousands of bald eagles descend on the rivers, lakes and coasts of British Columbia to feed on spawning salmon.  This year is no exception, and right now is one of the top times for wildlife lovers to spot the majestic birds in Vancouver and the surrounding communities.

Here are some tips on where to see the eagles for yourself.    Continue reading:
The Bald Eagles are Back in Vancouver

Vancouver ‘burbs: Who Loves Tsawwassen?

Photo credit: Bryanh on Flickr

I can’t spell it, but I think I’m in love.  The little seaside suburb of Tsawwassen is about a 40-minute drive south of downtown Vancouver.  Many people know Tsawwassen on account of its ferry terminal, where passengers can catch a ride to Victoria, the Gulf Islands and other destinations.  But, as I discovered recently, there’s more to do in Tsawwassen than wait for your boat to board.

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Vancouver ‘burbs: Who Loves Tsawwassen?