Go Birding Near Vancouver on the BC Bird Trail

Great Blue Heron spotted on the BC Bird Trail

Great Blue Heron. Photo: Shayne Kaye/BC Bird Trail

Located on the Pacific Flyway migration route, the Vancouver area is a prime bird-watching location. Follow custom birding itineraries around Vancouver to experience the BC Bird Trail.


Beginner Birding Tips

  • Give birds lots of space. Bring binoculars or use the zoom lens on your camera to get a closer look.
  • Be quiet. Birds can hear better than humans and will fly away if they hear loud noises.
  • Be still and avoid sudden movements that can startle birds.
  • Get a birding guidebook or app to help you identify the species you are seeing.
  • Try going early or late in the day – many birds are most active near dawn and dusk


Vancouver Bird Trail

You can spot plenty of birds without leaving downtown Vancouver. Head to Stanely Park and the West End neighbourhood to spot shorebirds along the seawall and birds of prey nesting overhead. Another great place to go birding is the stretch of waterfront between Granville Island and UBC. Be sure to stop at the ponds at Vanier Park. The forested trails of Pacific Spirit Park are also teeming with birdlife, especially woodpeckers and owls. Follow the Vancouver Bird Trail for more info.

Western Sandpiper on the BC Bird Trail

Western Sandpiper. Photo: BC Bird Trail


Richmond Bird Trail

The marshlands and beaches of Richmond are the heart of the Pacific Flyway. Your birding trip can start near the airport at Iona Beach Regional Park. Its location where the Fraser River empties into the Pacific Ocean makes it ideal for birdwatching. Another great oceanfront spot is Terra Nova Rural Park, which has viewing platforms scattered along its trails. Or head to Steveston to bird-watch from land at Garry Point Park or on the water with a whale and wildlife-watching tour. Check out the Richmond Bird Trail for more info.

Two people walking along a boardwalk at Terra Nova Rural Park in Richmond

Terra Nova Rural Park in Richmond. Photo: BC Bird Trail


Delta Bird Trail

Delta’s islands and shoreline have some of the best birding near Vancouver. Don’t miss the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The 850-acre preserve has walking paths that take you to viewing platforms and bird blinds. Another must-see is the Great Blue Heron Heronry near the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, which contains over 100 nests. To see birds of prey up close, visit the OWL Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society to meet the resident raptors. See the full Delta Bird Trail itinerary for even more stops.

Snow geese in flight

Snow geese in flight. Photo: Shayne Kaye/BC Bird Trail


Surrey Bird Trail

Surrey is home to lots of farms and rivers, which attract birds. Take a stroll in Green Timbers Urban Forest, one of Surrey’s biggest parks. You can spot eagles, woodpeckers, owls, and more along its 10 km of trails. Or head to the oceanfront at Mud Bay Park to spot several species of shorebirds and waterfowl who flock here at low tide. The wetlands at Serpentine Fen include several wooden viewing towers, perfect for spying birds across the marsh and meandering river. There are even more stops on the full Surrey Bird Trail itinerary.

Bird-watching at Serpentine Fen in Surrey

Bird-watching at Serpentine Fen in Surrey. Photo: BC Bird Trail


Squamish Bird Trail

The town of Squamish sits at the head of Howe Sound where the Squamish River empties into the ocean. Head to Skwelwil’em Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Area to spot many species of waterfowl paddling in the side channels and songbirds flitting through the bushes. In the fall, walk the trails alongside the Mamquam River Spawning Channels to watch eagles and bears feed on spawning pink salmon. In the winter, visit Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park to see one of the largest populations of wintering bald eagles in North America. The Squamish Bird Trail itinerary has lots more birding options.

Varied thrush on the BC Bird Trail

Varied thrush. Photo: BC Bird Trail


Whistler Bird Trail

Whistler’s high elevation location means it has different bird species than you will find at sea level. Look for Canada Jays, Clark’s Nutcracker, and Ruffled Grouse. You can follow the paved valley trail to the shores of Green Lake to watch for swans, loons, and grebes. In the summer, take the gondola up to the peaks to look for Olive-sided Flycatchers, raptors, and White-tailed Ptarmigan. Read through the Whistler Bird Trail itinerary to discover more birding locations.

A woman birdwatching at Green Lake in Whistler

Bird-watching at Green Lake in Whistler. Photo: BC Bird Trail


More Nearby Bird Trails

The BC Bird Trail has trails all over the province. Head to the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver to discover Bird Trails in Langley, Chilliwack, the Harrison River Valley, and Abbotsford. Or visit Vancouver Island to check out the Bird Trails in Langford, Nanaimo, the Cowichan Valley, and Parksville Qualicum Beach.

Two people walk along a boardwalk at Langford Lake

Langford Lake on the Langford BC Bird Trail. Photo: BC Bird Trail

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