Birds of the West Coast - April 2022
The west coast of Vancouver Island features some of the best birding opportunities in North America. Lying directly along the Pacific Flyway, this region hosts huge numbers of migrating birds of all kinds each spring and fall. In the winter, the diversity and abundance of non-breeding birds remains high thanks to a wide range of habitats and a mild climate. Tofino & Ucluelet in particular are well-known birding hot spots. Expansive mudflats provide an ideal stopover site used by tens of thousands of shorebirds each spring and fall, highly productive coastal waters sustain several large colonies of seabirds, and a mix of coastal rainforest and deciduous forest habitats attract a wide variety of breeding songbirds.
In this three day course (Friday evening until Sunday noon), participants will be introduced to the general ecology and biology of birds with an emphasis on the species commonly found in and around Clayoquot & Barkley Sounds. Topics covered will include basic ID skills, breeding biology, physiological adaptations, migration ecology, and conservation issues. This course is designed as a way to learn more about birds in general rather than how to ID specific species. Although participants will certainly learn how to ID common species, extensive birding experience is NOT required.
Friday, April 29
- Presentation at Ucluelet Community Centre (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
o General intro to birds, what makes them cool, and adaptation to habitats (Yousif & Rémi).
Saturday, April 30
- Birding the Mudflats (depends on tide; 7:00 am – 10:30 am)
- Lecture Session at Ucluelet Community Centre (11:00 am – 12:00 pm)
o Basics of Bird Identification (Yousif)
- Lunch at Little Beach (12:00 – 1:00 pm)
- Afternoon Birding (1:00 pm – 5:00 pm)
o Location TBD, depends on what we have/haven’t seen, habitats visited in the morning, etc
- Evening presentation at Ucluelet Community Centre (7:00 pm – 8:30 pm)
o Life History – what are the strategies and adaptations birds have evolved to thrive on earth? (Yousif, Rémi, & Mark)
Sunday, May 1
- Boat Trip (weather dependent; 7:00 am – 12:00 pm)
- Lunch and Course Wrap Up (12:00 pm – 1:00 pm)
Find out more about the instructors HERE.