Coastal Birding - April 2018
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 wide range of habitats and a mild climate. Tofino in particular is well-known birding hot-spot. 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 workshop (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 Sound. 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.
Course instructor Mark Maftei’s passion for birds has taken him around the globe, from Ellesmere Island in the Canadian High Arctic to South Georgia Island in the Southern Ocean. Although he specializes in Arctic species, Mark’s more recent work with Environment Canada focused on ecological studies of colonial seabirds along the BC coast. Mark has been involved with several projects right here in Clayoquot Sound, and he has a unique insight into the ecology of the region. Mark is also the Executive Director of the Raincoast Education Society.
Photo: Mark Maftei