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British Columbia Winter Birding

Birding British Columbia in winter brings the chance of some exciting Asian vagrants, which would all be rare in the ABA area. This is most likely in the very early part of the year, but we regularly find one or two on our winter tours. In recent years, these have included Red-backed Shrike, Yellow-browed Warbler, Common Pochard, Dusky Thrush, Redwing and Fieldfare. Other hard-to-find ABA birds, which are reasonably easy in British Columbia, include Brant, Eurasian Wigeon, Eurasian Skylark. More speciality and sought-after ABA birds here include Gyrfalcon, Pacific Wren, Varied Thrush, Bohemian Waxwing, Common Redpoll, Snow Bunting, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Pine Grosbeak, Sooty Fox Sparrow and Golden-crowned Sparrow.

More details:

British Columbia offers numerous boreal specialities, including some hard-to-find species such as Boreal Chickadee, Ruffed Grouse, Spruce Grouse (about 50% of the time), Canada Jay and more.


There is a fine selection of owls here, and we have a good chance (80% plus) of finding Western Screech-Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Great Gray Owl and Northern Saw-whet Owl, with lesser chances of Northern Hawk-Owl and rare Boreal Owl.

Pricing: $2,790 USD or £2,230 GBP (fixed at 3,680 CAD) for 9 Days and 8 Nights


Group Size: Price is based upon 7 or 8 participants.


Upcoming Dates: 

February 3 to 11, 2024

February 27 to March 7, 2024

*See Schedule for more dates

We also include some west coast birding by ferry, where winter temperatures are moderated by the Pacific Current. We expect to come across species including Black Turnstone, Marbled Murrelet, Ancient Murrelet, Rhinoceros Auklet, Short-billed Gull, Pacific Loon, Yellow-billed Loon, Brandt’s Cormorant, and Pelagic Cormorant. Coastal marshes, tidal mudflats and rocky headlands around the Fraser River Delta and Vancouver Island host impressive numbers of wintering waterfowl and shorebirds. On Vancouver Island our winter tour includes several nights in the charming city of Victoria (first settled in the mid-1800s), which still maintains British colonial architecture and other cultural characteristics.


Brant, Tundra Swan, Eurasian Wigeon, Harlequin Duck, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Ruffed Grouse, Sooty Grouse, Band-tailed Pigeon, Anna’s Hummingbird, Surfbird, Black Turnstone, Marbled Murrelet, Ancient Murrelet, Rhinoceros Auklet, Short-billed Gull, Pacific Loon, Brandt’s Cormorant, Pelagic Cormorant, Golden Eagle, Western Screech-Owl, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Great Gray Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Red-breasted Sapsucker, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Gyrfalcon, Prairie Falcon, Northern Shrike, Canada Jay, Clark’s Nutcracker, Eurasian Skylark, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Boreal Chickadee, Canyon Wren, Pacific Wren, American Dipper, Townsend’s Solitaire, Varied Thrush, Bohemian Waxwing, Pine Grosbeak, Common Redpoll, White-winged Crossbill, Snow Bunting, American Tree Sparrow, ‘Sooty’ Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow.


Snowshoe Hare, Red Squirrel, Douglas’s Squirrel, Northern Raccoon, American Beaver, Northern River Otter, Coyote, White-tailed Deer, Mule Deer, Moose, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat, Steller’s Sea-Lion, Harbor Seal, Pacific White-sided Dolphin, Orca.

Special Sites

Boundary Bay, Stanley Park, Iona Island, Tsawassen Jetty and the Salish Sea, George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Vancouver Island, Okanagan Lake and Maude Roxby Bird Sanctuary, Vaseux Lake, Okanagan Falls.

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