DEEP-Challenge #3: Birding

Bird Watching Scavenger Hunt!

Challenge starts April 20th and finishes May 3rd

Bald Eagle on Saturna Island (source: Frieda Weinert).

Bird Watching, or birding is a style of wildlife observation where birds are the main focus of the observer, and identifying the species of birds observed is the goal. You don’t have to be a scientist to be a birder! You can go birding as a recreational activity with your family, you can go birding to learn more about your backyard ecosystem, or you just watch birds because you enjoy them!

Seagull eating a Seastar on Galiano Island (source: Frieda Weinert).

The British Columbia Coast has always been a mecca for birding – hundreds of bird species are active here throughout the year. Some birds are native to BC’s diverse ecosystems, some birds are adapting their range due to climate change, and some birds are migratory, spending part of each year on our Coast, or just passing through on a longer journey.

Great Blue Heron wading along Galiano’s shoreline (source: Frieda Weinert).

Spring has arrived in the Salish Sea, and with it, many migratory bird species. This weeks DEEP-Challenge is a bird watching scavenger hunt: find as many of the resident and migratory species on the list below! There are so many bird species to spot and bird calls to listen to – get your bird guide books out, or look up birding apps on your parents’ phone and get out there!

Some tips to see lots of birds!

  • try to be quiet
  • position yourself with the sun at your back, to have better bird visibility
  • avoid sudden movements so as to not scare the birds off
  • follow bird calls
  • be patient
  • look around in different ecosystems
  • use binoculars to identify birds from afar (but never look into the sun with binoculars!)

Birding APPS!

# 1 ‘Merlin Bird ID App’

# 2 ‘I Bird Pro Guide to Birds’

# 3 ‘Audubon Bird Guide: North America’

You can also use the iNaturalist App & find Galiano Island – it will show you a variety of bird observations made in the last few days, months and years! Over 130 species of birds have been identified on Galiano Island so far!

Bonus DEEP-Challenge!

You have been on your Scavenger Hunt and found all ten listed birds, or you just would like the DEEP-Challenge to be a bit more difficult? Our bonus DEEP-Challenge of this month is to take a photo of one of the residential or migratory birds and submit it to us. The best photo(s) and photographer(s) will be highlighted on the Galiano Conservancy Instagram account.