Birdwatching North America with Birdingpaltours

  • If you are you an independent birdwatcher, who does not care for large group tours, then Birdingpaltours is for you
  • Our tours are flexible, safe and the use of a local guide lets you participate in the planning
  • A local guide knows all the hotspots and you get the most out of your trip
  • You select the date and length for a trip to suit youself
  • If your time is limited, we ll design a tour to fit your needs
  • A professional Birdingpal guide can customize your tour, and you will see the birds you want.
  • Your guide is also your travel companion, who will make sure you experience the native people, scenery, culture, history and food, first hand.
  • You will enjoy the advantage of all the attention you get in a small group, for the same price or perhaps even less, than you will pay if you travel with the large tour groups from other countries
  • Remember, the next time you travel, you do not have to miss the birdwatching if your partner or travel companions are non birders; a local guide is flexible, and will easily accommodate other needs too
  • Hiring a Birdingpal guide will boost the local economy and help protect birds other wildlife and their habitat

Birdwatching in British Colombia

British Columbia has a great diversity of habitats and along with the habitats come a large number of species. You would be hard put to find anywhere else in the world with so diverse a range of birds. Of the coast you will find huge concentrations of murres, auklets, petrels, gulls (including Heerman's and Western Gulls) and puffins.

"Tofino Inlet and Meares Island"

You can find large numbers of bald eagles and the largest concentration of Peregrine Falcons (Peale's) in North America. As well as White-tailed Ptarmigan, White-throated Swift, 4 to 5 regular species of Hummingbird and Eurasian Skylark. Combine this with a mild climate and you have a birders paradise in Canada's most western province.

Birdwatching in British Columbia

Tour I.
Birding Tofino, Vancouver Island.
Tour II.
Birding Victoria, Vancouver Island.

Electronic map of British Colombia


A day trip with Adrian.
Bird finding in the Tofino area varies widely, depending on the season. At the agreed upon time, you will be picked up at your place of accommodation and we will drive wherever I think the birds are. I generally ask what the target species might be and will tell you honestly what the chances are of seeing them. Then we will proceed and typically cover a number of places with the best prospects.

"Pacific Golden Plover"

Spring, from late April to late May, is often outstanding for shorebirds. Western and Least Sandpipers, Dunlin, Short-billed Dowitchers, Semipalmated Plovers, Black-bellied Plovers and Whimbrel are all readily seen on the mudflats on the sheltered inside coast. Marbled Godwits can often be found. On the rocky outside coast we look for Black and Ruddy turnstones, Surfbirds, Wandering Tattlers and Black Oystercatchers. As many as 34 shorebird species have been seen in a single year. Ducks may still be present, species such as Gadwall, American and Eurasian Widgeon, Green-winged Teal and Northern Shoveler.

"Tufted Puffin"

In early to mid- summer we can locate passerines by listening for their songs and can usually find warblers such as Wilson s, Townsend s, and Orange-crowned. Possibly McGillivray s, Yellow and Common Yellowthroat. Fox and Song Sparrows are easy to find. We may find Caspian Terns or a Western Gull.

"Bald Eagle, Tofino Harbour"

In late summer, after passerines have stopped singing, they get trickier to find. However, by then, shorebirds are migrating south once again. If you like, we can take a motorized freight canoe out to a location on calm inside waters where we can view up close such birds as Marbled Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murre and Heerman s Gulls. Tufted Puffin is a very real possibility here as well. Harlequin Duck is possible, but only on the outside on a calm day. Bald Eagles are common year round. Most trips are by car.

Price: For 4 hours; $100 per person for up to 2 to 3 people. Includes admission and light lunch.
For 6 to 7 hours; $150-$200 depending on transportation costs.

Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

For more details please send a message to Adrian.   

Birding guide Adrian Dorst, your local Birdingpal guide
Adrian Dorst first arrived in Tofino in 1972 to conduct bird surveys in the newly-established Pacific Rim National Park for Canadian Wildlife Service. That summer job turned into full time residency with Adrian supporting himself with occasional bird surveys, a variety of short-term jobs, wood carving and freelance nature and wilderness photography. In 1976 he co-authored the book, Birds of Pacific Rim National Park, and in 1990 had his first photographic book, Clayoquot, On the Wild Side, published. This book, depicting the wild west coast of Vancouver Island and its wildlife, became a best seller. When the photography market slumped a decade ago, Adrian turned to guiding, both birding trips and more general interpretive nature hikes. After 4 decades of birding in Tofino, he has personally seen over 290 of the 330 species ever recorded here, and his knowledge of where to find them is second to no one. Expect a relaxed tour with many stories.

Birding Victoria, British Columbia with Dannie Carsen

Dannie has put together a number of exciting birding trips around Victoria and he has included a birds and winery tour for that non-birding companion. Dannie can arrange other birding trips

"Victoria Waterfront North from OgdenPoint"

around Southern Vancouver Island if you feel like travelling farther afield.
Fall Migration Tour.
The second or third weekend of September is a perfect time to see some of the 15 or so migrating species of raptors kettling in thermals over Beechey Head in East Sooke Park. We will visit other great viewing locations on the waterfront such as Ogden Point, Clover Point, or Cattle Point and spend some time touring Esquimalt Lagoon or Witty s Lagoon/Tower Point before arriving at Beechy Head in late morning.


Birds and Wine Tour.
Visitors can choose from the Saanich Peninsula or the Cowichan Valley tour to visit birding hotspots between 6 and 11 a.m. The Cowichan Valley tour can include a visit to Cowichan Bay for raptors and shorebirds and a tour through North Cowichan for local specialties. Our small group will then visit a number of Saanich or Cowichan wineries, and the trip can include a picnic lunch at a winery or local foods lunch at a nearby restaurant accompanied by your favorite local wines. Late spring, summer or harvest tours can provide interesting birds combined with a sampling of Vancouver Island wines at the wineries.
Winter Birding in Victoria.
Winter residents and visitors can make for some compelling birding during November to March with our mild winters. Pacific Wrens, Western Meadowlarks and Skylarks will often sing on a warm day in the winter and a January big day has netted up to 100 species around Victoria.

Price: For 4 hours; $100 per person for up to 2 to 3 people. Includes admission and light lunch.
For 6 to 7 hours; $150-$200 depending on transportation costs.

Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

For more details please send a message to Dannie.   

Birding guide Dannie Carsen, your local Birdingpal guide
Dannie Carsen has lived in Victoria since 1980 and been involved with the Victoria Natural History Society for almost 30 years. Dannie was the Christmas Bird Count leader for 3 years, and has led numerous trips for the VNHS. For several years, Dannie was also involved in organizing post-conference trips for the BC Field Ornithologists and enjoyed planning trips to the Peace River, Okanagan Valley, and Columbia Valley. In past years, Dannie spent considerable time around San Blas, Mexico helping with the International Birding Festival by collecting binoculars for local birders and leading river trips for local birders. Dannie knows the Saanich Peninsula birding hotspots and is able to get you from Victoria International Airport or the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to the interesting local specialties found in farmer s fields, parks and waterfront locations near Victoria. Birding by Bike  tours are available for a biking big day (or half day) with bikes provided as required. Dannie can also provide Birds and Wine  tours of the Saanich Peninsula and the Cowichan Valley which starts with 5 hours birding in the morning and finishes with 3 hours of winery and ciderhouse visits on southern Vancouver Island.

Guide books and CD's recommended:

The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America, Knopf 2003
A Field Guide to Western Birds , Roger Tory Petersen, Houghton, Miflin, Harcourt 1998
The National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, Dunn Editor, National Geographic Press

Find lowest prices here

Bird Recordings from British Columbia