British Columbia is a birder’s dream come true with bird activity and outdoor adventures in every season. Situated along the important Pacific Flyway, BC has an influx of birds throughout the year. The diverse range of habitats in BC also makes it a unique place to view certain bird species as they migrate to and from the province. In this guide, we’re rounding up all our seasonal birdwatching guides so you can enjoy birding by season in BC, no matter the time of year.

BC Birding in Summer

Keep an eye out at the water’s edge for “peeps” like this Least Sandpiper. Photo by Shayne Kaye.

Summer means more time outside with longer days and warmer weather. It also means the birds are everywhere you’ll be! From sandpipers along the beach to Steller’s Jays along the forested trails, you’ll always have some feathered company while you’re outdoors. 

Our guide highlights the benefits of birding in summer and tips to stay safe in the sun.

BC Birding in Fall

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In fall, bald eagles congregate along rivers in BC to feed off salmon. Photo by Shayne Kaye.

Possibly one of the best times of the year to be birding along the BC Bird Trail (depending on who you ask!), fall brings a flurry of migration action to BC. As the leaves change and fall, branches come alive with songbirds on their journey south. The skies are also busy. Many raptors circle on warm air thermals as they prepare to soar off for the winter. 

This guide offers tips to deal with the ever-changing weather conditions and where to see exciting migrating birds. 

BC Birding in Winter

Nuthatches, like this red-breasted nuthatch, are easier to spot in the winter. Photo by Christina Schulz.

Winter in southern BC doesn’t get especially cold, so birds are still plentiful! The water is the place to be for the season in this region. Waterbirds are visible on the ocean from shore or a boat, and lakes and ponds are bustling with several species of ducks, grebes, and mergansers. If you’re looking for a snowy winter experience, head to the Columbia Valley. Birds such as woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches, choose to winter in these colder climates.

Our winter guide showcases a variety of birds you can see throughout the province.

BC Birding in Spring 

Yellow Warblers have a song that’s easy to learn and it is one of the most commonly heard warblers in spring.

Another busy season for birds in BC! Spring migration brings hundreds of species through the BC Bird Trail, with warblers, swallows, and more! It’s the perfect season to enjoy all the songs and colours of the province’s birdlife. 

The spring guide has tips for preparing for fickle spring weather and information on what birds are arriving around The BC Bird Trail.

Hopefully, these guides have made birding by season in BC a lot easier. Every season has birds worth seeing, so get out there and don’t forget to #LookUpStayGround!

If you’re new to birdwatching and are curious about how to approach it, check out our Responsible Birding blog post. Learn how to navigate nature and be mindful of the well-being of the birds we venture out to see.