GILAKAS’LA. Our Vancouver Island North communities are located on the traditional territory of the Kwakwakaʼwakw people, who have been stewards of this land since time immemorial.

The Northern tip of Vancouver Island is home to some of the most exceptional bird watching opportunities on the Pacific Coast. This ecologically diverse region, with ancient coastal rainforests, rocky islets, and expansive estuaries, supports a wide range of bird species. While the sheltered waters of the Broughton Archipelago serve as an excellent winter habitat for various wildlife, it is during the summer months that the area reveals its hidden gems.

The region offers pristine natural habitats and excellent bird-watching opportunities at a number of hotspots along the trail but the natural marvel of the breeding colonies are truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Located on the secluded islands surrounding the northern tip of Vancouver Island, the colonies are designated as a globally significant Important Bird Area due to the nearly 2 million individuals they support. Notably, they support over 90% of the Canadian population of Tufted Puffins and 55% of the global population of Cassin’s Auklet.

Bird enthusiasts are encouraged to consider professional guided tours led by local experts. These tours offer a chance to explore the abundant waters with knowledgeable local interpreters and hopefully catch a glimpse of the charismatic species that return year after year to raise their young.

This itinerary unveils the vibrant indigenous culture of Vancouver Island’s Northern communities, celebrates stunning local cuisine and showcases the variety of unique local businesses. Whether you are planning your journey to the wilderness of North Vancouver Island or just passing through, take some time to explore the abundant wildlife, stunning shoreline and welcoming communities of this remarkable destination.

Spring birding in Vancouver Island North

Spring on Northern Vancouver Island is a birdwatcher’s paradise as migratory birds return to the region’s diverse habitats. Keep an eye out for striking Black Oystercatchers with their distinctive red bills along rocky shores. Listen for the melodious songs of Pacific-slope Flycatchers in the lush rainforests. Along the shorelines, watch for majestic Bald Eagles soaring overhead or Horned Grebes diving for fish.

Summer birding in Vancouver Island North

Summer on Northern Vancouver Island is a prime time for birdwatching. Look for the elegant Marbled Murrelets and Rhinoceros Auklets dotting the coastal waters. Listen for the melodious songs of the Swainson’s Thrush echoing through the rainforests. Keep an eye out for the striking Common Loons and Bald Eagles that frequent the waters.

Fall birding in Vancouver Island North

Northern Vancouver Island in the Fall is a rewarding time for birdwatchers as migratory birds pass through or make the region their temporary home. Keep your binoculars ready for Harlequin Ducks and White-winged Scoters on waterways. Scan the forests for Pacific Wrens and Golden-crowned Kinglets flitting among the trees. Grab your binoculars to spot flocks of Long-tailed Ducks off the coast.

Winter birding in Vancouver Island North

Winter birdwatching on Northern Vancouver Island is an exhilarating experience. While some birds migrate south, others stay to brave the cool climate. Look for Red-breasted Mergansers and Pacific Loons on the waterways. In forests, you may be lucky and hear the soft hoots of a Northern Pygmy Owl and you’ll surely hear the calls of  Pine Siskins as they move together through the trees.