From casual birdwatching to experienced birding, it doesn’t get much better than Ladner; host to one of the most abundant bird habitats in Canada.
Making a start
Making a start at birdwatching is as simple as sourcing a pair of binoculars, loading a birding app on your phone, and making your way to any one of the many highly-rated birding environments in and around Ladner. For background, a read of the City of Delta’s Bird and Biodiversity Strategy page and a video introducing the program are a worthy visit. For a little extra help, visit Ladner Pioneer Library and check out the Playground Lending Program for their Birdwatching Backpacks (there can be a wait-list!) Each pack contains;
- A pair of Vortex Crossfire high-quality binoculars with soft case.
- The National Geographic Pocket Guide to the Birds of North America & British Columbia Birds: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species.
- A laminated birding guide with helpful tips and a backpack parts list.
- A customer survey for your feedback.
If you want to join a group, then Delta Nats Casual Birding, a group of casual birders within the Delta Naturalists Society, would be a great place to start. They maintain a Facebook page and organize numerous events. Oh, and for those asking, it may indeed be useful to know the difference between birdwatching and birding! The first referring to perhaps a more relaxed, and never-the-less equally enjoyed, activity.
A brief online visit to the ‘Hotlist‘ for Metro Vancouver prepared by eBird, the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project, is worth every minute. You will quickly see just how many fantastic habitats there are in and around Ladner. Each offer easy access and a variety of species worthy of new birdwatchers and those experienced in birding. We’ve included a few highlights here;
- Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary – Ranked 2nd with 273 species reported, located at the most westerly tip of Westham Island. There are two especially valuable pages to read on their site Planning Your Visit and Birding At The Sanctuary.
- Brunswick Point – Ranked 10th with 220 species reported, located on the westerly tip of Ladner via River Rd West and the Brunswick Point Trail.
- Alaksen National Wildlife Area – Ranked 28th with 189 species reported, also on Westham Island along the North Westerly end, home to the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
- Ladner Harbour Park – Ranked 36th with 175 species reported, located at the of McNeeleys Way on the southerly tip to the South Arm Marshes.
- Wellington Point Park – 100 species reported, located along River Road West on route to Westham Island.
- South Arm Marsh Wildlife Management Area – 125 species reported, located at the end of Ferry Road.
- Roberts Bank, North Dyke, Jetty Base – 112 species reported, located at the start of the foot of Roberts Bank Way, and accessed via Delta Port Way or 27b Avenue. The nearby South Dyke has 123 species reported.
- Birds in Delta – a 2 page PDF attributed to the Delta Naturalists Society
- Birdingpal – If you’re new to the area, and an experienced birder, try reaching out to local Birdingpal members.
- Take a Walk in Nature – Boundary Bay – A terrific introduction to birdwatching on Boundary Bay told by Nature Trust BC. A favourite access to the Bay is via the end of 72nd in Ladner, just past Kings Link Golf Course.
- The State of Canada’s Birds – 2019 – a 12-page report, published by Environment and Climate Change Canada on behalf of NABCI Canada. Supported by excellent illustrations, the narrative is highly effective in summarizing the key trends in specific bird populations and the supporting actions to be taken.
- British Columbia Field Ornithologists (BCFO) – a not-for-profit, charitable organization whose members are birders and ornithologists, novices to experts. Member services include a Young Birders Program.
- O.W.L Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society – dedicated to public education and the rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned raptors, located at 3800 72 St, Delta, BC V4K 3N2. Some 46 non-releasable raptors reside at OWL, visit their site for the schedule of guided tours.
- Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust is a non-profit organization that promotes the preservation of farmland and wildlife habitat on the lower Fraser River Delta. Their section on Farmland Wildlife provides a focus for many of the species of birds found in and around the area.
Events & Studies
- Vancouver Bird Week, typically the first week of May, operates throughout the lower mainland, supporting an array of activities. Visit their site to check for Delta based events, and past events have included ‘Bike With The Birds’ organized in conjunction with HUB Cycling Delta Committee.
- Christmas Bird Count and Christmas Bird Count for Youth (aged 12-18) – Organizers are Birds Canada and British Columbia Field Ornithologists’ Association Young Birder Program with counts happening in, or very close to, Ladner. Check AtHomeInLadner, or visit organizer sites, for event dates, locations, and contact details. There’s also a valuable video to check out.
- Birds Canada – A national organization supporting a variety of Citizen Science Programs. The British Columbia Program Office to Bird Studies Canada Pacific Wildlife Research Centre is located in Delta.