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Winter home of the Snow Geese and one of Canada's top birdwatching sites.
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Booking Programs With Us

The British Columbia Waterfowl Society offers a discount andprograms for those wanting to learn about the Sanctuary's birds and the Sanctuary itself. Tours are provided by staff and senior volunteers. Birding groups, nature clubs, and school classes qualify for our programs.

Procedures During Covid Restrictions: (NEW) Last updated February 28, 2021

NOTICE: See Update on Closures.

Upon re-opening, we will still need to be very cautious about encouraging any group activities. We reallize that people wish to participate in programs to learn about our birds. However, due to the most recent Covid-19 Announcements and BC Health Orders, we are not taking bookings for these right now.

If conditions ease, we will eventually return to our usual mode of helping groups to enjoy the Sanctuary at that point. If you plan a visit on a weekend, we may not be able to help guide and instruct the group, but we will help as much as we can. On weekdays, we will eventually be able to provide a biologist for some basic orientation, access to look at the museum displays or assistance with the walk, depending upon how many other Sanctuary activities are planned for that day.

NOTE: These arrangements are only ever offered to classes and instruction-based groups. Birding groups, school classes, home school groups, pre-school groups, Guides and Scouts, NatureKidsBC groups will all qualify for assistance to lead groups here. More social-oriented groupings such as birthday parties or family groups, etc,.do not qualify for this assistance, and any large gatherings of the latter are discouraged..

Phone our office 604-946-6980 to discuss your plans and to set a date. Do not email, please, as a direct phone conversation is required. Book at least a week in advance to ensure a date to your satisfaction.. Payment is expected upond arrival. *(NEW)- We have a reservation system now for access to the Sanctuary, so this kind of group may need to contact us so we can block off to a certain number of spots for your group well ahead of time. These arrangements are required at least a week in advance. There are gate closures during the day, so your group will need to arrive within specified times.. Be aware of Covid19 regulations and the need to keep physically distanced. In most cases, this limits the group size to only 10 or 12 people per leader.

We recommend budgetting about 1.5 to 2 hours for a group outing unless the group consists of expert birders that want to explore every trail here. (NEW) We do not recommend planning any lengthy lunch break here. Physical distancing is not feasible with a large group and our Warming Hut and our picnic area are closed for now.

We prefer to schedule only one morning and one afternoon group booking per day in order to give each group our full attention and to ensure facilities are not overloaded. Teachers and group leaders with small children should not plan any lengthy play time here after or before programs as there is no playground, and children need to be under supervision at all times.

School Programs

Visit our School Programs page for descriptions of program themes and a general outline of the nature tours.

Birding Programs

In addition to the opportunity to book tours, we invite you to explore our Birding page for an overview of birding tips during your visit and links to explore.

Every Sunday morning at 10 am, there is a drop-in birding tour for those interested in touring the Sanctuary with a knowledgeable guide that can show people some of the good spots to see certain species.

Be Prepared

When arranging transportation, please visit our Planning Your Visit page for our location map and contact information so that these can be provided to parent drivers and/or bus drivers. Remember to dress for the weather, as most of the booking time is spent walking outside on the trails. Wear proper walking shoes. Some of our trails are grassy and are muddy after rainy days. Bring a bag lunch or snack if you are staying more than a few hours, and either bottled water or a thermos of something warm to drink, depending upon the weather.

Remember bird books or binoculars if you have them. Note that the Gift Shop has loaner binoculars for visitors if required. Many people enjoy capturing their tour on camera, but remember to pay attention to tour guide instructions about the proximity of cameras to the birds.

Common Birds

The following birds can usually be seen here, and the list makes a good base list in preparation for your visit.

Pied-billed Grebe
Double-Crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Trumpeter Swan
Snow Goose
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
American Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-Tailed Hawk
Peregrine Falcon
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Western Sandpiper
Long-Billed Dowitcher
Glaucous-winged Gull
Rock Pigeon
Barn Owl
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Northern Saw-Whet Owl
Rufous Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Northwestern Crow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Marsh Wren
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
Spotted Towhee
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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