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Surf Scoters Photo: Sean Jenniskens

British Columbia’s coastlines are of international importance for waterbirds. During winter, vast numbers of loons, grebes, cormorants, herons, swans, geese, ducks, shorebirds, and gulls can be found feeding and roosting in bays and estuaries, and along the rocky intertidal beaches of the BC coast. With increasing pressure from development and human population expansion, long-term data on the abundance and distribution of waterbird species is required to monitor and track changes in waterbird populations and habitat use.

In 1999, Birds Canada began the BC Coastal Waterbird Survey which aims to address information gaps and coordinate the efforts of people who care about waterbirds in British Columbia.

The data collected by volunteers helps us meet the following objectives:

  1. To assess annual changes and long-term trends in population size and distribution of BC’s coastal waterbirds.
  2. To collect data that contribute to population estimates of coastal waterbird species in BC.
  3. To advance our understanding of BC coastal waterbird ecology, and the effects of human activity.

Get involved today!

Anyone who can identify coastal waterbird species in their area can participate in this important program! The BC Coastal Waterbird Survey provides rewarding opportunities for volunteers to contribute their knowledge of coastal habitats and waterbirds. The data they collect directly support the conservation of British Columbia’s waterbirds.

The survey involves counting waterbirds at specific locations along the BC coast each month. Volunteers should have intermediate to advanced bird identification skills and have access to binoculars or a spotting scope.

For more information, contact:

Rémi Torrenta, Ph.D.
BC Projects Coordinator
rtorrenta AT

American Wigeon Photo: Graham Sorenson

Already involved in the Coastal Waterbird Survey?

This project was undertaken with the financial support of: