Flock of Dunlins flying over the water

Explore different ways to learn about migratory birds in Surrey.

April 27, 2021
Parks & Recreation

Did you know there are more than 10,000 bird species in the world, and over 900 have been recorded in North America? Bird watching has exploded in popularity over the last year. We are lucky to live along the Pacific Flyway and our region is considered among the best in Canada for watching birds.

World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated twice per year, lining up with the spring and fall migrations of birds along the Flyway. This spring it falls on May 8.

6 Ways to Enjoy World Migratory Bird Day

You can celebrate migratory birds in many ways:

  1. Learn the common birds of Surrey, and then head out to try to find them
  2. Download the Merlin app for ID on the trail
  3. Take photos and use #worldmigratorybirdday and #mycityofsurrey for a chance to be featured. You don’t need a fancy camera to be able to identify birds!
  4. From April 30 – May 3, submit your observations as part of the City Nature Challenge to help showcase Surrey’s biodiversity
  5. Check the Environmental Extravaganza for a birding parks crawl
  6. Submit a poster for the biodiversity poster contest

Birding at Boundary Bay

There are great spots to bird all over Surrey, but Boundary Bay is considered an Important Bird Area as part of Fraser River Estuary and is also a provincial Wildlife Management Area. We have several parks that border the bay, but Blackie Spit Park is one of the best places to spot migratory birds in our region.

It has a large Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) accessible in two locations. The ESA was set aside for migratory birds because Blackie Spit is one of many important resting areas where birds can refuel for their long journeys.

Part 1: Sandy Spit

The first part of the ESA is the dramatic sandy spit that stretches out into Boundary Bay. Look for shorebirds like Greater Yellowlegs and Dunlins wading in the water. It may be tempting to search all over the spit for signs of birds, but please stick to the central path. Certain birds could be nesting just off-trail.

Part 2: Savenye Area

The second part of the ESA is the Savenye area, dedicated to the memory of Rene Savenye who spent countless hours preserving and protecting it. From here, look out across the water to spot Purple Martins who nest on the old oyster farm pilings in the bay.

Learn more at migratorybirdday.org, which has information about this year's theme and downloadable materials.

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