Birding

  • On the huntMatthew Maran for Jamie's Whaling Station
  • Pacific PuffinAnthony Bergson for Jamie's Whaling Station
  • Shorebirds at the Tofino MudflatsAdrian Dorst
  • Photographing the photographersJosie Osborne for Raincoast Education Society
  • Tufted PuffinJohn Forde for The Whale Centre
  • Shorebirds flockingJohn Forde for The Whale Centre
  • Eagle landingAdrian Dorst

Birding in BC... It's a passion! While Clayoquot Sound is home to diverse marine wildlife and land mammals like bears, cougars and wolves, it's also very much for the birds. The most visible Tofino bird to the untrained eye is probably our many resident Bald Eagles, which can be spotted perched in the very tops of Sitka Spruce and Cedar trees along our shorelines. Tofino, BC, is indeed a year round birding paradise offering three distinct habitats: Well offshore, we have access, on calmer summer days, to a variety of pelagic birds such as the Laysan and Black-footed Albatross, Brown Pelican, and Rhinoceros Auklet on the west coast of this peninsula. The beaches and rocky shoreline provide habitat for a variety of shore birds and those accustomed to exposed open shore waters, like the colourful Tufted Puffin, Black Oystercatcher, and Marbled Murrelet. The Cleland Island ecological reserve, 14 km (9 miles) west of Tofino, while not open to the public in order to protect sensitive seabird nesting populations, can be easily viewed by boat. On the east side of the peninsula, channeling out from the protected waters of Tofino Inlet, are the Tofino Mudflats, designated an "Important Bird Area of Canada". This sheltered marine environment includes tidal flats, rock and gravel beaches, and eelgrass, and constantly changes appearance with the rising and ebbing tides. Small fish and invertebrates provide ample nutrition for over fifty species of shorebirds which use the Mudflats as a seasonal or permanent habitat. Located on the Pacific Flyway, a major migratory route for birds, the Tofino Mudflats are a temporary feeding station for thousands of geese and ducks every spring. Our wild Tofino winter storms can occasionally surprise us with visits by exotic bird species, some from as far away as Asia.

Tofino birding tours are suited to all ages and experience levels, whether you are learning to identify birds by their song and field marks or your're a seasoned birder, seeking particular species to achieve your own Big Year. Come for the Tofino Shorebird Festival, held every May, with guided birding and talks with biologists. Western Sandpipers? Check. Peregrine Falcons? Check. Whimbrels? Also here. We offer binoculars in every guestroom so just bring your sense of discovery, and start your own Tofino birding experience!
Want to Learn More About Birding in Tofino? Allow our Clefs d'Or Concierge to assist you!

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