Of course the esoteric pursuit of bird watching can be undertaken in just about any corner of the province. There are, however, several major ornithological events that attract a broader, more common curiosity.

Woody Woodpecker: Spectacular migratory events aside, birding can be enjoyed just about anywhere. This industustrious Pileated Woodpecker was caught deconstructing a fir tree on Newcastle Island.   

British Columbia is an important stop on the migratory flyways of numerous species including black brant geese on Vancouver Island, snow geese, snowy owls and sandpipers in the Fraser River Delta and Boundary Bay and bald eagles to a number of coastal British Columbia rivers. These cyclical events attract photographers and naturalists from all over the world.

A mature bald eagle in Haida Gwaii.

For up-to-date information on birding phenomena such as the arrival of the snow geese or rare bird sightings contact:

Vancouver Bird Alert Hotline:

(604) 737-3074

Sponsors: Vancouver Natural History Society and Wildbirds Unlimited

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Comman Plaintain

Common Plantain

What drives the home gardener mad is good news for the outback-bound as common plantain is common indeed. Young leaves can be eaten as is like lettuce while the more mature ones benefit from steaming or boiling like kale or spinach. Chop and season before eating. Common plantain is a good trail-side source of vitamins C, A and K. Much like aloe, a poultice of crushed plantain leaves is said to be a beneficial treatment for burns and insect stings.

Illustration by Manami Kimura