Wildlife you may see on our tours
The region we travel through has an abundance of wildlife. The Fraser River Delta is one of the most important estuaries for birds in North America. Up to 1.5 million birds migrate through the area.
The photos below show some of the species commonly seen on our trips. There is also a partial list of the 310 species of bird that frequent the Delta or pass through on their migratory paths.
With its white head and tail, and brown body, a mature Bald Eagle is unmistakeable. Their massive nest of sticks can be seen in trees around Ladner Marsh and the Gulf Islands.
Great Blue Heron
The large, long-legged Great Blue Heron are frequently seen standing gazing into the water in search of fish and crabs which they stab with their bills. Their harsh raucous squawk can be heard as they fly over the marsh.
California Sea Lion
The noisy 800 pound male California Sea Lions are seen in the Fraser River Estuary from March through to May. They are here feeding, laying down fat reserves to sustain them when they return to their breeding grounds in California and Mexico.
Red Tailed Hawk
Red Tailed Hawks can be seen year round. They’ll eat almost any small animal and are ever on the lookout for a free meal – not above claiming another bird’s kill.
Snow-white Snow Geese migrate in the thousands from Wrangell Island in Siberia to feed in the fields and marshes of the Fraser River Delta. Their numbers peak in April and November. The iron oxide in the mud here stains their heads a rusty orange color, when digging to feed on roots, making it easy for Russian biologists to identify those making BC their winter habitat.
This large sleek powerful falcon feeds on sea birds tending to choose nesting sites close to colonies of nesting sea birds. These amazing birds can reach speeds of around 250 km/h when diving in closed winged stoops.
These very large rodents with large flat tails are active throughout the year. The Beaver is primarily nocturnal and is most commonly seen on early morning or evening paddles.
This rodent builds lodges similar to Beaver lodges but much smaller. It propells itself through the water with its hind feet using its rudder-like tail for steering.
This commonly seen, inquisitive seal inhabits the west coast throughout the year. Large numbers are seen throughout the Gulf Islands, at the mouth of the Fraser River, and often venture upstream to Ladner Marsh.
Otters build permanent dens on banks with both underwater and above water openings. Coastal River Otters feed mainly on crabs, fish and shellfish and occasionaly mice and insects. Females have litters of 1-6 young in March/April that leave the den 3-4 months later.
Over 310 species of birds frequent the Delta making it a choice birdwatching destination. The Gulf Islands are also an excellent area for observing birds such as the Turkey Vulture.
- Green-winged Teal
- American Widgeon
- Common Goldeneye
- Surf Scoter