Background information

British Columbia Coastal Waterbird Survey

The coasts of British Columbia (BC) are an important wintering ground for thousands of loons, grebes, cormorants, herons, swans, geese, ducks, shorebirds, and gulls. Bird Studies Canada, with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service), developed the BC Coastal Waterbird Survey in 1999. Carried out by a network of dedicated "Citizen Scientist" volunteer surveyors, the objectives of the program are to:

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

Once a month from September to April each year, volunteer surveyors conduct a standardized count of all birds within predefined sites (within approximately two hours of the high tide). Most sites are located around the Strait of Georgia. The database now contains information on 270 species from over 340 sites.

For additional results, please see:
Crewe, T., K. Barry, P. Davidson, and D. Lepage. 2012. Coastal waterbird population trends in the Strait of Georgia 1999–2011: Results from the first 12 years of the British Columbia Coastal Waterbird Survey. British Columbia Birds 22:8-39.

Please visit the British Columbia Coastal Waterbird Survey homepage for more information.