Bird watching in Tofino is climbing up the charts of things to do when visiting Tofino. With over a hundred different species of forest, shore and sea birds migrating to as well as residing in Tofino it is no wonder that people come birding year-round. Bald eagles, steller jays, great blue herons and rufous hummingbirds are just a few to mention of the vast list of beautiful birds found in Tofino.
The bald eagles in Tofino are perhaps the more obvious of birds to spot to the untrained birding eye. They make their nests atop Sitkas and giant cedar trees along the Pacific coastline of Tofino and also near some of Tofino’s resorts. Bald eagles have one mate for life and one nest which they add to year after year making their nests noticeable from even great distances and therefore making them easier to spot.
The 21 square kilometer Tofino mudflat contains several kinds of habitat including dense coastal rainforest, rock and gravel beaches, shallow to deep subtidal areas, tidal flats and channels and streams. The Tofino mudflats are a more sheltered habitat than most intertidal estuaries and are richer in nutrients according to information from the Raincoast Education Society (RES). This habitat is ideal for a great variety of species of birds from shore to forest birds because it is so plentiful and secluded. The organisms that live just below the muddy surface such as small worms offer the birds an ideal food source to store up in their fat reserve and also to feed their young.
There are a variety of bird experts who offer guided tours of land and sea from shore walks and forest hikes to kayak, canoe and boat tours to help make the most of your bird watching experience. On the protected mudflats such as the Clayoquot Sound, guided tours by kayak and canoe will get you close enough to land to see a great variety of birds.
If you are just looking to add majestic birds to the already magnificent view that Tofino has to offer, some great viewing points are Long Beach, Chesterman Beach, Grice Bay and the end of Sharp Road where there is now a lookout next to the water treatment plant. There are also a variety of shore birds and sea birds that you will see just in making your way along the coast. If you take a trail to the beach, you will likely catch one of the many forest birds en route to the shore as well.
In the Fall and Spring months the mudflats and beaches become a vacation spot for a countless number of migratory birds traveling along the Pacific Flyway between their winter and summer grounds. This is an ideal time to take a tour out on the waters to the mudflats and catch a glimpse of an array of birds on the fertile grounds. During this time is when Sandpipers can be seen moving in large flocks up and down the outer beaches.
Whether you are passionate about birding or simply enjoy the marvel and diversity of birds, Tofino is a great place to see many varieties of these majestic winged creatures. Birds are captivating and intriguing by nature and to see them in such a well preserved, protected place such as Tofino adds to the splendor of your viewing. If you’re thinking about visiting Tofino for some stunning views,, time away, great outdoor activities or just some relaxation on the beach, be sure to bring a pair of binoculars with you to allow the birds of the air, forest and sea to add to your replenishing experience.