Duck Down To Delta

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We may have turned the seasonal corner in the Pacific Northwest, as we ‘spring forward’ in time and in weather. With this, our tendency to venture outside grows stronger with every day it gets warmer.

If you are a fan of wildlife, especially birds, and have a passport, a warm weekend day, and a need for a road trip, then consider:

Westham Island, BC.

About two hours north of Bellingham, across the Canadian boarder, in Delta is the small island of Westham. Surrounded by the Salish Sea (Strait Of Georgia) and the Fraser River, it is a part of the Alaksen National Wildlife Area. To get to the island, you will need to cross the one-lane 100 year old Westham Island Bridge. First opened in 1912, this wood-deck bridge crosses Canoe Pass and connects this small island to the village of Lander.

Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

LRG DSC01646 3Once across, head to the north side of the island to the Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. This  huge 850 acre wetland will provide a full day of family friendly strolling and plenty of places for birdwatching; or the inevitable feeding of the hordes of friendly ducks that greet you, even before you get to the entrance of the sanctuary.

…[T]he Society’s focus has been the stewardship of the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta. The Sanctuary hosts over 70,000 visitors annually…

Millions of PNW birds call this home as they make their annual migration along the Pacific Coast. At peek, it is an estimated that some 300 difference species visit sanctuary, with your best chance at seeing a wide verity of them during the fall and spring. There is an observation tower that will get you a ‘birds eye view’ of the sanctuary. With a good pair of binoculars or a spotting scope, you can spy some of the more timid songbirds in the sanctuary.

You are able to purchase bags of bird seed at the entrance gift-shop for $1(CAD). They have two mixtures available for visitors; one for the lovable hoards of ducks and water fowl, and another (more like straight up sunflower seed) for the tree loving finch and black birds. With a little patience and calm, even these anisodactyl birds will be happy to perch on your hand to say hello and take seed from your palm.

Entrance Cost (CAD)

  • Adults $5
  • Seniors (60+yrs) $3
  • Children (2-14yrs)  $3
  • Under 2yrs   Free

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