The viewing of wildlife on and around Vancouver Island and The Gulf
Islands of British Columbia offers something for all nature lovers.
requires little introduction, as British Columbia is well known as
the place on earth to watch migrating and resident whales
feeding, breaching or spy-hopping. Regulated whale watching tours
are operated out of most larger towns in the region.
like this remain with one for life
The best time
to see migrating gray whales is during March and April, although
a number of them stay to reside in the area off Vancouver Island's
west coast for the summer.
whale sightings throughout the summer and into fall, before the
gray whales head south to Mexico for the winter. The best time to
see killer whales (orcas) around south island is from May to September,
and from July to September in northern Vancouver Island.
of salmon spawning draws people from all over the world to the Pacific
Northwest to watch schools of salmon return from the sea to lay
their roe in their ancestral spawning grounds before dying and completing
their life cycle. A little sad, perhaps, but this incredible natural
event is just a small part in this circle of life. The passing of
the salmon signals the start of the cycle for thousands of new salmon
and signals a feeding frenzy for black bears, bald eagles and any
number of other wildlife that depend on the nutrient rich salmon
Geese in flight
happens to be conveniently located on the Pacific Flyway
for the millions of migrating birds that miraculously find their
way north and south with the changing of the seasons.
An important resting and feeding stopover for these birds, the region
attracts nature lovers too, who congregate here to marvel at the
wonder of nature that brings these beautiful birds and waterfowl
back year after year.
Vancouver Island supports black bears, cougars, wolves, elk, deer
and many other mammal and bird species, both abundant and threatened
in numbers. Select a region below to learn more about the wildlife
viewing opportunities that await the visitor to our region.