Birding hot spots in Metro Vancouver: Jericho Park

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Song Sparrow | February 2014

With more than three years of birding and bird photography under my belt in the Metro Vancouver region, I am starting to have just enough photos and birding trips to talk about various birding “hotspots.” I have therefore decided to talk about these over the next few months. With a bit of luck, I might include a few places in the rest of the province. I hope you will like this feature!

This month, I will focus on what is probably Vancouver’s least known birding hotspots, namely Jericho Beach Park. Situated in the northern part of Vancouver’s West Point Grey neighbourhood, this park includes a variety of ecosystems, including ocean beach, a mostly deciduous forest, extensive ponds, a marsh, several areas with fruit bushes (including invasive Himalayan Blackberries) and several grassy areas. Recent rehabilitation efforts have focused on restoring the area’s wetlands and other natural areas, as well as removing some of the invasive plant species. It culminated in June 2013 with the removal of the Jericho Park Marginal Wharf.

The number of birds listed as having been seen in Jericho Park on the eBird website is an astonishing 210 species. This number is surpassed only in four birding hotspots in Metro Vancouver: Iona Island (Richmond), Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary (Delta) and Maplewood Conservation Area (North Vancouver). Jericho is virtually tied with Stanley Park, which has 5 more species on eBird.

If you are looking to see as many of the region’s iconic species and do not have a lot of time on your hands, this would be an ideal spot. On a bad day, you should be able to see at least 25-30 species, but on a good one, you could easily top 50 at this one location and could probably accomplish this in less than three hours.

The following photo gallery includes bird species that I photographed in the past couple of years in Jericho:

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Spotted Towhee | May 2014

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Red-winged Blackbird | March 2014

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Red-winged Blackbird (female) | May 2012

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Ring-necked Duck | March 2014

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Northern Pintail | September 2014

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Golden-crowned Sparrow | April 2014

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Great Blue Heron | May 2014

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Fox Sparrow | May 2014

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Cooper’s Hawk (juvenile) | October 2014

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Bushtit | May 2014

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Black-capped Chickadee | May 2014

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