Band-tailed Pigeon


The Band-tailed Pigeon Patagioenas fasciata [Special Concern/ Blue-listed] is the largest pigeon in North America, the males being slightly larger than the females and reaching up to 36 cm in length.

Barn Swallow


Hirundo rustica [Threatened / Blue-Listed] Barn swallows can be found throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. In our region, the barn swallow winters throughout South America and then returns to North America to breed in the summer, covering up to 14,000 miles during the round trip migration! This bird prefers open country, fields, and agricultural lands.

Barn Owl


Tyto alba [Threatened / Blue-Listed] This medium-sized owl stands 30 -37 cm (just over a foot), and has a unique light-coloured heart-shaped face with dark eyes and a light beak. Preferred feeding habitat is open fields and grasslands. Nesting commonly occurs in barns and other built structures, natural tree cavities, and nest boxes. Barn owls may roost in forest trees in winter.

Black Swift


Cypseloides niger [Endangered/Blue-listed] Adults are black and have the largest of the swift's in BC. They have a streamlined body with long narrow wings. Black Swifts nest in forested areas along rivers, choosing to nest behind waterfalls or other damp cliffs...

Common Nighthawk


Chordeiles minor [Threatened/ Yellow-Listed] The common nighthawk is a medium-sized bird (22-24 cm) with a large head and a very small bill. Nighthawks are typically crespuscular, flying at dawn and dusk to feed on flying insects. They are quite camouflaged, having a mixture of black, browns and greys through their plumage as well as barring on their chests.

Double-crested Cormorant


Phalacrocorax auritus [Blue-listed] This large, black waterbird has white tufts on the sides of its head and a yellow-orange throat. It also has a characteristic crook in its neck. It is found in marine habitats such as estuaries, bays, harbours and inlets.Double-crested Cormorants nest in colonies usually on the ground on rocky, barren islands with sparse vegetation.

Great Blue Heron


Phalacrocorax auritus [Blue-listed] The great blue heron is a member of the Ardeidae family, which includes herons and egrets. This family is distinguished by its long, pointed bills, stilt-like legs and slender, bendable necks. The fannini subspecies of the great blue heron occupies coastal British Columbia.

Marbled Murrelet


Brachyramphus marmoratus [Threatened/Blue-listed] is a sensitive marine species because it nests only in old-growth trees. Largely nesting on the west coast of Vancouver Island, this species uses Salt Springs' waters for year-round foraging with highest numbers around Salt Spring from August to February. These marine foragers eat a variety of small fish like herring, capelin shiner perch and sandeels.

Northern Pygmy Owl


Glaucidium gnoma swarthi [Blue-listed] This small brownish-grey owl (less than 20 cm) has a white belly with dark streaks, white spots on the head, and two dark patches on the back of the neck that resemble eyes. The tail is relatively long. Food may include a wide variety of prey, including other birds, mice, voles, amphibians, snakes, and insects.

Olive-sided Flycatcher


Contopus cooperi [threatened / blue listed] This relatively large flycatcher (18-20 cm) has a fairly large head, white centre of breast and grey-olive sides on its breast. The back and wings of the flycatcher are a darker brownish-grey, and the throat is white. Males and females have the same colouring, though males tend to be a bit larger in size.

Peregrine Falcon


Falco peregrinus anatum [special concern / red-listed] This-crow-sized bird has a bluish-gray back, barred chest, black wedge under the eye, and long pointed wings, V-shaped in flight. Falcons nest on cliff ledges, especially near wetlands. Stewardship involves protection of nesting habitat from disturbance, and avoiding use of pesticides. The construction of elevated nest platforms has resulted in successful falcon occupancy in some areas.

Purple Martin


Progne subis [blue-listed] The purple martin is the largest swallow in North America, reaching between 17-20 cm long. Males are iridescent purple-black, while females and immature birds are dark on the upper side and paler on the under side. They feed on exclusively on insects. Martins are colonial nesters, having up to several dozen pairs in a breeding colony at times.

Sooty Grouse


Dendragapus fuliginosus [Blue-Listed] This chicken-sized bird is sooty grey to brownish in colour with a light grey band at the tip of the tail. The male may show visible yellow wattles over the eyes and yellow throat sacs used in hooting. This species seeks out forest clearings and forest edges in summer where food is abundant. Summer food includes berries, seeds, buds, needles, and insects.

Surf Scoter


Melanitta perspicillata [Blue-listed] are sea ducks that winter in shallow coastal waters preferring a pebble or sand bottom, and breed on shallow lakes in boreal forest and tundra. They mainly eat molluscs and freshwater invertebrates, diving for prey in the soft substrate. They lay 6-9 eggs in a hollow in the ground near the water that they line with vegetation. Males defend the close proximity of the nest.

Western Bluebird


Sialia mexicana [Red-listed] The males of this songbird have a bright blue upper body and throat, orangy-brown breast and sides, a brown patch on the back, and gray belly feathers. Females are a more drab grey-blue colour with a duller reddish colouring on the chest. They have a grey crown, back, and throat. The western bluebird (Sialia mexicana) was once a common migratory songbird in our region.

Western Grebe


Aechmophorous occidentalis [Special Consern - Red Listed] are a seabird that eats small fish by diving in open water, spearing or catching the prey in their bill. They often swallow larger fish at the surface. These birds breed and nest on freshwater lakes and marshes, laying 3-4 eggs in a solid nest that is built on floating logs or other vegetation. Both sexes build the nest using plant material they bring up from underwater.

Western Screech Owl


Megascops kennicottii kennicottii [Threatened/ Blue-listed] The western screech owl is a small owl measuring 19 – 26 cm (less than a foot long), grey-brown in appearance with dark wavy stripes on the breast. The eyes are yellow and small ear tufts may be visible. Screech owls inhabit low elevation forests and will occupy cavities of large trees, especially dead trees (snags).

Western Meadowlark


Sturnella neglecta [Red-listed] This attractive large blackbird (up to 26 cm) has a yellow chest with a distinctive black V-shaped collar. Thus far the meadowlark has been observed on Salt Spring only in the winter. Spring nesting would be expected to occur in grassy fields, where the bird weaves a grassy nest with a roof, located on the ground.