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333 Birds of British Columbia, Canada (Sorted By Season, Rarity, Category)

Looking for a list of the birds you might see in B.C.? In this post, you'll find a list of 333 birds of British Columbia – divided into 53 categories and sorted by the seasons you can find them in the province.

Birds of British Columbia

Birds of British Columbia: Tofino, BC Species List

The following list of birds have been seen in the Tofino area. Please note that many of these birds migrate and are present only at one time of year.

In this bird list, I'll cover 53 of the following types of birds found in British Columbia. The number in brackets indicates how many species are included in that category.

  1. Loons (4)
  2. Grebes (5)
  3. Albatrosses (3)
  4. Shearwaters, Petrels (10)
  5. Storm-Petrels (3)
  6. Pelicans (1)
  7. Cormorants (3)
  8. Frigatebirds (1)
  9. Tropicbirds (1)
  10. American Vultures (1)
  11. Geese, Swans, Ducks (37)
  12. Osprey,Eagles, Hawks (9)
  13. Falcons (3)
  14. Grouse,Ptarmigan (3)
  15. Rails, Gallinules, Coots (3)
  16. Cranes (1)
  17. Plovers (6)
  18. Oystercatchers (1)
  19. Stilts, Avocets (1)
  20. Sandpipers, Phalaropes (36)
  21. Murres, Auks, Puffins (37)
  22. Pigeons and Doves (5)
  23. Cuckoos (2)
  24. Typical Owls (10)
  25. Goatsuckers (2)
  26. Swifts (2)
  27. Hummingbirds (3)
  28. Kingfishers (1)
  29. Woodpeckers (6)
  30. Flycatchers (14)
  31. Shrikes (6)
  32. Jays, Magpies, Crows (7)
  33. Larks (1)
  34. Swallows (7)
  35. Chickadees (1)
  36. Bushtits (1)
  37. Nuthatches (1)
  38. Creepers (1)
  39. Wrens (1)
  40. Dippers (1)
  41. Kinglets (2)
  42. Bluebirds and Thrushes (9)
  43. Mockingbirds and Thrashers (4)
  44. Starlings (1)
  45. Wagtails and Pipits (3)
  46. Waxwings (2)
  47. Wood-Warblers (22)
  48. Tanagers (1)
  49. Sparrows and Longspurs (22)
  50. Grosbeaks and Buntings (5)
  51. Blackbirds and Orioles (9)
  52. Finches, Siskins, and Crossbills (11)
  53. Old World Sparrows (1)

Bird list British Columbia Canada

More reading: Must Have Bird Watching Gear 

333 Birds of British Columbia

Each symbol following the species name stand for Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter seasons.
c= common – u= uncommon – r= rare – A = Accidental – C= Casual.

Loons (4)

  1. Red-throated Loon *c ru u
  2. Pacific Loon a u c c
  3. Common Loon * c u c c
  4. Yellow-billed Loon ca ca ca ca

Grebes (5) 

  1. Pied-billed Grebe * r r r r
  2. Horned Grebe c r c c
  3. Red-necked Grebe c r c c
  4. Eared Grebe – – ca ca
  5. Western Grebe u ru u

Albatrosses (3)

  1. Laysan Albatross P r – r r
  2. Black-footed Albatross P r u c u
  3. Short-tailed Albatross P – A – –

Shearwaters and Petrels (10)

  1. Northern Fulmar P u u c c
  2. Mottled Petrel 2 P – – – ca
  3. Pink-footed Shearwater P r u u c
  4. Greater Shearwater – – A –
  5. Flesh-footed Shearwater P – r r –
  6. Buller’s Shearwater P – r r –
  7. Sooty Shearwater u c a –
  8. Short-tailed Shearwater P – r r r
  9. Manx Shearwater 2 P – A A –
  10. Black-vented Shearwater 5 P – ca ca –

Storm-Petrels (3) 

  1. Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel * P u u u –
  2. Leach’s Storm-Petrel * P u u u –
  3. Solander's Petrel – – A –

Pelicans (1)

  1. Brown Pelican ca ca ca ca

Cormorants (3)

  1. Brandt’s Cormorant * c u c c
  2. Double-crested Cormorant c r c c
  3. Pelagic Cormorant * c c c c

Frigatebirds (1)

  1. Magnificent Frigatebird 3 P A A A –

More reading: 14 Facts about Magnificent Frigatebird – and differences with Great Frigatebird

Tropicbirds (1)

  1. Red-tailed Tropicbird 1 P A – – –

Bitterns, Herons and Egrets (5)

  1. Great Blue Heron c u c c
  2. Great Egret 2 – ca ca –
  3. Snowy Egret 1 – – A –
  4. Cattle Egret – ca ca ca
  5. Green Heron – ca ca –

American Vultures (1) 

  1. Turkey Vulture ca ca – –

Geese, Swans, and Ducks (37)

  1. Greater White-fronted Goose a r u r
  2. Emperor Goose ca – – ca
  3. Snow Goose ca – ca –
  4. Ross’s Goose 1 A – – –
  5. Canada Goose a r u u
  6. Brant c r r r
  7. Tundra Swan r – r –
  8. Trumpeter Swan u ca u u
  9. Wood Duck * u 8 r –
  10. Gadwall r – r r
  11. Falcated Duck 1 A – – A
  12. Eurasian Wigeon r – r r
  13. American wigeona – a a
  14. Mallard * a r a a
  15. Blue-winged Teal u u – –
  16. Cinnamon Teal ca ca – –
  17. Northern Shoveler u – u r
  18. Northern Pintail c ca c c
  19. Green-winged Teal c ca c c
  20. Canvasback r – r r
  21. Redhead – – ca ca
  22. Ring-necked Duck r – r ca
  23. Greater Scaup c r c c
  24. Lesser Scaup r – r r
  25. King Eider 2 A – A A
  26. Harlequin Duck c c c U
  27. Surf Scoter c c c c
  28. White-winged Scoter c c c c
  29. Black Scoterc a – ca ca a
  30. Long-tailed Duck u – u u
  31. Bufflehead c – c c
  32. Common Goldeneye u – u u
  33. Barrow's Goldeneye u – u u
  34. Hooded Merganser * u r u u
  35. Common Merganser * c c c c
  36. Red-breasted Merganser u – u u
  37. Ruddy Duck ca – ca –

Osprey,Eagles, and Hawks (9)

  1. Osprey * u u u ca
  2. Bald Eagle * c c c c
  3. Northern Harrier ca – r r
  4. Sharp-shinned Hawk* u u u u
  5. Cooper's Hawk ca ca ca ca
  6. Northern Goshawk * ca ca ca ca
  7. Red Tailed Hawk * u u u u
  8. Rough-legged Hawk ca – ca
  9. Golden Eagle ca ca ca ca
Northern Goshawk

Northern Goshawk

Falcons (3)

  1. American Kestrel r r r r
  2. Merlin * u r u r
  3. Gyrfalcon ca – – ca

Grouse, and Ptarmigan (3)

  1. Blue Grouse * r r r
  2. White-tailed Ptarmigan * r r r r
  3. Ruffed Grouse * u u u u

Rails, Gallinules, and Coots (3)

  1. Virginia Rail r – r r
  2. Sora Rail * ca ca ca –
  3. American Coot r – r r

Cranes (1)

  1. Sandhill Crane u – u –

Plovers (6)

  1. Black-bellied Plover c r u r
  2. American Golden Plover – r r –
  3. Pacific Golden Plover r r r –
  4. Snowy Plover ca ca – –
  5. Semipalmated Plover a – u –
  6. Killdeer * c c c r

Oystercatchers (1)

  1. Black Oystercatcher * c c c c

Stilts and Avocets (1)

  1. American Avocet 1 A – – –

Sandpipers and Phalaropes (36)

  1. Greater Yellowlegs c u u –
  2. Lesser Yellowlegs r r u –
  3. Solitary Sandpiper r r r –
  4. Willet 3 A A – –
  5. Wandering Tattler c u c r
  6. Spotted Sandpiper * u u u r
  7. Upland Sandpiper 1 – A – –
  8. Whimbrel c u u r
  9. Bristle-thighed Curlew 2 A – – –
  10. Long-billed Curlew ca ca – –
  11. Hudsonian Godwit 2 A – A –
  12. Bar-tailed Godwit 2 A – – –
  13. Marbled Godwit u r r –
  14. Ruddy Turnstone u r u –
  15. Black Turnstone c u c c
  16. Surfbird c u c c
  17. Red Knot r r r –
  18. Sanderling c u c u
  19. Semipalmated Sandpiper r r r –
  20. Western Sandpiper a c a ca
  21. Least Sandpiper a u c –
  22. Baird's Sandpiper ca – u –
  23. Pectoral Sandpiper r – u –
  24. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper – – ca –
  25. Rock Sandpiper r – r r
  26. Dunlin c r c c
  27. Curlew Sandpiper 2 – – A –
  28. Stilt Sandpiper ca – ca –
  29. Buff-breasted Sandpiper – – ca –
  30. Ruff 2 – A A –
  31. Short-billed Dowitcher a – c –
  32. Long-billed Dowitcher u – u –
  33. Common Snipe c – c –
  34. Wilson's Phalarope 1 – – A –
  35. Red-necked Phalarope P c r c –
  36. Red Phalarope P u – u ca

Murres, Auks, and Puffins (37)

  1. Common Murre * u a a u
  2. Thick-billed Murre * – ca ca –
  3. Pigeon Guillemot * c c c c
  4. Marbled Murrelet * u c c u
  5. Long-Billed Murrelet – – A –
  6. Ancient Murrelet – ca ca –
  7. Xantus’s Murrelet P – ca ca –
  8. Cassin's Auklet * P u u u u
  9. Crested Auklet 1 – – – A
  10. Parakeet Auklet P – – – ca
  11. Rhinoceros Auklet * u u c r
  12. Tufted Puffin * u u u r
  13. Horned Puffin * – ca ca –
  14. Jaegers,Gulls,Terns
  15. South Polar Skua P – u u –
  16. Pomarine Jaeger P u u u –
  17. Parasitic Jaeger P r r r –
  18. Long-tailed Jaeger P – r r –
  19. Franklin's Gull – – ca –
  20. Bonaparte’s Gull r r r –
  21. Heerman's Gull – c c ca
  22. Mew Gull * c u c c
  23. Ring-billed Gull – – r –
  24. California Gull c r a ca
  25. Herring Gull c r c r
  26. Thayers Gull a r c r
  27. Western Gull a u a a
  28. Glaucous-winged Gull * a a a a
  29. Slaty-Backed Gull – – A –
  30. Glaucous Gull ca – ca ca
  31. Sabine’s Gull P u – u –
  32. Black-legged Kittiwake r r r ca
  33. Caspian Tern u u r –
  34. Elegant Tern 1 – A – –
  35. Common Tern r r r –
  36. Arctic Tern r r r –
  37. Black Tern 2 A – A –

Pigeons and Doves (5)

  1. Rock Dove * u u u u
  2. Band-tailed Pigeon * u u u ca
  3. White-winged Dove 4 – – ca ca
  4. Mourning Dove ca ca ca –
  5. Oriental Turtle Dove 1 – A – –

Cuckoos (2)

  1. Black-billed Cuckoo 1 – A – –
  2. Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1 – A – –

Typical Owls (10)

  1. Barn Owl – – A –
  2. Western Screech Owl * r r r r
  3. Great-horned Owl * r r r r
  4. Snowy Owl – – ca ca
  5. Northern Pygmy Owl * r r r r
  6. Barred Owl * r r r r
  7. Great Grey Owl 2 – – – A
  8. Short-eared Owl ca – r –
  9. Boreal Owl 1 – – A A
  10. Saw-whet Owl – – ca –

Goatsuckers (2)

  1. Common Nighthawk * – u – –
  2. Whip-poor-will 1 – – A –

Swifts (2)

  1. Black Swift r u r –
  2. Vaux's Swift * r u r –

Hummingbirds (3)

  1. Anna's Hummingbird ca ca ca ca
  2. Rufous Hummingbird * c c r –
  3. Costa’s Hummingbird 1 – A – –

More reading: How to choose the best hummingbird feed

Kingfishers (1)

  1. Belted Kingfisher * c c c c

Woodpeckers (6)

  1. Red-breasted Sapsucker r r r u
  2. Downy Woodpecker r r r r
  3. Hairy Woodpecker * u u u u
  4. Three-toed Woodpecker * ca ca – –
  5. Northern Flicker * u u c c
  6. Pileated Woodpecker * r r r r
Pileated Woodpecker British Columbia

Pileated Woodpecker

More reading: 9 Best Binoculars Under $500: Guide to Premium Birding Binoculars

Flycatchers (14)

  1. Olive-sided Flycatcher * r r r –
  2. Western Wood-Peewee ca ca ca –
  3. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1 – – A –
  4. Willow Flycatcher * r r r –
  5. Hammond's Flycatcher * c c – –
  6. Pacific-slope Flycatcher * c c – –
  7. Say's Phoebe A – A –
  8. Ash-throated Flycatcher 2 – – A –
  9. Great Crested Flycatcher 1 – – A –
  10. Tropical Kingbird – – ca –
  11. Western Kingbird ca – ca –
  12. Eastern Kingbird ca ca ca –
  13. Gray Kingbird 1 – – A –
  14. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 3 A A

Shrikes (6)

  1. Northern Shrike r – r r
  2. Vireos
  3. Cassin’s Vireo * ca ca ca –
  4. Hutton’s Vireo * r r r r
  5. Warbling Vireo * r r r r
  6. Red-eyed Vireo ca ca ca –

Jays, Magpies, and Crows (7)

  1. Gray Jay * r r r r
  2. Steller’s Jay * u u u r
  3. Blue Jay 3 A – A –
  4. Clark's Nutcracker A – – A
  5. Black-billed Magpie 2 A – – –
  6. Northwestern Crow * c c c c
  7. Common Raven * c c c c

Larks (1)

  1. Horned Lark ca – ca –

Swallows (7)

  1. Purple Martin ca – – –
  2. Tree Swallow * u u r –
  3. Violet-green Swallow * c c r –
  4. Northern Rough-winged Swallow * u u r –
  5. Bank Swallow ca – ca –
  6. Cliff Swallow ca ca ca –
  7. Barn Swallow * c c c –

Chickadees (1)

  1. Chestnut-backed Chickadee * c c c c

Bushtits (1)

  1. Bushtit ca ca ca –

Nuthatches (1)

  1. Red-breasted Nuthatch * r r r r

Creepers (1)

  1. Brown Creeper * u u u u

Wrens (1)

  1. Bewick's Wren 2 ca – ca –
  2. House Wren 1 – – ca –
  3. Winter Wren * c c c c
  4. Marsh Wren r ca r r

Dippers (1)

  1. American Dipper u u u u

Kinglets (2)

  1. Golden-crowned Kinglet * c c c c
  2. Ruby-crowned Kinglet c – c c

Bluebirds and Thrushes (9)

  1. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1 – – – A
  2. Western Bluebird 1 – – A –
  3. Mountain Bluebird ca – ca ca
  4. Townsend's Solitaire ca – ca –
  5. Veery A – – –
  6. Swainson's Thrush * c c c –
  7. Hermit Thrush * u u u u
  8. American Robin * a c c u
  9. Varied Thrush * u r u u

Mockingbirds and Thrashers (4)

  1. Gray Catbird 1 – – A –
  2. Northern Mockingbird ca ca ca ca
  3. Brown Thrasher 1 – – – A
  4. Sage Thrasher 3 A – – –

Starlings (1)

  1. European Starling * c c c c

Wagtails and Pipits (3)

  1. American Pipit * c r u –
  2. Black-backed Wagtail 2 A – A –
  3. Gray Wagtail A – – –

Waxwings (2)

  1. Bohemian Waxwing ca – – ca
  2. Cedar Waxwing * u u u ca

Wood-Warblers (22)

  1. Tennessee Warbler – – A –
  2. Orange-crowned Warbler * c c u r
  3. Nashville Warbler ca ca ca –
  4. Yellow Warbler r r u ca
  5. Chestnut-sided Warbler – – A –
  6. Yellow-rumped Warbler * u u u u
  7. Black-throated Grey Warbler * r r r –
  8. Townsend's Warbler * c c u ca
  9. Prairie Warbler 2 A – A –
  10. Palm Warbler ca – ca ca
  11. Bay-Breasted Warbler 2 – – ca –
  12. Blackpoll Warbler 6 ca ca ca –
  13. Prothonotary Warbler 1 – – A –
  14. Black-and-white Warbler 1 A – – –
  15. American Redstart 2 – – A –
  16. Connecticut Warbler 1 – – A –
  17. MacGillivray's Warbler * u u r –
  18. Common Yellowthroat * u u u –
  19. Hooded Warbler 1 – – – A
  20. Wilson's Warbler * c c u –
  21. Canada Warbler 1 – – – A
  22. Yellow-breasted Chat 2 – – A –

Tanagers (1)

  1. Western Tanager * r u r –

Sparrows and Longspurs (22)

  1. Spotted Towhee c – c c
  2. American Tree Sparrow 2 – – A –
  3. Chipping Sparrow ca – – –
  4. Clay-colored Sparrow 3 – – ca –
  5. Vesper Sparrow 2 – – ca –
  6. Lark Sparrow ca ca ca –
  7. Lark Bunting 1 – – A –
  8. Savannah Sparrow a r a r
  9. Fox Sparrow * c c c c
  10. Song Sparrow * c c c c
  11. Lincoln's Sparrow r – r ca
  12. Swamp Sparrow – – ca ca
  13. White-throated Sparrow ca – ca ca
  14. Golden-crowned Sparrow a – u u
  15. White-crowned Sparrow * c u u u
  16. Harris's Sparrow ca – ca ca
  17. Dark-eyed Junco * c u c c
  18. Lapland Longspur ca – ca –
  19. Chestnut-collared Longspur 1 A – – –
  20. Rustic Bunting 2 A – A A
  21. Snow Bunting ca – ca –
  22. Mckay’s Bunting 1 – – – A

Grosbeaks and Buntings (5)

  1. Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2 – – ca ca
  2. Black-headed Grosbeak * r r r –
  3. Lazuli Bunting 1 A – – –
  4. Indigo Bunting 1 ? – – A –
  5. Dickcissel 3 A – A –

Blackbirds and Orioles (9)

  1. Bobolink – – A –
  2. Red-winged Blackbird * u u u u
  3. Western Meadowlark r-rr
  4. Yellow-headed Blackbird ca – ca –
  5. Rusty Blackbird A – A –
  6. Brewer's Blackbird r – r r
  7. Common Grackle 1 A – – –
  8. Brown-headed Cowbird * c c u ca
  9. Bullock's Oriole ca – ca ca

Finches, Siskins, and Crossbills (11)

  1. Brambling 1 A – – –
  2. Gray-crowned Rosy Finch ca ca ca –
  3. Pine Grosbeak ca – ca ca
  4. Purple Finch * u c u u
  5. House Finch * c c c c
  6. Red Crossbill * c c c c
  7. White-winged Crossbill ca – ca –
  8. Common Redpoll 4 ca – – ca
  9. Pine Siskin c u u c
  10. American Goldfinch * u u u –
  11. Evening Grosbeak ca – ca ca

Old World Sparrows (1)

  1. House Sparrow * c c c c

And there you have it – our list of 333 bird species you can (might) see in British Columbia.

Your Turn

Have you seen a species that isn't on our list? Let us know in the comment section!

Meet the Author

Drew Haines

Drew Haines is an animal enthusiast, travel writer, and content marketer. She loves to share her passion through her writing. She is the founder and owner of EverywhereWild Media, EverywhereWild, and co-founder and owner of JustBirding. She also guest blogs on LatinRootsTravel and GringosAbroad. She lived in Ecuador for 6 years and explored the Galapagos Islands. Currently based in N.S., Canada.

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