Bird Watching

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Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is an excellent place for year-round birdwatching, especially during the spring and fall migration.


Duck Days of Summer

Mallards are among the most common birds at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.  What can be confusing at this time of the year, however, is which is the drake and which is the hen? How do you tell them apart? Read more.


Resident Birds
For visitors to the west coast, birds found year round include Anna’s Hummingbird, Bushtits, Spotted Towhee, and the Golden-Crowned Sparrow (November through April). Barred Owls are commonly seen from November through February and Great Blue Herons can almost always be sighted. Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks are common, and there is a resident Red-tailed Hawk.

Visiting Birds
During the winter months Hooded Merganser, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal and American Wigeon can be seen. In the spring and summer the lake edge is home to Tree and Violet Green Swallows, Marsh Wrens and Red-winged Blackbirds.

Bird Checklists
A checklist of the Birds of Swan Lake is available at the Swan Lake Nature House office, or you can download and print this Swan Lake Bird Checklist Adobe

Victoria Natural History checklists for Southeastern Vancouver Island are available at the Swan Lake Nature House office ($1.50).

Ted Ardley, a local photographer and a frequent visitor to Swan Lake, has generously provided us with a selection of bird photographs for your enjoyment.  All photographs were taken at Swan Lake.  These images of Swan Lake birds can be viewed in the Bird Gallery.


New! Check out what birds have been reported at the Sanctuary lately

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