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Okanagan-Shuswap communities added to BC Bird Trail

Vernon, Kelowna, Shuswap added for 2023’s fall birdwatching season
Vernon, Kelowna and Shuswap are among 11 communities added to the BC Bird Trail. (File photo)

Expect to see more people with binoculars coming to the Okanagan-Shuswap.

Vernon, Kelowna and the Shuswap have been added to the BC Bird Trail.

The Bird Trail has added 11 birdwatching communities to its vast list of self-guided experiences found on, a website designed to inspire people of all ages and levels to explore and enjoy the best birdwatching the province has to offer

In partnership with Destination BC, the brand new birdwatching trails launching this season include Vernon, Shuswap, Kelowna, the Vancouver Island North Trail encompassing Port McNeill, Port Hardy, Port Alice, Sointula and Alert Bay, along with individual outposts in Prince George, Nelson and Kootenay Lake, Vancouver’s North Shore, Vancouver, Southern Gulf Islands, Sooke and Tofino.

READ MORE: ‘Stories from The BC Bird Trail:’ Local birding, community and conservation

“We are so thrilled to launch the Shuswap Outpost! The Salmon Arm Economic Development Society MRDT Program collaborated on the BC Bird Trail outpost with our partners from Shuswap Tourism and the District of Sicamous Development Corp., because this is the best opportunity to showcase the unique birding experiences in our communities,” said Caitlin Thompson, project coordinator with the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society. “Birding is a fast-growing tourism experience in B.C., and we have some of the best locations, trail systems, and rare bird species to offer.”

This is the fourth year of this particular campaign, and the addition of 11 communities is the biggest growth ever.

READ MORE: 2 new trails await budding and seasoned birders

“With so many new communities getting on board, we’ll be able to introduce the practice of birding to even more people across the province,” said Ceri Chong, director, Destination and Industry Development at Tourism Richmond. “As we add trails in the northern regions of the province like Vancouver Island North and Prince George, it allows us to further showcase the biodiversity of birds you can find in B.C.”

The expansion of The BC Bird Trail is timely because the fall season is when large numbers of bird migrations take place. During this peak migration season, birding is quite exciting, and local birding spots can change overnight, so every outing can potentially offer new surprises for birdwatchers.

Turkey vultures, trumpeter swans, harlequin ducks, red-breasted mergansers, northern pintails, and warblers are just a few of the spectacular birds that make the list. Nature enthusiasts of all levels can visit for an up-to-date list of birds you can expect to spot along each trail and outpost.

READ MORE: From ‘food’ to family member: B.C. hawklet adopted by eagles near Nanaimo

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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