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Vancouver Island in December (1 Viewer)

katastrofa

Registered User
Supporter
Norway
I will be attending a conference (my paper was accepted to NeurIPS, yay!) in Vancouver in 1st half of December this year. I wanted to take the opportunity to visit the Vancouver Island to see their famous wildlife: orcas, bears, eagles, whales, otters, seals, sea lions... Can you recommend me a tour company which could organise this in December? Or should I try to do it on my own? I would still need to rent a boat and someone to guide me (where to find bears, how to behave around them, etc), so that looks like a tall order and I would prefer a tour company to organise things.
 

Maroon Jay

Airborne
Canada
Unfortunately, Dec is not the best time for wildlife. Bears will be hibernating by then unless the weather is mild. Humpback Whales will be gone to Mexico for the winter. Orcas are around. You might see them anywhere but there are tours from Telegraph Cove, Cowichan Bay and Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Stanley Park in Vancouver has lots of ducks and four species of owl. There is a Cormorant Colony there but not sure if they are present in Dec or not. The places suggested by Oldintheway above a good. You might see Trumpeter Swans. Check ebird for latest sightings. A good place is Point Roberts which is actually in USA but very close to Vancouver. I have even seen hummingbirds there in January. Bald Eagles and Piliated Woodpeckers are around in forested or coastal areas. Lots of birds around Nanamio on Vancouver Island and they have a bird club that takes people out on birding walks.
 

katastrofa

Registered User
Supporter
Norway
Thanks! I know summer would be better, but I don't have any choice in the matter of timing ;-)
 

katastrofa

Registered User
Supporter
Norway
Unfortunately, Dec is not the best time for wildlife. Bears will be hibernating by then unless the weather is mild. Humpback Whales will be gone to Mexico for the winter. Orcas are around. You might see them anywhere but there are tours from Telegraph Cove, Cowichan Bay and Campbell River on Vancouver Island. Stanley Park in Vancouver has lots of ducks and four species of owl. There is a Cormorant Colony there but not sure if they are present in Dec or not. The places suggested by Oldintheway above a good. You might see Trumpeter Swans. Check ebird for latest sightings. A good place is Point Roberts which is actually in USA but very close to Vancouver. I have even seen hummingbirds there in January. Bald Eagles and Piliated Woodpeckers are around in forested or coastal areas. Lots of birds around Nanamio on Vancouver Island and they have a bird club that takes people out on birding walks.

What about otters, seals and sea lions? Where could I see them in this area in December?
 

Maroon Jay

Airborne
Canada
What about otters, seals and sea lions? Where could I see them in this area in December?

Have never seen any around Vancouver. Sea Otters are further north. The further north you go, the more there are. Lots around Alaska. There are Harbour Seals just offshore of Vancouver Island on rocks and tiny islets. There is also a chance of seeing Orca anywhere around Vancouver Island. There are California Sea Lions and Steller Sea Lions but mostly in the northern half of the island and mostly offshore on rocks and islets. The best chance to see anything is from a boat. There are not many roads on the west coast of Vancouver Island. There are boat tours for wildlife watching. The Vancouver Island Whale Watch leaves from Nanaimo
 
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katastrofa

Registered User
Supporter
Norway
Thanks. For a few days' visit to VI, what are the best locations for wildlife in December? Nanaimo?
 

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