British Columbia is a vast and diverse natural region located on the Pacific Flyway that hosts many world-renowned birding locations. Tofino's has birding for the novice to the big year birder. We offer tours up the inlets to offshore at Cleland Island Bird Santuary and out to the where the Continental Shelf meets the Pacific Ocean. 

Up to two hundred species may be seen in our region in a single year, and a total of 360 species of birds have been recorded in our region to date. Among the more readily visible species are Bald eagles, the sapphire-blue (and vocal) Stellar’s Jays and the storied Blue Heron. A boat trip to Cleland Island ecological reserve can result in sightings of seabirds and shorebirds such as Wandering Tattlers, Surfbirds, Rhinoceros Auklets and Tufted Puffins. On pelagic trips farther offshore one may see Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Storm-petrels, Jaegers and others.

BIRD WATCHING TOUR 

Join us for a unique Bird Watching trip on an open boat along the West Coast of Vancouver Island. This tour leaves Tofino and explores the rugged coastline as we venture offshore to the Cleland Island Ecological Reserve, 14 km west of Tofino, a premier sure for viewing seabirds. In 1971 Cleland Island became the first ecological reserve in British Columbia (B.C. Parks, 2015) and it was established to protect breeding populations of many species of seabirds.  The grass belt provides nesting sites for Leach’s Storm-petrel, Fork-tailed Storm-petrel, Rhinoceros Auklet and Cassin’s Auklet, which tunnel into the sandy soil. The bare rocks, beach logs and general surface of the island are home to Pigeon Guillemot, Glaucous-winged Gull, Black Oystercatcher, Pelagic Cormorant and a few Common Murres. It has one of the largest Tufted Puffin colonies from May - September, south of Triangle Island. Past rare sightings have been the Crested Auklet.

This tour will be lead by an experienced guide who can help with spotting and identification. 

TOUR DURATION: 2.5 hours 

BIRD WATCHING TOUR RATES

Adult: $109
Senior (65+) & Youth (13-18): $99
Children (4-12): $79
Ages 3 & Under: FREE

Prices do not include tax (5% GST) + fees

*Read our Cancellation Policy.

Please call our office for reservations (250) 725-2132

BOAT INFORMATION

Our open air 12 passenger Boston Whaler vessels are excellent for viewing and photographing wildlife. With twin high horsepower engines you are ensured a safe and exhilarating ride through the waters off Tofino. The driver is located in the centre of the boat to ensure they can communicate with guests. This tour is offered April to October.

To book please call our office for departure days and times.


PELAGIC BIRD WATCHING TOUR 

The Pelagic Bird Watching Tour is a eight hour trip designed for the more advanced birder.  This tour departs early in the morning to venture out 25 km offshore to the Clayoquot Canyon to view birds and other marine wildlife.  On our 30 ft Boston Whaler the Goolka with Guide John Forde, we adventure out to to view Sea Birds, Whales, Dolphins and so much more. On previous tours we have seen Short-Tailed Albatross, Northern Fulmar, Sooty Shearwater,  Laysan Albatross, Tufted Puffins and our feather in our cap bird sighting: the Brown Booby! We just saw Parakeet Auklets on March 29th! Grey Whales, Fin Whales, Humpback Whales and Killer Whales can also be seen on the Pelagic Bird Watching Tour. This tour will be led by an experienced guide who can help with spotting and identification. Please note this tour is not offered daily and this is an advanced tour on open ocean. If sea conditions and weather are not favourable we will cancel this tour.

DEPARTURE TIME: 7:30 am, check in time 7:00 am

TOUR DURATION: 8 hours  

PELAGIC BIRD WATCHING TOUR RATES

Adult - $225.00

Senior (65+)/Student(19+)/Youth(13-18) - $225.00

Prices do not include tax (5% GST) + fees

*Read our Cancellation Policy.

This tour is dependant on good weather and sea conditions.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

Tuesday, October 22 at 7:30 am

BOAT INFORMATION

Our open air 12 passenger Boston Whaler vessels are excellent for viewing and photographing wildlife. With twin high horsepower engines you are ensured a safe and exhilarating ride through the waters off Tofino. The driver is located in the centre of the boat to ensure they can communicate with guests. Small washroom on board.

If you are interesting in booking on a tour or getting upcoming tour info please call or email us. 

Please note: We require calm sea conditions for this tour, dress warmly (warm layers), warm hat, neck warmer and sunglasses.

Bring snack + drinks for the day. Camera and Binoculars. Don't forget to charge your camera batteries! 

See the CHECKLIST from our last Pelagic Tour March 29th, 2018. 


What You Need To Know: 

  • Fully guided tour with experienced, qualified and passionate skippers to answer all your questions.

  • We use open 12 passenger Boston Whaler vessel with high-power twin engines.

  • You are provided with protective floatation suits, gloves and toques.

  • We recommend you dress warmly with layers: sweaters, long pants, closed toed shoes and maybe a windbreaker to wear under your NEW Mustang Survival Suit.

  • Bring your sunglasses, sunscreen, a camera, snacks & water and your sense of adventure!

  • Each passenger is required to sign a Release of Liability at check in. Participants must be 19 years of age, or require a parent or guardian to sign on their behalf.

  • Check in time is 30 minutes prior to departure time at our office at 411 Campbell Street.

  • An eco wildlife conservation fee of $3 will be added to each fare in support of Strawberry Isle Marine Reseach Society.

  • Add 5% tax to all tours.

  • Multi-tour discounts, 10% off second and additional tours

  • We reserve the right to add a fuel surcharge (currently $4.00).

  • Group rates available for 6 or more.

  • Prices are subject to change.

  • Parking is available on our property but if the lot is full here is some parking information.

  • This tour has a 48 hour cancellation policy.

BIRDS WE SEE ON OUR BIRD WATCHING TOURS:

We have recorded sightings of the following species on our pelagic tours: Short Tailed Albatross, South Polar Skua, Tufted Puffin, Horned Puffin, Fork-tailed Storm Petrel, Phalarope Storm Petrel, Jaeger Storm Petrel, Red Phalarope, Marbled Murrelet, Xantus’s Murrelet, Black-footed Albatross, Laysan Albatross, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Buller’s Shearwater, Pink-footed Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Pomarine Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaeger, Black-legged Kittiwake, Surf Scoter, Sabine’s Gull, California Gull, Herring Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Common Murre, Northern Fulmar, Cassin’s Auklet, Rhinoceros Auklet and Brown Booby.

Read guest Adam Blake's field notes from a Tofino Pelagic Bird Watching Tour with us!