Early Morning Birding Friday May 11 & Saturday May 12

6:00 am Birding at the UBC Farm & Forest

Time: 6:00 am to 8:00 am on both Friday and Saturday


Two groups will bird in the UBC Farm each day.  One group will meet at the Reconciliation Pole (adjacent to UBC Forest Sciences Centre) and walk to the UBC Farm.   Note:  for the first group, there will be some walking in the forest, with uneven pathways and may require stepping over fallen trees. The second group participants can walk or carpool to meet at the UBC Farm entrance gate at 6:00 am.  Both groups will return to the UBC Forest Sciences Centre at about 8:00 am.  Walking distance from 2 - 3 km.

About the UBC Farm

For more information on the UBC Farm, refer to the field trip description for Friday afternoon at 12:30 pm and the website: http://ubcfarm.ubc.ca/about/

Nature Vancouver has conducted monthly bird surveys at the UBC Farm for 11 years. For a listing of what birds you might see, visit: http://ebird.org/ebird/canada/hotspot/L452312

On eBird, the Hotspot name is: “Vancouver-UBC south campus Farm, Metro Vancouver, CA-BC”

103 species have been seen to date on the 24 hectare UBC Farm and Forest. 

Birding Leader(s) - UBC Farm

Greg Ferguson is a dedicated birdwatcher, excited to share his knowledge with others. His birding has primarily been focused on species of BC’s south coast and interior regions. He has a keen ear and eye for birds and has contributed his knowledge of birds to a number of citizen-science projects, including the Christmas Bird Count, NA Breeding Bird Survey, and Nightjar survey.

Greg is a Registered Professional Biologist in BC, specializing in wildlife and habitat assessment, habitat restoration, and citizen-science projects with an emphasis on species and habitats at risk. He holds a B.Sc. in Natural Resources Conservation and an Advanced Certificate in Habitat Restoration. Currently he’s the coordinator for volunteer projects focused on swallow, Western screech-owl, and great blue heron conservation.

Alan McKenzie (Friday only) Alan is an active birder and member of Nature Vancouver and WildResearch. He has volunteered to lead Christmas Bird Count teams and birding field trips for many years, participates in Bird Studies Canada programs such as Feeder Watch, and volunteers in the banding program at the WildResearch Iona Bird Observatory. He has participated in the Nature Vancouver monthly bird survey at UBC Farm over the past ten years. Alan enjoys travelling and photography, with a focus on birds, of course!

Colin Clasen (Saturday only) Colin is the Editor of, and contributor to, "The Birder's Guide to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland". He is a lifelong birder in the Vancouver area and is member of the Birding Section Committee and Board of Directors of Nature Vancouver. Colin leads birding field trips for Nature Vancouver and is the Moderator of the "vanbcbirds" Yahoo online birding group.

Colin has many years of experience doing monthly bird surveys, Christmas Bird Counts and Purple Martin nest box monitoring.

6:00 am Birding - UBC Botanical Garden

Time: 6 am - 8:00 am on both Friday and Saturday

Two groups of maximum 15 participants each day. 

Group One will meet at the Reconciliation Pole (adjacent to UBC Forest Sciences Centre) at 6:00 am and walk to the Botanical Garden

Group Two will meet at the UBC Botanical Gardens parking lot at 6:00 am (walk or carpool). Return to UBC Forest Sciences Centre at about 8:00 am. Walking distance from 1.5 to 2.5 km.

About the UBC Botanical Garden

Description: The approximately 20 hectare Botanical Gardens has many different habitats, including alpine garden, food garden, Carolinian Forest, BC Rainforest and several old growth native veteran trees throughout the Asian Garden. Blooming plants will be plentiful in early May. Read more at: 


Nature Vancouver has conducted monthly bird surveys at the UBC Botanical Gardens over the past year. For a listing of what birds you might see, visit: http://ebird.org/ebird/canada/hotspot/L367520

On eBird, the Hotspot name is: “UBC Botanical Gardens”. 

96 species have been seen to date in the UBC Botanical Gardens.

Birding Leader(s) - UBC Botanical Garden

Thomas Plath A wildlife biologist for the past 25 years and Registered Professional Biologist for 12 years, Tom’s love for natural history began early and by his teens he had participated on numerous bird inventory projects. Enthusiastically sharing his passion with others, Tom was given the VNHS (Nature Vancouver) Garibaldi Award for outstanding service in 1993.

After a Diploma in Renewable Resources in 1991, Tom worked for the Province as a Wildlife Specialist for the Lower Mainland Region until 2003, mainly on threatened species. Then following a lay-off, he began consulting; working on wildlife-related projects in the Pacific Northwest, Alberta, Newfoundland, Greenland, the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi Seas; and a variety of wildlife groups “from snails to whales”.

Tom enjoys passing his knowledge to others and has led over 100 bird watching field trips both locally and abroad for many natural history groups; organized and conducted ornithology workshops for non-government and government agencies; and taught courses on identification, biology and behavior of birds at Capilano College, for the Vancouver School Board and Vancouver Community College. 

A rabid birder and mammal enthusiast, Thomas began travelling worldwide in earnest in 2003 and formed Satipo Tours with Pablo Jost in 2010.

Margaret Butschler and Steffany Walker, will team-lead a group

Margaret Butschler is a longtime member of Nature Vancouver, who is now focused on birding after a career at the Vancouver Aquarium. She has been birding locally for twenty years with emphasis on monthly counts in Terra Nova, in Richmond, and other hot spots in the Lower Mainland. Christmas bird counts find her leading a group in search of that rare bird seeking the warmth of a Vancouver winter.


Steffany Walker notes that, as with most of us, as children, we learned birds were wonderful. I did too! Steffany has been a volunteer Friend of the UBC Botanical Garden for five years. She received the Nature Vancouver Garibaldi award for Outstanding Service restoring native plants in 2005. Steffany has participated in a regular monthly bird survey for the last twenty years in the Lower Mainland, which has given her some insight to local birds and their habits.