Cortes Island Bird Counts

Each year, as part of the Public Education Program, the Cortes Island Museum sponsors two birding events – the Christmas Bird Count and a Spring Migration Birding Day.
No experience is necessary to join these events. In addition, we encourage you to post your wildlife observations through our Wildlife Observations page and we collect butterfly sightings on our Butterfly Sightings page.

Mark your calendars for 2022 Christmas Bird Count coming on Sunday, December 18. More information will come soon.

Spring Migration Bird Count Event, Saturday, May 7, 2022

Since 2004, the Cortes Island Museum has organized a Spring Migration Birding Event. This year we again invite everyone to participate individually or with a group you feel comfortable with. No registration is necessary.

Record the bird species sighted in your backyards, bird feeders, gardens, and neighbourhoods. No need to count individual birds. You can include any additional species observed on May 6 and May 8. Email your list of species to

We will combine all observations and post them here, as usual.

For easy reference, download the list of commonly seen Cortes Island, Spring Bird List (pdf).

Please take pictures; especially if you happen to observe a rare species these are necessary. We will be happy to post them on our website.

While you are out and about, keep your eyes open for butterflies. Check out our page Butterfly Sightings on Cortes Island for more information. Report the details of your sightings even if the butterfly is already included on our list.

2021 Cortes Island Christmas Bird Count Day – January 5, 2022 – See the results above!

Thank  you all who participated in the 2021/2022  Christmas Bird Count. The combined results are listed under the “Results” tab, above. 

Please join us for the 2021 Christmas Bird Count coming on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

(Please note: Wednesday, January 5, is a new date, rescheduled from January 2.)

Every year the Cortes Island Museum co-sponsors the CBC with Bird Studies Canada and the Audubon Society.

This year’s CBC is scheduled for Sunday, January 2, 2022. If the weather is stormy, we will post the cancellation on Tideline and announce the alternate date.

Usually a friendly group event, again this year, due to COVID-19 precautions, we encourage participants to join the CBC individually or with family members, counting the birds around your house, bird feeder and backyard. For the 24-hour count day (January 5), please record your birding location, bird species and an estimate of the actual number of birds observed.

Sightings of unusual species 3 days prior and 3 days after the count day are noted in our submission to the Audubon database as Count Week (CW) sightings. For this CBC, count week will start on January 2 and will last until January 8. Please note CW sightings separately, include any unusual bird species (great-horned owl, pygmy owl, trumpeter swan, osprey, etc.).

For any rare species noted during the whole CBC week it is important to get a picture if you get a chance, and provide detailed field notes (where it was spotted, what time, description etc.). Rare Bird Form is provided below.

Please submit your observation by calling the Museum at 250-935-6340, mailing (BOX 422, Mansons Landing BC V0P 1K0), or emailing ( by January 10.

Christmas Bird Count forms can be downloaded from the Museum website (links are included below), or can be picked up at the Museum.

No pre-registration is required. Have fun birding and stay safe!

You can download these documents:

CBC Bird Checklist (pdf)
CBC Bird Checklist (docx)

Rare Bird Form (pdf)

Cortes Map outline (pdf)
Cortes Island Rare Birds list (pdf)

Web Design by Ester Strijbos