Greater Vancouver, Lower Fraser Valley, Chilliwack, Hope, Lytton, Whistler, Squamish, Powell River, Howe Sound
What are some cool songbird species to find around Lower Mainland in Winter? Any Grosbeaks show up anywhere? Also, anyone know a reliable spot to see Snowy Owls other than Boundary Bay?
Hi Owlprowl88,
A lot of the songbirds have now migrated to their winter homes in warmer climates. However there are still the residents like various types of sparrows (song, fox, white-crowned, golden-crowned, spotted towhees, etc) around. Ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets can be found if you have patience to spare. Dark-eyed juncos are usually plentiful, as are Black-capped Chickadees, and Varied Thrushes spend the winter in the local parks. You can sometimes find Pine Grosbeaks on Burnaby Mountain (in the park next to Horizons Restaurant) but the other grosbeaks have left.
As for Snowy Owls they have been scarce the last several years, with only a couple showing up sporadically. It seems most of them are now going east of the Rockies where the habitat is more suitable - cold and dry as opposed to our warm and wet.
I’m sure I’ve left out some species so if anyone else can add to the list please do. I find it helpful to watch this forum for sightings as well as the Rare Bird Alert for that occasional rare visitor that everyone wants to add to their list (we had a Cape May Warbler last winter in Abbotsford).
Happy Birding!

Edited: I almost forgot! Bohemian Waxwings usually show up around now and into January at the Alaskan National Wildlife Area, next to Reifel in Delta. And you can see most, if not all, of the other species I mentioned at Reifel too.
Thank you! It's neat knowing that Pine Grosbeak's can be seen on Burnaby Mountain. Too bad the Snowies haven't been around in a few years; hopefully they'll make a return one day.

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