Marine Bird Surveys in Queen Charlotte Strait and Adjacent Channels

August – September, 2020

Anthony Gaston, Mark Maftei, Sonya Pastran,
Ken Wright, Graham Sorenson, Iwan Lewylle

Fairy Barf lichen (Icmadophila ericetorum)
Photo by Samantha Pedersen


Queen Charlotte Strait, a funnel-shaped passage extending ESE from the open waters of Queen Charlotte Sound, separates northern Vancouver Island from the mainland of British Columbia. It is connected, via Johnstone Strait, Discovery Passage and associated channels, with the more or less enclosed waters of the Salish Sea (Figure 1). Anecdotal information from eBird lists suggests that this area supports a high diversity of marine birds in winter and during the periods of northward and southward migration ( accessed 7 November 2020; hereafter “eBird”). In addition, this area is important for marine mammals, being used regularly by the Northern Resident Orca stock, and by Humpback and Minke Whales, Dall’s and Harbour Porpoises and Pacific White-sided Dolphins, and supporting several permanent haul-outs of Steller’s Sea Lions (Ford 2014).

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