Tofino Shorebird Festival

“Celebrates the migration of shorebirds through the Tofino area with a series of educational birding activities and events.”

The Tofino Shorebird Festival celebrates the spring migration of shorebirds with a series of educational birding activities throughout the region. We draw on local and visiting experts to participate in the festival, offering guest lectures, birding workshops, boat trips and much more! This is a great opportunity to experience the largest wildlife migration in the region, learn about these impressive birds, and understand why Tofino is one of the very best places in western Canada for bird watching.

Whimbrels, Sandpipers, Dunlin and more!

Every year from late April through May, flocks of sandpipers, plovers, whimbrels, and many other shorebirds pass through the Tofino area. Thousands stop here to feed and rest as they make their impressive journey from South and Central America northward to their Arctic breeding grounds.

The protected forests, expansive mudflats, long sandy beaches, and rocky shorelines of the region create the right combination of habitats to draw over 40 species of shorebirds to the area, including the largest migratory concentrations of whimbrels anywhere in British Columbia, and impressive flocks of western sandpipers, dunlin and more.

Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area

The Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is 21 square kilometers of rich, diverse habitats for numerous wildlife species. It was established in 1997 to conserve wildlife habitat in Clayoquot Sound and is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The Tofino Mudflats WMA is comprised of tidal flats, shallow to deep subtidal areas, rock and gravel beaches, marshes, tidal channels, streams, riparian areas, and dense coastal temperate rainforest. More sheltered than most intertidal environments, and richer in nutrients, the mudflats are a fascinating place to explore.

Thank You to our Festival Partners

A huge thank you to our festival partners, in alphabetical order:

District of Tofino; Jamie’s Whaling Station; Long Beach Lodge Resort; Middle Beach Lodge, Ocean Outfitters; Pacific Rim National Park; Paddle West Kayaking; Roy Henry Vickers Gallery; Tofino Botanical Gardens; Tofino Mudflats Wildlife Management Area; Tofino Nature Kids; T’ashii Paddle School; Tofino Time; Tourism Tofino; The Wickaninnish Inn and The Pointe Restaurant.

22nd Annual Tofino Shorebird Festival

MAY 3 – 5, 2019

Follow along on facebook for event reminders, details, and more!

2019 Tofino Shorebird Festival Events

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Upcoming Events › Tofino Shorebird Festival

List of Events

Opening Night of the Tofino Shorebird Festival

May 3 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

We will kick off the Tofino Shorebird Festival with a social evening to celebrate the migration o...

We will kick off the Tofino Shorebird Festival with a social evening to celebrate the migration of the shorebirds, meet other bird enthusiasts, and go over the festival schedule while enjoying food and drink.

Offshore Birding

May 4 @ 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 7:00am, repeating until May 5, 2019

An event every day that begins at 7:00am, repeating until May 5, 2019

This trip will be an all-day excursion to some of the offshore banks and canyons in search of alb...

This trip will be an all-day excursion to some of the offshore banks and canyons in search of albatrosses, shearwaters, storm-petrels and other pelagic birds.

Birder’s Breakfast

May 4 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 7:30am, repeating until May 5, 2019

Take advantage of all Tofino has to offer by starting your day with breakfast at the spectacular ...

Take advantage of all Tofino has to offer by starting your day with breakfast at the spectacular Long Beach Lodge Resort.

Birding by Kayak

May 4 @ 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 8:00am, repeating until May 5, 2019

This five-hour sea kayaking tour will take you on a journey to experience extensive areas of prim...

This five-hour sea kayaking tour will take you on a journey to experience extensive areas of prime shorebird habitat only accessible by water.

Shorebirding 101

May 4 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am

Join us for an introduction to birding and shorebird identification. We will go over some key poi...

Join us for an introduction to birding and shorebird identification. We will go over some key points to help you identify and recognize the common shorebird species you can expect to see around Tofino in the spring.

Birding on the Mudflats

May 4 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

This is the best opportunity to spend some time down on the Tofino mudflats to view flocks of sho...

This is the best opportunity to spend some time down on the Tofino mudflats to view flocks of shorebirds foraging and resting during their annual migration north.

Birds & Botanicals Artist Workshop – Watercolours

May 4 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 10:00am, repeating until May 5, 2019

Coral will guide you through watercolour techniques for painting birds and flowers and an ancient...

Coral will guide you through watercolour techniques for painting birds and flowers and an ancient technique of printing with real plants from the rainforest.

Shorebirding by Traditional Style Canoe

May 4 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

One of the most unique experiences in Tofino, join a Nuu-chah nulth guide for a paddle in a tradi...

One of the most unique experiences in Tofino, join a Nuu-chah nulth guide for a paddle in a traditional dugout cedar canoe up Lemmens Inlet to the mudflat area to explore the mudflats at high tide

Birding Adventure for Kids

May 4 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

For this fun event, we will craft our own sets of ‘binoculars’ and go for a walk to see what ...

For this fun event, we will craft our own sets of ‘binoculars’ and go for a walk to see what we can see.

Voyage to Cleland Island Seabird Colony

May 4 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Join us aboard the M.V. Lukwa for a unique trip through some of the most ecologically important...

Join us aboard the M.V. Lukwa for a unique trip through some of the most ecologically important and spectacular habitats on the west coast.

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Tofino Shorebird Festival Photo Gallery

Some photos from previous years!

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If you have any questions about our courses, our events, or just us in general – we’re here to help!