With its fields, forests, wetlands, and mountains, Abbotsford is home to a range of habitats that makes it an ideal place to see a variety of bird and waterfowl. With 157 parks encompassing over 2,584 acres of parkland and 98 kilometers of urban trails, there is a variety of wildlife waiting to be discovered by both amateur and experienced birding enthusiasts!
Between Maclure Road and Old Yale Road you’ll find a series of ponds that have been created as part of the city’s storm water management system. The park is encircled by paved paths and areas with a wooden boardwalk. This makes it a great place to see a variety of waterfowl. Spot Great Blue Herons, bald eagles, osprey, and even owls, too! Spring through the fall is the best time to visit Fishtrap Creek Park.
Willband Creek Park is an urban wetland located in the Sumas Flats area of Abbotsford. The park is a mixture of marsh, grassy fields, treed areas and contains a creek and two large ponds. It is surrounded by blueberry fields. At least 139 species of birds have been spotted at this site making it one of Abbotsford’s birding hotspots! Although there is lots of trail space throughout the park it is seldom very busy making it a great spot to view birds year-round.
Located in the heart of Abbotsford is Mill Lake and its urban park area. Although the park surrounding the lake is busy with walkers, joggers and cyclists, it still affords some good birding opportunities especially early in the morning and on weekdays when it is not so busy. Rare birds such as Great Egret, American Avocet and Red-throated Loon have all been spotted here. Although Mill Lake is a great place to bird watch year-round, spring is the best time to visit.
Take your bird watching to new heights as you ascend Sumas Mountain! The mature hemlock and cedar forest offer excellent hawk spotting opportunities as well as beautiful scenery overlooking the Fraser Valley. The best time to visit the area is early September for optimal viewing. If you do not feel like hiking all the way to the top, the Lower Viewpoint is accessible by car and many birds can be found here too.
Check out the links below for more in-depth information about birding in the Fraser Valley and BC.