Animals in British Columbia

In British Columbia there is large variety of animals. British Columbia is known as one of the best places in world to see wildlife. Canada’s Dramatic Pacific coast is found as one of the most eye-catching destinations in the world to visit wildlife. It extends from west of Pacific Ocean to the east of Rockies. Most of the wildlife is found in British Columbia other than any region of Canada and can found a large variety of species which are very rare and unique in their nature. Humpback whales, Grizzly bears are one of the attractive animals found in British Columbia. They have most dense forest which becomes a good shelter source for wildlife, high water falls, and good feeding grounds helps in whale’s habitat. Mule Deer, Elk, Bison can find easily on the roadsides of British Columbia. British Columbia is divided into landscapes, glaciers and peaks which are homes to around 1100 species of animals.

Below is the list of animals found in British Columbia region:

Humpback Whales

White tailed deer

Great blue heron

Common loon

Canada goose

American Bison

Trumpeter Swan

Humpback Whales

animals in british columbia humpback

These whales are one of the biggest concerns in British Columbia region as these species are at under Risk Act and there are three main threats to this species which includes fishing gear, vessel strikes as well as shortage of prey as per the Recovery Strategy for North Pacific Humpback Whales in CA. 

They are around 16 meter in length and look chubby in body shape. They are mostly grey or black from the upper body side and white from the underside, throat and fins. The 2/3 part of whales body which is changeable in shape helps them Humpback whales to rest and can be visible when they dives. Their trail has white color patches at the underside and its edges are curved in shape, which helps them to rise higher while diving deep in the sea. Talking about their social behaviour they like to live in alone but during the feeding time they comes in a group of 10-15 whales. They are very flexible in body. Their pictorial fins help them in identifying from the other whales species. Pectoral fins are around 1/3 of the body and color can be black or white and are depress from the edges. They have kobs on the head which also them in identifying, someone from the distance may get confuse but when these head knobs look closely helps them in clearing the confusion. They have long pleats which are from lower jaws to the abdomen due to this long pleats it allows them to expand the throat and can filled with food, water during the feeding time. They are found mostly in the summer season at colder coastal water which is mostly filed with prey during this season. They are also known as “rorqual whales” because of their long pleats. They breed in winter season in tropical and sub-tropical regions. A male sings songs in these areas to attract female whales. Their gestation is around 11 months and bay humpback whales born in the month of December or April in North Pacific. Baby whale spend around a year with their mother till they become independent. It is believed that the life span of humpback whale is around 48 years but exact life span is still not known.

Where we can find Humpback whales in British Columbia

The best time to see Humpback while is summer, spring. These whales spend most of its winter time at southern warm water in Canada where baby whales are also born. They are mostly found at Northern Vancouver Island, North-western coast of Vancouver Island there is Coal Harbour place, Telegraph Cove, Johnstone Strait and Broughton Archipelago are the places where one can spot humpback whales.

White tailed deer

White-tailed deer

White tailed deer are two meters in length and are one meter tall. They are mostly reddish brown and grey in color. In summer season their back is reddish brown in color and in winter season they are mostly found as greyish brown with white belly. Male deer weights up to 102kg and female deer is around 72 kg in weight. 

Their weight may changes based on the seasons as well as food in the region. Only male deer has antlers and with every year they fall off and a new pair of antlers replaces the old one. Male deer antlers get larger as the age ups. They are found from British Columbia to Nova Scotia region along with southward.

They like areas where there is less snow or not so deep snow so they prefer to live in British Columbia region as it makes them easier to find food on the surface regions. They usually eats grass but there diet varies as the season changes like in summer they prefer to eat grass, green herbs, even agriculture crops. In winter season they eat broken branches of trees which falls on the ground, shrubs like seedling cottonwoods, snowbrush. During the winter season they live together due to the limited areas of food as most of the areas are covered with snow. The male deer use their antlers in breeding season to push away other males. They average life span of white tailed deer is 10 years. During the autumn season they used to mate and a bay deer bon in spring season. Usually twins are born but sometime it can be quadruplets, triples or a single baby deer. They are also a very common source of hunting by Human Beings for their food, antlers.

Where we can find White tailed deer in British Columbia

They are not so easy to found in British Columbia. They are found in Kootenay and Okanagan region majorly in south most part of these regions which is near to US border. They also found at southern Canada to the South America region. They are majorly active during dusk and dawn. They majorly found in summer season as they don’t like winter season much due to shortage of food. 

Great Blue Heron

animals in british columbia Heron

Great Blue Heron are around 60cm in height and their wingspan is of 1.5m. Both male and female are similar. They are tall with long legs and have a crooked neck which is “S” curved in shape. Their beak is yellow and black in color with white color head and face. 

The mature birds have steel blue grey color feathers and tail feather is of dark blue grey in color. As the age grows these feathers extends from the eyes to the back of head along with the chest sides. The young one is grey brown in color from the back. Sometime they are often mistakenly called as “Cranes” due to similar look like Sandhill crane.  During breeding season they found in riparian area, estuaries, lakes and lowland rivers along with streams. In non-breeding season they live on mature trees close to the areas where they can find food. Sometimes they use to live in urban areas too. They create nest on horizontal branches of trees like Black cottonwood, Bigleaf Maple or conifers. They like to eat fish, some amphibians like green frog, American bullfrog. They eat agricultural crops in winter season

Where we can find Great Blue Heron in British Columbia

They are found in lower mainland of British Columbia along with southern part. They found near the coastal areas and swamps regions. There are approximately 6000 great blue herons in British Columbia region. They mostly live in Georgia Depression, coast and mountain regions so it’s better to found in these regions.

Common Loon

animals in british columbia loon

Common loon is also known as Great Northern Diver which is a large family of loon or family of birds. Breeding adults have wide black head, with green, purple or blues color shinning neck, upper parts are black-grey in color. Non breeding adults have dark brown neck with dark grey to brown color head. Males and females both are similar in look but males are heavier than female loon. They live on lakes and other water areas in British Columbia during their breeding season. In winter season they are found near the coast of USA as well as South of Mexico. 

They eat a wide variety of animals like fish, molluscs, and aquatic plants. They used to swallow their hunt under the water where they usually hunt or sometime on the surface too based on the size of animals. They live in nest and both male and females loons prefer to live in nest during the breeding season. Their eggs are olive brown in color with brown spots over it. Both parents incubate the egg about 28 days and they both used to feed their bay loon. Baby loon comes out of egg shell within 70-77 days of time span. Chicks can easily dive under water when they are few days old and they start flying before the winter season or snowfall. They can be easily found in breeding season which is spring and summer season. They are good swimmer and good fish catcher. They can deep dive upto 60m because of their large web feet. They take long run up distance to get speed while flight takes off. During migration time they can swim, dive and can flies upto hundred of kilometre to reach their destinations. Their neck expanded when they fly. They fly with a speed of 120km/hr durning migration time.

Where we can find Common loon in British Columbia

They are mostly seen in the spring and summer season near the lakes and water ways of British Colombia region. They are found in Rocky Mountains, coastal mountains, lakes which are filled with water. 

Canada goose

animals in british columbia goose

They are large wild goose found in British Columbia region. They have black color head, neck with white color cheeks and body is brown in color. They usually found or can be seen during the migration time when they migration across the Atlantic region. They are herbivorous but can sometime eats small fishes or insects and can be found near to fresh water lakes, rivers or coastal regions. 

Sometime they can be found in urban areas because of food and some natural predators. Even in urban areas they can also pick food from bins. Sometimes they can be feed by humans in park like grains, other food stuff. They graze in open filed in urban areas or areas where there is no danger to them from any other predators. Their diet mainly contains green food. They are aggressive in behaviour toward human and other animals. Their average lifespan is of 24 years with a body size of 30-34 inches, wingspan is of 4.2 to 5.6 feet. They weigh 6.6 pounds to 19.8 pounds approximately.

Where we can find Canada goose in British Columbia

It is known as one of the best bird found in British Columbia region. These animals in British Columbia, in winter season, are found at farm fields. They are very common in British Columbia region so can be easily found at migration time (summer season) near the lakes and rivers.

North American Bison

animals in british columbia bison

North American Bison are also named as buffalo and are very large animals. They have thick dark brown color crown of head. They can stand up to 2. Tall and weighs up to a ton. North-eastern region of British Columbia and southern region of Yukon are the major regions where they found. Mainly there are two subspecies of bison one is wood bison and another one is plain bison. The wood bison are somewhat larger and darker in color than plan bison. Their head area is covered with thick hairs which are chocolate brown in color. 

They have long tail which have small tuft of hair at the end. Because of their beard and heavy shoulders their heads directs to downward. Both male and females bison have horn which are black in color, round, short in length and in upward direction. They mostly eat grass but can also eat shrubs, lichens, twig. They have good sense of smell and there head quite powerful in analysing their surrounding environment. As per the wildlife Act, North American bison and their subspecies are marked in red and are to be considered as endangered species or threatened.  

Where we can find North American Bison in British Columbia

These animals in British Columbia of North American bison bound at North-eastern region of British Columbia. Some of them found near the border of Yukon and Alaska region and there is approximately around 1500 bison found in this region. They also found near Pink Mountain, north of Fort St. John.

Trumpeter Swan

swan

Trumpeter swan is of the heaviest native bird in North American region and is one of the largest flying birds in the world. Their wing span is 2.5 meter long and weighs upto 33lbs. They are similar to geese but have bigger necks, feet and are much larger than geese. Swan which are found in British Columbia part have white color feather. 

They have teeth which they use to chew fish and catch fish. Both male and females swans looks very similar but males are larger in length and weighs more than female swan. Baby swan have grey color feathers. They mainly live in fresh water and eats lush vegetation. They live in ponds, marshes, wetland and lakes. They don’t like to live in snow areas but they can easily adapt cold temperature. The thick sheet of feather helps help to bear the cold temperature till -30 degree Celsius. 

Where we can find Trumpeter Swan in British Columbia

These animals in British Columbia majorly found at North-eastern British Columbia. From north and north-western part of British Columbia area they are majorly found. They are also found at Interior Plateau and in Rocky Mountain Trench. 

Summary

Animals in British Columbia: British Columbia is one of the best place where one can find a large variety of wildlife. One of the attractive animals found in this region is Humpback whales who are the key spot for tourists. There are around 1100 species of animals found in this region. Major key things one can do in British Columbia are sighting bears in forest, seeing hand bang sheep who has curved shaped horns, viewing thousands of eagles, sculling with whales,  deep sea diving with salmon, keep an eye of moose. . They have most dense forest which becomes a good shelter source for wildlife, high water falls, and good feeding grounds helps in whale’s habitat. Mule Deer, Elk, Bison can find easily on the roadsides of British Columbia. There are many places in British Columbia where one can see a wide variety of animals like Liard River Hot Springs, Great Bear Rainforest, Stewart/Hyder, Vancouver Island, Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary (Grizzly bear is also found in British Columbia region, also known as one of key spot for visitors). 

If you enoyed reading about animals in British Columbia, take a look at our other North American wildlife feature articles.