THE MOST EASILY SPOTTED URBAN ANIMALS OF VANCOUVER
It seems hard to believe that there is so much wildlife within Vancouver and the surrounding areas that it surprises many of our guests who come to stay with us at the Sunset. The most easily spotted creatures are undoubtedly the city Squirrels, Crows, Birds of Prey and then the Skunks! We will break down the most popular animals that can be spotted around the city and at this time of year there are plenty of critters to spot out there!
The most common squirrel in urban B.C., the Eastern Grey Squirrel, is actually an import from eastern Canada which was released into Stanley Park in 1909.
They were then introduced to Vancouver Island in 1966. Eastern Grey Squirrels are much larger than native squirrels, are either grey or black in colour, and flourish in urban environments.
Notoriously famous for their distinctive bushy tail, black colour with white stripes and of course their smell if perturbed Skunks are everywhere throughout Vancouver- it does surprise many of our visitors as it is not an animal you would expect to reside in the city, but reside here they do and are guaranteed to be spotted everywhere especially after dark.
As well as the Skunks – you could easily say that these are their cousins or nemesis of the skunks, you will likely see just as many of these creatures as you would of them. Famous for their bandit like stripe across their eyes these cuties are one of the most intelligent urban species just getting by day to day just like us. Do not be surprised to see them anywhere in the city, sometimes you will even catch them down by the sea fishing or just enjoying a bathe!
Crows, Bald Eagles & the Great Blue Heron
Crows are everywhere in the city and love them or loathe them they really are a fabric of the Vancouver society. They get a special mention as the crows are easily spotted when they are travelling too and from their roost in the Burnaby area around Sunrise and Sunset, we mention this as it is one of the largest and most spectacular murder of Crows around and if you can see it you will certainly not forget it, this so called train of Crows can add up to a few thousand so keep your eyes out for this daily occurrence. Click here for footage over Commercial Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QuEjaG4Ghs
Canuck The Crow – By far one of the most recognizable Crows in Vancouver is a special little guy called Canuck – found on the ground when he was just a hatchling he was found by a passer by who helped nurse Canuck back to health and ever since Canuck has not left his rescuer side in the neighbourhood where both reside. Canauck has made quite a name for himself over the last few years so be surfe to check him out and his escapades…
Bald Eagles are also everywhere and the best time to catch them is in the Spring and early Summer during Fledgling season although they can be spotted all year round. Vancouver is a prime area for spotting all kinds of Birds of Prey as we are lucky enough to be located in one of the busy migratory paths for these mighty and majestic birds.
In the 1960s only two pairs of bald eagles were nesting in the City of Vancouver – one pair in Stanley Park and one near UBC.
These large aerial predators nest in the forests of Stanley Park and throughout the greater Vancouver area and beyond, also they can be found in large trees on the waterfront. From their nests they overlook soccer and baseball games, arts venues, parking lots, picnics, houses and streets.
Stanley Park is home to one of the largest urban Great Blue Heron colonies in North America. They have been nesting at their current location behind the Tennis Courts at 2099 Beach Avenue since 2001 and have been documented nesting in various other locations in Stanley Park as far back as 1921. Today, sightings of these majestic birds in and around the park are common place.
You will certainly see them at the Waters edge picking for fish and you can actually get very very close to them if you are quiet and still, it is quite the sight to watch them as they effortlessly pick out the fish. We encourage every one to check out the Herons at the Tennis courts as it is a breathtaking site to witness. The best time of year to see them nesting is during Spring and early Summer!
For further information on the local wildlife check out the Stanley Park Ecological Society website: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/