Winging it in winter

Delta’s Reifel Bird Sanctuary hosts folks and feathers alike.

Photos by Boaz Joseph / The Leader

It’s cold outside – the perfect season for birdwatching at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island.

Located just a half-hour drive from Surrey, the 300-hectare wetland is a resting stop or home to dozens of species of migrating birds.

While winter bird activity is fairly quiet as birds try to keep warm, visitors to the bird sanctuary can find friendly mallards seeking treats, sandhill cranes and black-capped chickadees which can be fed by hand.

Seeds are available for purchase at Reifel.

Other winter regulars are hawks, eagles, owls, towhees, juncos, and hidden amongst the denser bush and forest, night herons, owls and wood ducks.

The bird sanctuary, which sees about 70,000 visitors each year, has been managed by the non-profit British Columbia Waterfowl Society since 1963.

Reifel is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids and seniors.

To get there, drive west on Highway 10/Ladner Trunk Road through Highway 17A. Keep going west through Ladner, where the road becomes River Road West. Follow the curve south and turn right and go over the bridge at Westham Island Road. Follow the signs until the bird sanctuary.

See the map below.

For more information, call 604-946-6980 or visit reifelbirdsanctuary.com

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