Changes in the abundance of wintering waterbirds along the shoreline of Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, between 2001/2002 and 2010/2011

Robyn Worcester

Stanley Park Ecology Society, PO Box 5167, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 4B2; e-mail:

Abstract: Waterbird counts were conducted weekly from October through April in 2001/2002 and 2010/2011 along the seawall of Stanley Park. Overall abundance and peak numbers of most groups of waterbirds were lower in 2010/2011 than in 2001/2002. The difference was most dramatic for loons, grebes including Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis), and Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba). Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) also showed a decrease in numbers between years but Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) did not. The changes observed at Stanley Park are, in general, consistent with those observed in the Strait of Georgia over the same period. This study confirms local knowledge held by naturalists and bird watchers, that there have been declines in many species of wintering waterbirds using Stanley Park’s marine habitat. The changes in abundance of many wintering waterbirds indicate that the ecological integrity of this IBA may be threatened and that habitat conservation and measures to reduce human disturbance are warranted.

Key Words: Stanley Park, waterbirds, English Bay & Burrard Inlet Important Bird Area, Surf Scoter, Melanitta perspicillata, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Bucephala islandica, Western Grebe, Aechmophorus occidentalis, Pigeon Guillemot, Cepphus columba.

PDFicon Worcester, R. 2012. Changes in the abundance of wintering waterbirds along the shoreline of Stanley Park, Vancouver,British Columbia, between 2001/2002 and 2010/2011. British Columbia Birds 23:41-44.

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