British Columbia Wildlife Watch - Iona Island Bird Checklist
copyright © A.L. Mol  2003
Binoculars Bird

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277 species
compiled by Rick Toochin
printed 11/94

. . . other viewing opportunities at Iona Island
. . . more information on Iona Island
. . . list of available bird checklists

  May 2002 - The taxonomic order, common names and four-letter codes included in this web version of the Iona Island Bird Checklist published in 1994 have been updated using the 7th edition of the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) Check-List of North American Birds (AOU 1998) and its supplement (AOU 2000).

Bird Tracks

The following is a list of the bird species that have been observed at Iona Island. The status of each species is indicated by an abundance level in each of four seasons. The standard four letter code is shown for each species.

The checklist area includes Iona Beach Regional Park and 1200 hectares of surrounding intertidal foreshore. The checklist area is all of Iona Island, including the immediate waters around the Iona South (often called the"West") Jetty, the North Arm Jetty, a portion of the North Arm of the Fraser River, McDonald Slough, and the Iona-Sea Island Causeway which joins Iona and Sea Islands. The checklist area does not include Sea Island.

Hypothetical List: There are species believed to have been correctly identified, but lack satisfactory documentation by either a specimen, an identifiable photograph, or a convincing field description. This list includes Sooty/Short-tailed Shearwater, Swainson's Hawk, Common Ringed Plover, Temminck's Stint, Long-toed Stint, Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Laughing Gull, Slaty-backed Gull, Tufted Puffin, Red-throated Pipit, White Wagtail, Black-backed/White Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Clay-colored Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Baird's Sparrow and Cassin's Finch.

Recommended Birding Areas

Explanation of Symbols

Seasonal Occurrence
Sp = Spring including spring migrants (generally March through early June)
S = Summer resident; including spring arrival and fall departure
F = Fall, including fall migrants (generally July through November)
W = Winter resident; including fall arrival and spring departure

Relative Abundance
a = abundant [100 or more per day]
c = common [25 to 100 per day]
f = fairly common [5 to 25 per day]
u = uncommon [1 to 5 per day, with at least 10 records per year]
r = rare, but regular [1 to 10 records per year]
ca = casual [2 to 10 documented records in checklist area]
ac = accidental [only 1 documented record in checklist area during the specified season]
1 = erratic/irregular [numbers fluctuate yearly from abundant to absent]

Other Symbols
* = species has been documented breeding in the checklist area
[I] = introduced species [present more than 10 years]
[X] = extirpated [once present but no longer found in checklist area]
(#) = the total number of documented sightings in checklist area of a casual or accidental species
+ = species requires more information within the checklist area to access its status accurately

Code * Species Spring Summer Fall Winter







RTLO
Red-throated Loon c r c f
PALO
Pacific Loon f ca f u
COLO
Common Loon c u c f
YBLO
Yellow-billed Loon (6) +
ac ca ca







PBGR * Pied-billed Grebe u u u u
HOGR
Horned Grebe c r c c
RNGR
Red-necked Grebe c r c f
EAGR
Eared Grebe r ca r r
WEGR
Western Grebe c r c a
CLGR
Clark's Grebe (3)

ac ca







AMPE
American White Pelican (4)
ca ca







DCCO * Double-crested Cormorant c c c f
BRCO
Brandt's Cormorant r ca r r
PECO
Pelagic Cormorant u u u u







AMBI * American Bittern u u u u
GBHE
Great Blue Heron c c c c
GREG
Great Egret (1)
ac

CAEG
Cattle Egret (3)

ca
GRHE
Green Heron r u u ca
BCNH
Black-crowned Night-Heron (7) + ca ca ca ca







TUVU
Turkey Vulture
r u







GWFG
Greater White-fronted Goose u ca u r
SNGO
Snow Goose c ac u r
ROGO
Ross's Goose (2) ac
ac
CAGO * Canada Goose c c c c
BRAN
Brant r r r r
MUSW
Mute Swan [I] (2) ac

ac
TRUS
Trumpeter Swan r
r r
TUSW
Tundra Swan r ca r r
WODU
Wood Duck + r r
ca
GADW * Gadwall c f c c
EUWI
Eurasian Wigeon r ac r u
AMWI * American Wigeon c u c c
ABDU
American Black Duck [I] (3)


ca
MALL * Mallard c c c a
BTWE * Blue-winged Teal f f f
CITE * Cinnamon Teal f f f ca
NOSL * Northern Shoveler c u c f
NOPI * Northern Pintail c u c a
GARG
Garganey (4) ac ca ac
GWTE * Green-winged Teal a u a a
CANV
Canvasback c ca c c
REDH
Redhead r r r r
RNDU
Ring-necked Duck r r r u
TUDU
Tufted Duck r ca r r
GRSC
Greater Scaup c u c a
LESC
Lesser Scaup c u c c
KIEI
King Eider (2)

ac ac
HARL
Harlequin Duck + r ca r r
SUSC
Surf Scoter c f c a
WWSC
White-winged Scoter r u r r
BLSC
Black Scoter u r u f
LTDU
Long-tailed Duck c r c f
BUFF
Bufflehead c ca c c
COGO
Common Goldeneye c r c c
BAGO
Barrow's Goldeneye c r c c
HOME
Hooded Merganser u r u f
COME
Common Merganser c u c c
RBME
Red-breasted Merganser c ca c c
RUDU * Ruddy Duck c r c c







OSPR
Osprey r r r ac
BAEA
Bald Eagle f u f f
NOHA
Northern Harrier u u u u
SSHA
Sharp-shinned Hawk u r u u
COHA
Cooper's Hawk u r u u
NOGO
Northern Goshawk r
r r
RTHA * Red-tailed Hawk f f f f
RLHA
Rough-legged Hawk u
u u
GOEA
Golden Eagle (4) ac
ca ac







AMKE
American Kestrel u r u r
MERL
Merlin r r r u
PEFA
Peregrine Falcon r r r u
GYRF
Gyrfalcon


r







RNPH * Ring-necked Pheasant [I] u u u u
RUGR * Ruffed Grouse (3)

ca







VIRA * Virginia Rail r r r r
SORA * Sora u f u
COMO
Common Moorhen (1) ac


AMCO * American Coot f u f f







SACR
Sandhill Crane (6) ca
ca







BBPL
Black-bellied Plover c r c f
AGPL
American Golden-Plover r ca r
PGPL
Pacific Golden-Plover + r
r ac
SNPL
Snowy Plover (2) ac ac

SEPL * Semipalmated Plover f r f ac
KILL * Killdeer f f f u







BLOY
Black Oystercatcher (6) ca ac
ca







BNST
Black-necked Stilt (1) ac


AMAV
American Avocet ca r ca ac







GRYE
Greater Yellowlegs c r c u
LEYE
Lesser Yellowlegs u r c ca
SOSA
Solitary Sandpiper r
r
WILL
Willet ac r ca ac
WATA
Wandering Tattler ca
r
SPSA * Spotted Sandpiper f f f ca
UPSA
Upland Sandpiper (4)

ca
WHIM
Whimbrel u r u ac
LBCU
Long-billed Curlew r ca r
HUGO
Hudsonian Godwit ca ca r
MAGO
Marbled Godwit ca ca r
RUTU
Ruddy Turnstone r ca r
BLTU
Black Turnstone r ca r u
SURF
Surfbird r
r r
REKN
Red Knot r ca r ac
SAND
Sanderling c r c c
SESA
Semipalmated Sandpiper r ca f
WESA
Western Sandpiper a u a r
RNST
Red-necked Stint (2)
ac ca
LIST
Little Stint (2)
ac ac
LESA
Least Sandpiper c u c ca
WRSA
White-rumped Sandpiper (6)
ac ca
BASA
Baird's Sandpiper r
f
PESA
Pectoral Sandpiper r ca c
SHSA
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

u ac
ROSA
Rock Sandpiper r
r r
DUNL
Dunlin a r a f
CUSA
Curlew Sandpiper (5)

ca
STSA
Stilt Sandpiper ca ac r
SBSA
Spoonbill Sandpiper (1)

ac
BBSA
Buff-breasted Sandpiper

r
RUFF
Ruff ca ca r
SBDO
Short-billed Dowitcher c r u
LBDO
Long-billed Dowitcher f u a r
COSN
Common Snipe u r u f
WIPH * Wilson's Phalarope u u u
RNPL
Red-necked Phalarope r ca u
REPH
Red Phalarope (2)

ca







POJA
Pomarine Jaeger (2) +

ca
PAJA
Parasitic Jaeger r ca u
LTJA
Long-tailed Jaeger (4)
ac ca
FRGU
Franklin's Gull ca ca r ac
LIGU
Little Gull (11) ac ca ca
BHGU
Black-headed Gull (1)

ac
BOGU
Bonaparte's Gull c f c r
HEEG
Heermann's Gull (3)
ac ca
MEGU
Mew Gull c r c a
RBGU
Ring-billed Gull f f f f
CAGU
California Gull f f f u
HEGU
Herring Gull u ca u u
THGU
Thayer's Gull c ca c f
ICGU
Iceland Gull (2)


ca
WEGU
Western Gull r ca r r
GWGU * Glaucous-winged Gull a a a a
GLGU
Glaucous Gull (6) + ca

ca
BLKI
Black-legged Kittiwake (11) ca ac ca ac
SAGU>
Sabine's Gull (7) ca ac ca ac
CATE
Caspian Tern f f f
COTE
Common Tern c r c
ARTE
Arctic Tern (7) + ac ac ca
FOTE
Forster's Tern (6)
ca ca
BLTE
Black Tern r r r







COMU
Common Murre f r f f
PIGU
Pigeon Guillemot f f f u
MAMU
Marbled Murrelet f f f f
ANMU
Ancient Murrelet r
r r
RHAU
Rhinoceros Auklet r r r ca







RODO * Rock Dove [I] c c c c
BTPI
Band-tailed Pigeon r r r r
MODO
Mourning Dove r r r r







BNOW * Barn Owl u u u u







GHOW
Great Horned Owl (1)


ac
SNOW
Snowy Owl u

u
BUOW
Burrowing Owl (8) ca
ca ca
LEOW
Long-eared Owl (3) ac
ac ac
SEOW
Short-eared Owl r r r f
NSWO
Northern Saw-whet Owl (2)


ca







CONI * Common Nighthawk
r r







BLSW
Black Swift f f f
VASW
Vaux's Swift f f f







ANHU
Anna's Hummingbird (1) ac


RUHU
Rufous Hummingbird c f f







BEKI * Belted Kingfisher u u u u







RBSA
Red-breasted Sapsucker (1)


ac
DOWO
Downy Woodpecker r r r r
HAWO
Hairy Woodpecker (4)


ca
NOFL
Northern Flicker f ca f u
PIWO
Pileated Woodpecker (1)

ac







OSFL
Olive-sided Flycatcher + r ca r
WWPE
Western Wood-Pewee r
r
WIFL * Willow Flycatcher u u u
LEFL
Least Flycatcher (1)
ac

HAFL
Hammond's Flycatcher + r
r
PSFL
Pacific-slope Flycatcher + r
r
EAPH
Eastern Phoebe ac


SAPH
Say's Phoebe (4) ca
ca
TRKI
Tropical Kingbird (1)

ac
WEKI
Western Kingbird
r ac
EAKI
Eastern Kingbird
r

STFL
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (1)
ac








NOSH
Northern Shrike u
u u
LOSH
Loggerhead Shrike (3) ca

ac







CAVI
Cassin's Vireo + r
r
HUVI
Hutton's Vireo (1)


ac
WAVI
Warbling Vireo + u
u
REVI
Red-eyed Vireo (3) +

ca







STJA
Steller's Jay + r
r r
BBMA
Black-billed Magpie (1)

ac
NOCR * Northwestern Crow a a a a
CORA
Common Raven u u u u







HOLA
Horned Lark r
r r







PUMA
Purple Martin (5) ca ca ac
TRSW * Tree Swallow a c r
VGSW * Violet-green Swallow a c r
NRWS * Northern Rough-winged Swallow c f c
BKSW
Bank Swallow r ca u
BASW * Barn Swallow c c c r
CLSW * Cliff Swallow c c c ac







BCCH * Black-capped Chickadee u u u u
CBCH
Chestnut-backed Chickadee (1)


ac







BUSH * Bushtit r r r r







RBNU
Red-breasted Nuthatch (2)


ca







BRCR
Brown Creeper (2)


ca







BEWR
Bewick's Wren u u u u
HOWR
House Wren (1)

ac
WIWR
Winter Wren r
r r
MAWR * Marsh Wren f f f f







AMDI
American Dipper (1)


ac







GCKI
Golden-crowned Kinglet f ca f u
RCKI
Ruby-crowned Kinglet f
f r







WEBL
Western Bluebird (1)

ac
MOBL
Mountain Bluebird (6) ca


TOSO
Townsend's Solitaire (4) ca
ca
SWTH
Swainson's Thrush u
u
HETH
Hermit Thrush u
u ca
AMRO * American Robin c c c f
VATH
Varied Thrush r
r ca







GRCA
Gray Catbird (1)
ac

SATH
Sage Thrasher (1) ac









EUST * European Starling [I] a a a a
CRMY * Crested Myna [I] [X] r r r r







AMPI
American Pipit c r c r







BOWA
Bohemian Waxwing (2)

ac ac
CEWA * Cedar Waxwing c c c r







OCWA
Orange-crowned Warbler c u c
NAWA
Nashville Warbler + ca
ca
YEWA * Yellow Warbler f f f
YRWA
Yellow-rumped Warbler c
c u
BTGW
Black-throated Gray Warbler (5) + ca
ca
TOWA
Townsend's Warbler (5) + ca
ca
PAWA
Palm Warbler (3)

ca ac
MACW
MacGillivray's Warbler + r
r
COYE * Common Yellowthroat c c c ca
WIWA
Wilson's Warbler u
u







WETA
Western Tanager (2) +

ca







SPTO * Spotted Towhee u u u u
ATSP
American Tree Sparrow r
r r
CHSP
Chipping Sparrow r ca r
VESP
Vesper Sparrow (2)
ac ac
SAVS * Savannah Sparrow a c a r
FOSP
Fox Sparrow u
u c
SOSP * Song Sparrow f r f a
LISP
Lincoln's Sparrow f ca f r
SWSP
Swamp Sparrow (4)

ac ca
WTSP
White-throated Sparrow (2)

ca r
HASP
Harris's Sparrow (5)

ca ca
WCSP * White-crowned Sparrow c c c c
GCSP
Golden-crowned Sparrow c ca c f
DEJU
Dark-eyed Junco r
r u
LALO
Lapland Longspur u ca u r
SNBU
Snow Bunting r
f u







BHGR * Black-headed Grosbeak u u u
LZBU
Lazuli Bunting (1)
ac








BOBO
Bobolink (8) ca ca ac
RWBL * Red-winged Blackbird c c c c
WEME * Western Meadowlark u ca u u
YHBL * Yellow-headed Blackbird u u r ca
RUBL
Rusty Blackbird (3)

ca
BRBL * Brewer's Blackbird c c c c
BHCO * Brown-headed Cowbird c c c r
BUOR
Bullock's Oriole (5) ac ca ac







PUFI
Purple Finch r r r r
HOFI * House Finch c c c c
RECR
Red Crossbill i i i i
CORE
Common Redpoll (2)


ca
PISI
Pine Siskin c u c r
AMGO * American Goldfinch f f f r
EVGR
Evening Grosbeak + r
r u







HOSP * House Sparrow [I] r r r r

Recommended Birding Areas

Even though birding anywhere at Iona Island can be both rewarding and fun, the following locations have been proven to be the best. Please note that the area behind and east of the sewage treatment plant is not open to the public.

Iona Causeway: This land bridge connecting Iona and Sea Islands is good for shorebirds, gulls and even passerines during migration. The best time to look is an hour before to an hour after high tide.

McDonald Slough: Located on the east side of the Iona Causeway, this area is excellent for grebes, goldeneyes, roosting gulls, and the occasional Peregrine Falcon sitting on the log booms.

Old Outflow Channel: Located just past the large yellow gate when first entering the park. rare species, such as Tufted Duck, have been reported here during the winter months. During the migration periods shorebirds, gulls and passerines may be seen on a regular basis.

Gate Parking Lot: Located just past the yellow entrance gate, this bramble, grassy edge and broom habitat is a reliable place for sparrows, warblers, funches and other small passerines, especially during migration.

Inner Ponds: These ponds are located inside the surrounding fence on the west side of Iona Island. Vagrants such as Spoonbill Sandpiper, Rufous-necked Stint, Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper have been found here.

Outer Ponds: Located by the outer parking lot on the far west side of Iona Island, this is an excellent place for waterfowl, and annually produces Tufted Duck in the winter season.

Iona South Jetty: This man-made jetty is 4 km one way and is an excellent place to view water birds such as loons, grebes, ducks and gulls. In the fall months it is one of the best spots in Vancouver to view species like Wandering Tattler, Lapland Longspur, Horned Lark and Snow Bunting.

Iona Bay: This is the bay between the two jetties. It is excellent for waterbirds and shorebirds, with the tide determining the number observed.

North Arm Jetty: The habitat of this jetty is excellent for viewing passerines during both migration periods. During the summer, Common Nighthawks can be found flying during the twilight hours. The entire jetty is immense, and is a good day hike in itself. Shorebirds, gulls and many other bird species may be observed.

Outer Parking Lot: Located along the west side of the Outer Ponds. The long grass and broom habitats are good places to find sparrows and other small passerine species year round.

Fraser River Log Booms: The log boom area runs the entire north side of the island. The log booms are an excellent place to look for roosting gulls.

Treatment Plant Red Alder Woods: Located just east of the Treatment Plant parking lot, this area is the best placefor small birds such as warblers, flycatchers and other passerines. It is most productive during both migration periods.