Conference and AGM: 24 – 26 June 2022 Smithers, B.C.


Location: Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge & Conference Centre
3251 East Highway 16, Smithers, B.C.V0J 2N0

Friday, June 24

Registration and Social: 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge, Cascade Room. Pick up your conference package, socialize with fellow birders and confirm your trip selections for Saturday morning. There will be appetizers and a cash bar.

Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26

Location: Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge, Cascade Room.

Breakfast: 5:30 AM to 6:00 AM, prior to field trips.

Lunch: 12:00 to 1:00 PM

Conference Field Trips (Saturday and Sunday) 6:15 AM departures from the Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge.

Field Trip Selection and Waiver Forms
Field Trip Selections for the morning of June 25 will be made during registration on Friday, June 24 at 5:00 PM. At the same time, you will be asked to complete your conference waiver form and review the BCFO Code of Ethics. Signup sheets for the Sunday morning field trips will be available just after the AGM.

Vallee Lake Wetland Trail: (New addition to field trips) Frank McDonald will be leading a field trip to the Vallee Lake Trail and Wetland, an area where 111 species of birds have been recorded. A level and open approach to the wetland may find Western Wood Pewee, as well as Dusky and Olive-sided Flycatcher.The lake has an active Bald Eagle nest and probable sightings of Osprey and Common Loon. Canada Geese nest in the area with Blue-winged Teal and Ring-necked Duck. As the trail progresses through the forest along the lakeside Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglet may be detected foraging high in the trees, Pacific Wren heard singing in the understory with Northern Waterthrush and Common Yellowthroat occurring near the lake. Pileated Woodpeckers frequent this area. The lake has a viewing platform for observing waterfowl and mammals such as beaver and muskrat. As the trail crosses the wetland on the first boardwalk American Redstart, Yellow Warbler, Cedar Waxwing and Tree Swallow are commonly seen. Wilson’s Snipe, Sora and Virginia Rail may be detected at the east side of the wetland. A short trail further north may yield Orange-crowned Warbler and Lincoln’s Sparrow. A boardwalk crosses the wetland to the west side where Varied, Swainson’s and Hermit Thrush are commonly heard and Western Tanager may be found. Throughout the trip, Red-winged Blackbirds are constant companions, Ruffed Grouse are common and a Great Horned Owl may be encountered. 

Hudson Bay Mountain: Alpine meadows are accessible from a trail that is steep above the parking lot before opening to rolling terrain as the trail continues towards Crater Lake. Bird species such as Willow, Rock and White-tailed Ptarmigan as well as Gray-crowned Rosy Finch, Horned Lark, Lapland Longspur and American Pipit may be found. Below timberline will yield Clark’s Nutcracker, Spruce Grouse, Boreal and Mountain Chickadee, Pine Grosbeak, Red and White-winged Crossbill and Hermit Thrush. The boreal forest may also yield American Three-toed and Black-backed Woodpeckers, and Northern Goshawk and Golden Eagle are a possibility. Probable sightings of mammals include Mountain Goats and marmots. A wetland en route to the mountain will be checked for Blackpoll Warbler.

The Bluff Trails: The field trip begins with a 500 meter boardwalk traversing a willow thicket wetland rich in warblers such as MacGillivray’s and Yellow Warbler as well as American Redstart and Common Yellowthroat. The trail ascends to an aspen forest with birds such as White-throated Sparrow, Least Flycatcher and Western Tanager. The trail ends up in mixed deciduous and conifer forest with birds such as Magnolia Warbler, Cassin’s Vireo, Golden-crowned Kinglet and Pacific Wren. The morning will finish with a trip to a wetland which will add Sora, swallows, more warblers and Red-winged Blackbird.

Telkwa High Road to Tyhee Lake Provincial Park: Discover Calliope Hummingbird and Lazuli Bunting en route to the park with a varied list of ducks, grebes and loons as well as Bonaparte’s Gull. The aspen forests and alder thickets may reveal Yellow Warbler and American Redstart, Red and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Alder, Least and Dusky Flycatcher, White-throated and Lincoln’s Sparrow.
Pacific Wetland Trail has an extensive list of warblers including Blackpoll and Tennessee Warbler, and Northern Waterthrush. Sparrows include White-throated and Lincoln’s with a wide variety of Flycatchers including Willow, Dusky, Least, Alder and Olive-sided Flycatcher. The Riverfront Park on the Bulkley River is another destination that has recorded Northern Shrike, American Bittern, Sora, Red-eyed Vireo and Magnolia Warbler.
The Malkow Lookout Trail is 3 km long hike through pastureland and mature aspen forest, ending in mountain and valley views of the region. Lazuli Buntings may be seen in the fields, and Dusky Grouse can be found at the summit.

A special tour of the Suskwa River Valley southeast of New Hazelton will be led by Ray Sturney on Sunday. The wide, high elevation valley has lakes and wetlands, forest and a four year old burn that will yield a diverse species list of birds. Mountain and Boreal Chickadee, Fox Sparrow, Black-backed Woodpecker, Townsend’s Solitaire and Golden-crowned Sparrow inhabit the valley, and with luck a Northern Hawk Owl is possible. The mixed forest and wetlands valley is rich in warblers including Tennessee, Yellow, Wilson’s and Blackpoll as well as Orange-crowned Warbler. You will be surrounded by forest at the base of the Skilokis Mountain range in an area unknown to most birders.

Photo: George Clulow

If possible, and with with sufficient interest from delegates, a wetlands canoe trip may be arranged for Sunday morning.

Field Trip Leaders

Ken White, who has birded Smithers for 25 years and internationally for 45 will be one of our field trip leaders. He has been involved with Christmas Bird Counts and conducted the local Breeding Bird Survey since 2004.
Alex Woods was a research forest pathologist for the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources. He has a lifelong interest in natural history and birding and many years of Christmas Bird Counts.
Mel and Evi Coulson conduct birding trips for the Bulkley Valley Naturalists. Mel initiated the Beginner’s Guide series for learning bird song with the Beginner’s Guide to Bulkley Valley Bird Song. He later teamed up with John Neville to produce the “Beginner’s Guide to B.C. Bird Song and the Beginner’s Guide to North American Bird Song.

Frank McDonald has spent his entire life in the wilderness, with extensive experience as a wilderness guide leading multi-day backpacking trips and over twenty years with Search and Rescue. 

Saturday, June 25

Morning field trips depart 6:15

Lunch 12 to 1:00 pm

Afternoon Speakers: 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Frank Doyle: Harvesting for Goshawks
Curt Gesch: Habitat restoration for birds on farmland.

Annual General Meeting: 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM

Social with Cash Bar: 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Banquet: 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Keynote Speaker, Michael Kawerninski: Birds of the Bulkley Valley

Sunday, June 26

Morning field trips depart 6:15 am

Lunch 12:00 to 1:00 pm



Pre-Conference Extension Trip to Terrace and Kitimat
June 22 to 24, 2022

Note: Your accommodation in Terrace should be booked for the nights of June 21, 22 and 23.

Pre-Conference Extension Trip to Terrace and Kitimat June 22 to 24, 2022

Walter Thorne and Diane Weismiller will be our guides for the pre-conference extension trip. Walter conducts a Breeding Bird Survey in the Kitimat region and the B.C. Coastal Waterbird Survey at MK Bay. He is the Northern Clubs co-ordinator and is on the Education Committee of B.C. Nature, as well as a director of the Kitimat Valley Naturalist Club. Diane started birding in 1970 and has been the compiler of the Terrace Christmas Bird Count since 1973. She has conducted the local Kwinitsa Breeding Bird Survey since 1974.

Pre-conference participants will be based in Terrace. Field trips will begin early on the morning of June 22.

Ferry Island is located in the Skeena River with park trails where we may find Black-backed Woodpecker, Merlin, Veery, Alder Flycatcher and a good variety of warblers including Magnolia Warbler. New Remo is a local birding hotspot on the Skeena River with waterfowl, shorebirds, a good variety of warblers and Alder and Least Flycatchers. Rusty Blackbird has been recorded, as well as Northern Goshawk. Exchamsiks River Provincial Park is 50 km west of Terrace with a short nature trail through old growth Sitka Spruce forest and Kasiks Wilderness Resort is 5 km further with a lunch stop in old growth forest. Lakelse Lake Provincial Park is another site with waterfowl which may include Red-necked Phalarope.

The estuaries near Kitimat are rich in birdlife with the possibility of grizzly and whale sightings from the beach flats at Elmsley Cove. MK Bay, Kitimaat Village, Minette Bay and Magee point are birding locations with many species of ducks, shorebirds, grebes and alcids including Long-tailed Duck and Marbled Murrelet. Walter confirmed a first Canadian record of a Grey-tailed Tattler at Minette Bay on June 23, 2020.

Ross Lake Provincial Park near Hazelton will be a stop en route to Smithers. The lake has a wide variety of ducks, grebes, loons, gulls and shorebirds with the possibility of uncommon species such as Rusty Blackbird, Say’s Phoebe, Townsend’s Solitaire, and Golden Eagle.

For information, registration and payment go to the Pre-Conference Extension Trip page. This page opens at 9:00 am, April 4.

Cost for Extension Trip: $150.00 per person not including accommodation


Holiday Inn Express and Suites
3059 Highway 16 East, Thornhill, Terrace (778) 634-3977

The Lodge at Skeena Landing
4035 Motz Road, Thornhill, Terrace (250) 638-0444

These locations are convenient to the guide residence.