VARC operates with a wide open door policy regarding public visitation but
due to the number of individual and group visits we ask that all visits be scheduled in advance. This is
also to address
potential liability issues in the area in which we are banding. Large group visits are
typically scheduled well in advance.
When visiting the
station visitors are invited to observe the banding, ask questions
and take photographs and hold and release birds under the close
supervision of the Bander-in-charge.
Visitors are not permitted to walk the net lanes,
unless invited and attended by the station Bander-in-charge.
Visitors often are invited to walk the net lanes during net checks,
but only on a case by case basis, depending on the volume of birds
being processed, the number of visitors, and weather conditions. The
safety and welfare of every bird is always our top priority at all
Please keep in mind
that the station is operational Thursday through Sunday from April
1st - October 31st and at weekends only during the winter months
(November - March).
Full details of
site visits together with directions to the station can be found in
our site visit overview brochure by clicking here.
information or to schedule a visit, please
field station is in Colony Farm Regional Park (Park), a 404
hectare park consisting in part of old field habitat which
is unique in the lower mainland of Vancouver. The park is
managed by MetroVancouver (MV) who are developing and
implementing a sustainability plan for the park to integrate
sustainable food systems, wildlife, recreation and
community. With more than 345,000 visitors a year it is one
of the busiest parks in the Vancouver Regional Parks system.
The banding station is located in the wildlife designated
fields known as Wilson’s Farm North.
In 2011 MV implemented a Tidal Flow Restoration and Habitat
Enhancement Project as part of the Port Mann/Highway 1
Improvement (PMH1) Project, under the Province’s Gateway
Program, which will improve roads and bridges for people,
goods and transit throughout Metro Vancouver. As part of the
PMH1 Project, significant wetland and riparian habitat
restoration/enhancement was implemented within the park. The
habitat enhancements undertaken in the Wilson’s Farm area
were designed to benefit overall ecological diversity while
still protecting the old-field habitat important for
breeding and migratory birds.
Wilson’s Farm is an area within the Park that was
historically farmed and is important habitat for a variety
of birds and other wildlife. The old-fields and hedgerows
provide habitat for a wide diversity of birds including
locally rare and uncommon species such as Great Blue Heron
(Ardea herodias), Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena),
Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor), Eastern Kingbird
(Tyrannus tyrannus) and Western Kingbird (Tyrannus
verticalis). The avifauna within the region is
particularly rich with a total of more than 400 species of
birds documented, 250 of which occur annually.