Things to Do in Pender Harbour & Egmont Areas

Wildlife Viewing and Bird Watching


Deer are common everywhere and easy to spot. Best to find them in quieter areas, as well as trying to cross the highway, so please drive carefully!  Roosevelt Elk are also residents of the area. Grizzly bears are uncommon, but there are lots of Black bears in the area. Coyotes are common as well, but not wolves. Cougars can be spotted on top of ledges and trees. For information on how to stay safe and how to react to wildlife species encountered while hiking, please click here.


​Sometimes Pacific whitesided dolphins enter Pender Harbour with Orca whales chasing them. These dolphins are also spotted regularly crossing the Skookumchuck Rapids and spending the summer fishing in Sechelt Inlet. Find Steller sealions and Harbour seals hauled out on the islets at the entrance to Pender Harbour and Egmont. Grey and Humpback whales have also been spotted in the area. Watch this slideshow to see what marine mammals to spot here.


Many species of birds are found in our temperate rainforests,. Some of the most commonly spotted bird species include Hummingbirds, Ravens, Thrushes, Finches, Woodpeckers, Owls and songbirds. Pack a pair of binoculars everywhere you go around here, and always listen for bird songs to know what birds is nearby and where to look.


With so much protected coastline and an abundance of fish. there are many marine bird species that we commonly spot in Pender Harbour and Egmont. Seagulls, Goldeneyes, Kingfishers, Herons, Oystercatchers, Merganzers, Osprey Eagles and so many others species that are easily identifyable by their calls.

Birders will enjoy watching for the many large raptors that make Pender Harbour their home or temporary resting place, including bald eagles, golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, and some more elusive owl species like the great western owl.

Other bird species to watch for include ravens, woodpeckers, flickers, finches, stellar jays, and many more.

Hummingbirds are also a treat to behold, with the purple-throated Anna’s Hummingbirds often overwintering here, and Rufous hummingbirds arriving in large numbers in early spring.

Numerous waterfowl visit both our saltwater and freshwater habitats. Species include great blue herons, black cormorants, Marbled Murrelets (endangered), common loons, black oyster catchers, plus many species of ducks, including merganser, mallards, goldeneyes, wigeons, ring-necks, harlequins, buffleheads, and scoters, to name just a few.

Sea stars at Baker Beach Photo by Camp Cutthroat Creative

In our lakes, you may come across the Western Painted Turtle, a species at risk that is currently part of a conservation project. Sandy nursing beds are located at the roadside by Garden Bay Lake and Lillies Lake (on the highway) in an effort to prevent turtle fatalities on the roads. Information panels with more details are at each location.

If you’re lucky, you may also spot one of our many beavers, which like to make their homes in some of the low-lying swampy areas.

Amphibian & reptile lovers should also keep an eye out for some of the many types of garter snakes that like to sun themselves on rocks (and unfortunately roads) during summer months, as well as Northwestern alligator lizards, salamanders, newts, and the Pacific tree frog, among many other species.

The area is also a healthy habitat for insects in the summer, including a wide variety of sparkling dragonflies and damselflies, butterflies, bumblebees, mason bees, and honey bees, lacewings, beetles, and many more wonderful creepy crawlies. (Including mosquitos and the odd blackfly or two, unfortunately.)
Take a boat ride and keep your eyes peeled for some of the many marine species in the area, including harbour seals, porpoises, sea otters, and more.
If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of some of the transient whales that migrate through the area in spring and fall, including orcas and humpbacks.

Spawning salmon. Photo by Brian Lee

From March to November, black bears can be seen in many areas. Hikers should make noise (talk, whistle, clap) to avoid bumping into bears unexpectedly. Most bears will avoid people if they hear you coming.  (Read more about bear safety at the BC Parks website.)

Also keep your eyes open for the local but shy bobcats and lynx, the odd cougar travelling through the area, and some of the many coyotes.

In the ocean at low tide, you can see many species of sea stars, anemones, mussels, clams, oysters, barnacles, crabs, snails, and other shellfish species. If you are on a dock, look down and let your eyes adjust to the watery depths — you’ll soon be seeing stars!

Seal on rocks in Pender Harbour Photo by Brian Lee

Western Painted Turtle, Mixal Lake. Photo by Camp Cutthroat Creative

Otter snacking at Fearny Point at low tide. Photo by Camp Cutthroat Creative

In mid-October to November, visit any of the local streams for an up- close look at some of the salmon spawning in the area.

An easy-to-access viewpoint is at John Daly Park (Anderson Creek) just off Garden Bay Rd (5930 Roosen Rd.), with a viewing platform that provides the ultimate stage for the salmon’s yearly struggle.

​(Please note: spawning salmon can attract other wildlife. Watch for bears, coyotes, bobcats, eagles, and other animals.)