Tourism Richmond and various communities in B.C. have jointly launched a mobile app for novice birders through the BC Bird Trail project.
The project was launched in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic to promote birding across the province.
Ceri Chong, destination and industry development at Tourism Richmond, said birding has been a growing interest in Richmond and the project aims to help those who are new to the hobby.
“We want to encourage people to come and visit the city and experience birding while making sure that they’re doing it in a responsible way,” said Chong.
Education is key, she added.
“The bird trail is aimed at novice birders, so it’s not targeted to birders who know their birds or are an expert in birding.”
Novice birders can access self-guided itineraries of communities throughout all regional bird trails just by going on the project website.
It also allows people to track their birding progress, plan trips, and find local attractions and restaurants in the area.
“Through (the project) we can also use it to promote less visited places, so visitors don’t overpopulate areas not to overwhelm these animals and their habitats,” said Chong.
Recently, the project launched its mobile app to make access to birding trails easier for beginners to the hobby.
Chong told the Richmond News there were initially three trails available through BC Birds Trail but now has grown to seven.
“The BC Bird Trail project not only promotes our birding in Richmond but also makes it accessible to visitors and locals in the region,” she said, adding the goal is to have “linked trails” between different communities, including Delta and Surrey, so people can explore more areas.
“We’re one of … the best locations to go bird watching and see the migration of birds that come through generally in the spring and the fall seasons.”
Tourism Richmond was one of the founding partners for a group of destination marketing organizations that created this project.
Funding for the project is provided through support for destination marketing organizations, such as Tourism Richmond, and Destination B.C.’s cooperative marketing investment program.