Animals of the Bog

Check out some of the species that you may see while visiting Burns Bog!

Burns Bog is full of animal biodiversity that can be seen throughout the year. Some of these animals are seasonal visitors migrating to greener pastures, and others are local populations that have existed for many years. Over 175 bird species live or migrate through Burns Bog. There are also 41 species of mammals, 11 amphibian species, 6 reptile species, and over 4,000 invertebrates! There are many species in Burns Bog that are listed as species of special concern, or at-risk. These populations are vulnerable to extinction on a provincial scale, and extirpation (local extinction) at an ecosystem scale. This includes the Northern Red-legged Frog, the Pacific Water Shrew, and the Barn Owl.

To view the Burns Bog Ecosystem Review published in 2000 click here.

To find out the current status of a species in British Columbia click here.




Thamnophis ordinoides

Found primarily in southwestern B.C. and many of the province’s coastal islands, these common snakes like damp, densely vegetated areas. Their colouring varies but is predominantly brown, black, or olive coloured with yellow stripes. Relatively small, adults average lengths of less than 60cm.



Ambystoma gracile

Growing up to 26cm in length, this species inhabits mature forests and wetlands of B.C.’s southern area and islands, and down the west coast to California. Ground cover in the form of fallen leaves, logs, and rocks are important microhabitats to this salamander for foraging as well as shelter.



Pseudacris regilla

Preferring fish-free aquatic habitats like wetlands, this small frog lives throughout southern B.C and the U.S. west coast. Though mostly ground foragers, they can be found in trees, as their name implies. Habitat deformation and contamination has caused population loss for this species.



Rana aurora

Found throughout the Pacific Northwest in shallow ponds and wetlands. These frogs avoid deep open waters but can migrate upwards of 4km over land from their breeding ponds. The species has been on the decline recently due to habitat destruction and predator competition.



Castor canadensis

The second-largest rodent in the world, the beaver, is found throughout Canada and parts of the U.S. Commonly inhabiting forested areas, they have established themselves in the Bog’s deepwater ponds with dams. Mostly nocturnal, this animal cuts down an average of 200 trees a year with their sharp teeth.


Ursus americanus

Native to North America, black bears used to forage in transition zones of the Bog where berry plants were plentiful. Unfortunately, they no longer inhabit the Bog, the last confirmed sighting being in 2014. Urbanization cut off their migratory routes, causing population decline.


Canis latrans

Smaller than its relative, the wolf, coyotes are native to North America and are common within the Bog. They can live solo or in packs, often hunting smaller prey, but may also feed off wild berries and fruit if food is scarce. This species is highly adaptable and have the ability to thrive even in human-modified landscapes.


Sorex pacificus

This species is found throughout the south coast of B.C. and down to California, where it inhabits wetlands and forests. Their diet includes a variety of insects they find through hearing and scent. This species is at risk due to loss of habitat, and removal of dead trees that function as foraging and nesting areas.



O. hemionus

Found throughout the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest, this species of deer is a common sight in the Bog. Often living in small groups within their territory, black tailed deer tend to prefer cover and favour forested areas. Their diet consists of berries, grasses, ferns, and tree growth, such as lichen or new sprigs.



Synaptomys borealis

Related to gerbils and hamsters, this small rodent species is found throughout Canada. As its name suggests, it inhabits mainly wet areas like bogs, but can also live in meadows and tundras. Often found in small colonies, northern bog lemmings have a diet of grasses and other green vegetation along with snails and slugs.



Scapanus townsendii

The largest mole in North America, this species is found throughout the Pacific Coast in open lowlands and forests. It spends most of its time underground, where it uses its broad front paws for digging. While down there, it forages for worms and other plant material to eat. This species is considered endangered in Canada.



Myodes californicus

Found on the Pacific Coast, this species of vole live primarily in coniferous forests. They favour old-growth areas that provide moist soil and abundant ground cover, spending time underground in burrows. A unique aspect of this species is its fungi heavy diet, which also helps maintain the health and growth of trees.



Antigone canadensis

The Sandhill Crane is found across North America as a migratory or nesting population. They breed and forage in prairies, grasslands, and wetlands, and roost in deeper lakes or ponds. Adults have a distinguishing red crown, long legs, a straight bill that is longer than the head, and a short tail featuring drooping feathers. 


Haliaeetus leucocephalus

Native to North America, the majority of Canadian bald eagles are found on the coasts of B.C. With a diet containing mostly fish, they are often found near bodies of water and favour wetlands as the old-growth trees provide nesting areas. Once endangered, the species has returned to a secure population level.


Strix varia

While native to North America, this species is typically found further east rather than west. They prefer old-growth forests for nesting and hunting prey in the form of small animals, though they can also be found in semi-open wooded areas. While daytime activity is limited, they are not as nocturnal as other owl species


Melospiza melodia

This common species is found throughout North America. A very adaptable bird, they are able to thrive in urban areas, though they prefer brushland and marshes. Receiving its name from its vast repertoire of songs, the males of the species use their songs to declare and maintain territories, as well as attract females.


Corvus brachyrhynchos

The largest of its species family, these common birds can be found throughout North America, often being confused with their larger look-alike, the common raven. The American Crow can occupy almost every type of habitat and is considered a scavenger, its diet including grains, meat, insects, human food and garbage.


Certhia americana

Native to North America, this species prefers moist mature forests where they can forage on tree trunks. Brown Creepers received their name from their method of foraging. This is done by flying down to a tree’s base before flattening themselves to the bark while they creep upwards, probing with their beak for insects.


Bombycilla cedrorum

Found through North and Central America, this bird gets its name from its fondness of eating small cones. Its diet also consists of berries and insects, which is why they prefer open forests with fruiting trees and bushes. Cedar waxwings are very sociable and non-territorial, often staying in flocks that travel around.


Corvus corax

Able to thrive in a variety of climates, this species is found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. While able to survive in urbanized areas, it prefers wooded ones. Ravens are incredibly intelligent and use that to their advantage when searching for food, consisting of both meat and plant matter.



Calypte anna

Named after Anna Debelle, the Duchess of Rivoli, this species is native to North America’s western coastal regions. Though they consume insects, this species often feeds on nectar from flowers, which assists in plant pollination. The brilliant iridescent red colouring is typically found on the males of the species.



Selasphorus rufus

This migratory species travels through the Rocky Mountains during wildflower season before summering throughout western North America, migrating to Mexico in the winter. With a diet of mostly insects and nectar, this species is defensive of its feeding location. The males of the species feature iridescent red feathers.



Sphyrapicus ruber

Native to the forests of North America’s west coast, this species of woodpecker, as its name suggests, drills holes into trees to eat the sap and insects trapped within the sticky substance. They will often drill into the same tree multiple times, the sound of their drilling and vocals is also a way to establish territory.



Contopus cooperi

Long-distance migratory birds, this species travels through North America and into the upper part of South America. Its habitat includes mountain forests and bogs, which it is fiercely territorial of, often chasing away other birds and small critters. This species is often found in open areas with dead trees hunting for insects.



Ardea herodias

Commonly found throughout most of North and Central America, these wadding birds prefer the shores of open water and wetlands. An adaptable species, it lives near both fresh and saltwater, often nesting in trees or bushes. Their size is beneficial while feeding for their diet of fish, as they are able to access deeper waters.



Bubo virginianus

This large owl is native to North America but can also be found in South America; it is one of the world’s most adaptable owls. Like most owls, they are nocturnal, hunting at night for the small mammals that make up their diet. These owls are fierce predators, sometimes taking on other birds of prey like falcons and owls.



Dryocopus pileatus

Native to North America, this species prefers mature forests and heavily wooded areas. Their diets consists of berries, as well as insects, which they find by chipping out large holes in the sides of trees. The holes that they create can double as nesting spots and can sometimes be so large that they break small trees in half.



Buteo jamaicensis

Occupying a wide range of habitats, this species of bird is found throughout North America. Soaring over open areas, they use their sharp eyes to track their prey of small mammals for executing a quick dive. Its shrill cry is a familiar sound often heard in films, it is commonly used as a replacement over an eagle’s chirp.


Colaptes auratus

This bird is native to North and Central America, one of the few species of woodpeckers to migrate. Unlike other woodpeckers, this species spends a great deal of time on the ground where they hunt for ants, their primary food source. They often drum on wood and metal for communication and territory defence.


Circus hudsonius

A migratory bird, this species can be found throughout North America. They often nest in wide open areas like wetlands where they hide their nests on the ground in high grasses and vegetation. This bird utilizes not only their sight but their good sense of hearing as well to hunt the small mammals that make up their prey.


Troglodytes pacificus

A small North American bird, this species can be found down the Pacific Coast where it nests in large forests. These nests are often tucked into holes in trees or rocks and then lined with grasses and mosses. The Pacific Wren’s diet is mostly insects, but in colder climates, it has been known to forage for seeds.


Ixoreus naevius

Found throughout the Pacific Coast in dense forests, this species can often be seen on the ground foraging for insects. Their diet also includes a wide variety of berries, some of which can be found in the bog. These birds are also fiercely protective of their feeding areas, the males often chasing away competitors.



Falco sparverius

The smallest falcon in North America, this species can also be found in parts of South America. Their habitat includes open grasslands with trees for nearby nesting. Though small in size, this bird is still a fierce predator to its prey of insects and small mammals, which it usually snatches off the ground with quick dives.



Megaceryle alcyon

Found throughout North and Central America, this species lives near freshwater sources where they nest in the nearby earthen banks. Their habitat lends itself to their diet, which consists almost entirely of aquatic prey. In rare circumstances, females of this species are more vibrant in colour than males.



Picoides pubescens

Native to North America, this bird is the smallest species of woodpecker in North America, mainly inhabiting forested areas where they nest in tree cavities. Their diet consists mostly of berries, seeds and insects, which they forage from trees. These small birds are rather noisy with their shrill call and drumming on trees.



Falco peregrinus

This migratory species travels across North America, though it can be found all over the world. These incredibly fast fliers are the largest of the falcon species and feed on medium-sized birds like pigeons and ducks. This species was at risk from pesticide poisoning, but after significant efforts, it has rebounded and recovered.