Our Sidney hotel is close to wildlife

by admin on April 17, 2012

It’s no surprise: our Sidney hotel is close to nature. Many of our guest rooms have views of the San Juan Islands, and we’re just across the street from a beach that is frequently host to bald eagles, seals, river otters, and the occasional pod of killer whales.

We’re right on the Pacific Flyway, which is essentially the major transportation route up the Pacific coast of North America for migratory birds. The Brandt geese have just passed by on their way to Alaska, and a number of wigeons, cooters, and other ducks are wandering around Sidney. It’s a paradise here for anyone who loves nature.

Even as the human population in the region has grown, over the past 40 or 50 years the number of animals here have increased. It might actually be more accurate to say that animal populations are “recovering”, because, until the late 1960s, many animals, such as whales, seals and sea lions, were actively hunted on the Pacific coast of Canada.

This Times Colonist (a local paper) article reports that the Salish Sea stirs with new life as mammals make a comeback, thanks largely to enlightened laws since about 1970 that have restricted hunting of large aquatic mammals.

The harbour seal population has rebounded, as have sea lion populations, and notably the population of large whales including grey whales and even humpback and fin whales – fin whales are the largest whales after blue whales (which are also reported to be returning to British Columbia’s waters).

What does this all mean for our guests?

It’s really easy to get up close and personal with wildlife, right from our hotel. There are guided tours available, but what many of our guests prefer to do, especially in the summer months when the local waters are calmer, is to take out a kayak to explore the myriad islands just off the coast. Nearly all of the islands off of Sidney are home to a colony of some kind of marine mammal, and by kayaking (people usually launch their kayaks right in front of our hotel, just off Lochside), you can get a great view of wonderful wildlife.

The Cedarwood Inn and Suites is a Sidney hotel