On or very near the 15th of October every year, the Bufflehead duck returns to Roberts Bay in the Shoal Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Sidney and North Saanich. It also appears in other bays within the Greater Victoria region about the same time.
Because it's black and white plummage is easy to spot from shore and at a distance, they serve as a superb representative of all the migratory birds that either return to the Greater Victoria region or pass through it on their way further south.
These birds depend on finding and having access to suitable habitat for this critical time of year. The Greater Victoria region is blessed with three historic migratory bird sanctuaries: Esquimalt Harbour, Victoria Harbour and Shoal Harbour. While each of these sanctuaries provide some protection for migratory birds and their habitat, it is not enough. Much more is needed. Greater public awareness, understanding and support are absolutely necessary.
Her Honour, Janet Austin, the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, who has a real passion for birds and watching them, has the following message in celebration of All Buffleheads Day Oct. 2021.