2021 Festival

The Brant Wildlife Festival celebrates nature, particularly Brant geese as they rest and feed on the shores of mid-Vancouver Island before continuing their migration to their northern breeding grounds.

This year’s festival is self-directed to ensure the safety of participants due of COVID-19.


Be on the lookout for painted Brant Geese in storefront windows and shelves. Twenty businesses are hosting them in Parksville, Coombs and Qualicum Beach.

Take a Selfie with a Brant and email to:  


Tag your social media with:


Every selfie will be entered to win a prize.

North Island Wildlife Recovery is generously donating a one-year family pass to their centre to the first person to spot all 20 painted brant.


Check out these great videos to learn more about the Brant Wildlife Festival, the local wildlife and the natural places in the Parksville – Qualicum Beach area.

Ceri – The Festival & Hamilton Marsh

Watch interview with Ceri

Hamilton Marsh is managed by Mosaic Forests and is private land accessible “at your own risk.” Thank you to our partner Mosaic for being part of the Brant Wildlife Festival.”

Lynne – The Seaside Nature Park

Watch interview with Lynne

Denise – The Fench Creek Estuary

Watch interview with Denise

Annual Eagle Release 2021

Watch the eagle release

Brant Counts

Brant counts, both formal and incidental, will be carried out from February through April along the Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area. The data gathered by members of the Arrowsmith Naturalists, following COVID-19 protocols, will contribute to a multi-year study of the Brant that began in 1988. While the numbers of Brant may vary from one year to the next, analysis over time will indicate how the Brant in our area are faring.

March 30, 2021

Warm sunny weather with light winds and a rippling sea.
Area 3 (Claire/Tom) reported 430 Brant along Surfside Beach as well as hundreds of Dunlin and Black Turnstones.

Area 2 (Dave/Bonnie) began with 4 Brant flying west at French Creek, good numbers of Gulls and eagles from Johnstone Rd. to Butterball and then finally 200 Brant at Seacrest along with more gulls and eagles, total 204.

Area 1 (Jim/Helen) began before the 10AM start. While driving past Parksville Bay I noticed Brant flying and made a quick stop at the end of McMillan St. to count 340 Brant. Arriving at Rathtrevor shortly after 10 AM I found Helen had also counted 340 Brant along the beach there. Eagles and beach walkers finally moved the birds to Brant Point. Our final count here was approx 400.

After a quick stop at Mariner Way we arrived at Parksville Community Park shortly after 11AM. Here we found 380 Brant on the west side of the bay mixed with gulls feeding along the shore. On the east side near the parking lot were another 700 being gently herded out of the bay by approaching beach walkers and the falling tide.

After our count another 35 Brant flew in making our total here 1115 and a combined total 1515. The March 30 overall total was 2122 Brant.


Spot the Brant Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners!

Read more

Forage Fish – The Foundation of Our Marine Food Web

In Our Waters: Part II by Ross Peterson Forage fish are the foundation of our marine food web. With Pacific sand lance, surf smelt and Pacific herring, these little fish[…]

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From the River to the Sea

In Our Waters – Part I by James Craig It’s early spring in 2021, and juvenile salmon and trout are stirring in hundreds of rivers and streams that flow into[…]

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Where It All Began

The origins of the Brant Wildlife Festival trace back to a little restaurant in Bayside Inn and to two local Oceanside residents, Neil Dawe and Bashir El-Khalafawi. Read the fascinating story . . .


How you can help the festival