All we want for the holidays is a belted kingfisher in a fir tree!

We are in the last thirty days of our collaborative campaign to purchase and protect KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest.

Near the top of the earthen slope that descends to the shoreline of KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest, overlooking the viridian waters of Plumper Sound, are several excavated holes. Their engineer, the belted kingfisher, is the only member in Canada of a unique and globally diverse family of birds. While some kingfishers are predominantly terrestrial species, the belted kingfisher is known as a “fishing kingfisher” which inhabits the edges of streams, ponds, lakes, and estuaries.

Though their relatives in other parts of Canada spend winters in warmer climates, on the southern coast of British Columbia, the distinctive rattling calls, vibrant blue plumage, and flamboyant crests of the belted kingfisher, or T̸ETĆELE as they are known in SENĆOŦEN, can be found year-round. 

The entrances to their nesting sites at KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest are overhung with exposed tree roots. Above, lacy western redcedar boughs and thick coastal Douglas-fir branches reach out toward the Salish Sea. Their existence at this coastal interface, and their two decade population decline largely due to habitat loss, made belted kingfishers the ideal namesake for this forest for the future.

KELÁ_EKE, the SENĆOŦEN name for Razor Point which lies less than 1 km to the south as the crow flies, was chosen as a prefix to recognize and honour the W̱SÁNEĆ Nations who have called these lands and waters home since time immemorial. 

As we move into the last thirty days of our collaborative campaign to purchase and protect this 45 acre forest, we are reflecting on all of the reasons why conserving this habitat and others like it is so important – not the least of which is maintaining the habitat of all the species that call these coastal ecosystems home.

In KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest, belted kingfishers forage along the marine shoreline as well as in the neighboring  freshwater aquatic habitat of Gardom Pond. More than any other single species, kingfishers knit all the diverse habitats on this land together through their life cycle, holding forest, ocean, and wetland on their brilliant blue wings.

To date, with the help of our incredible community of supporters, we have raised $1,831,930, or nearly 88%, of our fundraising target of $2.1 million. This means we have just a month to bridge the 12% gap. A matching campaign is currently underway to help us reach our goal, with every contribution being doubled until the end of the year.

Our need is urgent, but we have seen our community of supporters move mountains when they work together to protect the ecosystems they love. Will you help make our Christmas conservation dream a reality?*

Belted kingfisher on a branch with the ocean in the background.
Photo by Myles Clarke.

How you can help

  • Make an online donation through Raincoast or the Pender Islands Conservancy.
  • Make an in-person donation at the Pender Conservancy Nature Centre at Hope Bay on Pender Island.
  • Share our campaign with your family and friends.
  • Purchase stocking stuffers that make a difference, the sale of each of these items supports our land protection campaign:
    • A signed copy of one of Dr. Andy MacKinnon’s renowned nature guides at Talisman Books on Pender Island (while supplies last).
    • A bag of Fernwood Coffee Forest Blend beans, available at the Nature Centre or on Fernwood Coffee’s website.
    • Kingfisher pins, cards, and felties, available at the Nature Centre.

Questions? Please contact Shauna Doll, Forest Conservation Program Director with Raincoast or Sue Kronen, Education and Outreach Coordinator with the Pender Conservancy.

*As registered charitable not-for-profits, both organizations can issue an official tax receipt in exchange for your gift. This is a terrific opportunity to maximize your end of year tax benefits while supporting a worthwhile cause.

We are so excited to share our annual report – Tracking Raincoast Into 2023 – with you! Tracking gives you highlights from the year, our science, flagship projects, as well as a peek at what’s in store for the coming year.

Dive into Tracking and learn more about our work safeguarding coastal carnivores in the Southern Great Bear Rainforest tenure. We are currently raising funds to stop commercial trophy hunting in more than a quarter of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia. Now is a good time to sign up and stay connected to our community of researchers and change-makers.