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

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Photo by Oliver Tweedie

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 (Megaceryle alcyon), is the only member in Canada of a unique and globally diverse family of birds. While some kingfishers are mainly terrestrial species, the belted kingfisher is known as a “fishing kingfisher”, inhabiting the edges of streams, ponds, lakes, and estuaries. Though their relatives in other parts of Canada spend winters in warmer climes, 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.

Photo by Alex Harris

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.

Photo by Myles Clark

To date, with the help of our incredible community of supporters, we have raised $1,820,000 or 87% of our fundraising target of $2.1 million. This means we have just a month to bridge the 13% 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?*

How you can help

  • Make an online donation here

  • Donate in person at the Conservancy Nature Centre at Hope Bay (cash, cheque or card accepted)

  • 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 (while supplies last)

- A bag of Fernwood Coffee Forest Blend beans, available at the Nature Centre

- Kingfisher cards, notebooks and felties (make these into a Christmas tree ornament!), all available at the Nature Centre

Kingfisher felties by Kiara (K Creations Handicraft)

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

*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.

Thanks to everyone who participated in making this spontaneous video-it was a very fun morning!

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