Ski birds at Whistler

DSC07367Why is this bird on top of a ski pole?

Did she fly up from Disneyland? Has she been trained to entertain skiers while they queue for the lift?

Does she want to be a Twitter star? I made her one.


The answer, of course, is simply that she’s hungry. But that made the encounter no less magical for us on our ski holiday last month at Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia.

Look at all those ski poles in the air. This was the scene we skied into at the Seventh Heaven chair. Dozens of skiers were hoping a bird would visit their pole—or for the less squeamish, their hand.

The birds obliged. They know a good thing when they see it.

They’ve learned that skiers are a captive audience when they’re trapped in line, and that many of them have granola bars stuffed in their pockets.





We humans “ate it up” even more than the birds, sacrificing our energy snacks, snapping photos and sharing our encounters with the world.

birds whistler twitter comment 2 birds whistler joel mchale
I have no idea what kind of birds they are (let me know if you do), but “ski birds” sounds like a good name. Watching them made one of the longest lift lines a whole lot more fun.

The next day we found the ski birds again when we stopped mid-mountain to explore Blackcomb’s Magic Castle play area.

The Magic Castle.
My husband, John, summons the birds.
My husband, John, summoned the birds.

A ski instructor was on the draw bridge handing out food so we got another chance to try our hand at feeding them.



It was Disney-esque, our ski-bird encounter. We felt like Snow White.

snow white

Look closely. There's a bird perched above my shoulder, on top of the pole.
Look closely. There’s a bird perched above my shoulder, on top of the pole.

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