Birding Factoids

429 species
in 47 families

20 of the 246 species 
endemic to 
North America are 
represented here. 
No endemic species. 

    Nova Scotia
Checklist of Nova Scotia BirdsLocal EventsTours and GuidesRare Bird AlertsSpeciality Birds
Nova Scotia Specialities
(Pause your cursor on the photo to see the species name. Click on the birds for more info... )
Osprey - Nova Scotia Provincial Bird - Photo by Marcus Martin
Photo by Marcus Martin

American Golden Plover - Photo by Paul Conover

Courtesy of SouthWest Louisiana Birding Page

Double-crested Cormorant - highest breeding density - Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Black-headed Gull - Photo copyright Tina MacDonald

Photo copyright Tina MacDonald

Dovekie - Photo copyright Brian Patteson

Photo copyright Brian Patteson

American Crow - Photo copyright Monte Taylor

Photo copyright Monte Taylor
    Key to Icons....Cabot Trail  - the Cabot Trail winds around the rocky splendour of 
      Cape Breton's northern shore, ascending into the majestic highlands of Cape Breton National Park. 
    Key to Icons....Cape Breton Birds - by Cathy and Allan Murrant. This site provides
      information on Cape Breton Birding Hotspots, recent bird sightings, and two photo galleries of Cape Breton's birds. 
    ....Bird Watching Sites in Nova Scotia - this site provides site guides
      to some bird watching sites in Nova Scotia, including:
      • Sewer Stroll - Angela Thibodeau's picks
      • Cape Breton -David McCorquodale's picks
      • Brier Island/Eastern King's Co. - Richard Stern's picks
      • Antigonish Harbour/Canso Causeway - Randy Lauff's picks
    ....Birding Nova Scotia - by Mary Scott.This website contains 
      information on: 
      • Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens (with dyked marsh & waterfowl sanctuary)
      • Delaps Cove Wilderness Trail
      • Digby Neck and Brier Island
      • Kejimkujik National Park and Lake Rossignol
      • Crescent Beach
      • Grand Pré
    ....Birding Hotspots in Pictou County - Pictou County holds many 
      different habitat areas within its  boundries. Some areas here are known province wide for the wide  array of bird speicies that can be found at particular times of year. 
    ....Nova Scotia Birding Society - Notes for Visiting Birders
    ....Potential Nova Scotia IBAs - This is a working list and map of potential
      Important Bird Areas in Nova Scotia. The process of identifying IBAs in this region is by no means complete. Additional sites that qualify as IBAs will likely be identified and likewise, some of the sites mapped may not qualify as IBAs once a thorough evaluation is completed. Once a site has been formally identified as an IBA the site name is linked to a one-page site summary. No sites formally confirmed as yet.
    ....Eastern Shore Islands Wildlife Management Area - by Fred Payne. 
      Off the coast of eastern Halifax county is a group of rock ledges, and partially treed or barren islands. Here in the cold and damp of spring, eider ducks have always made a nest in the tangle of brush, petrels built their nests in the shallow soils, and the rocks and grasses have held the nests of guillemots and gulls.
    ....Chignecto National Wildlife Area, Nova Scotia (Located on ....Musquodoboit Harbour Outer Estuary, Nova Scotia (50 km ....Shorebirds of the Bay of Fundy - The vast, red mudflats of the Bay of
      Fundy beckon seductively to travellers driving along the roads that follow the craggy shore. And few can resist the idea of hurrying down the cliffs to enjoy a barefoot stroll on this amazing substrate. But what awaits you at the bottom is both delightful and disgusting. The mud that oozes between your toes is teeming with tiny shrimp-like animals. And it is these plump, squirming mud shrimp that are the heart of one of Fundy's most celebrated natural events—the annual arrival of millions of migrating shorebirds.
    ....Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick-Nova Scotia, Canada, Hemispheric
      Reserve - part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. The Bay of Fundy Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve was dedicated in two sections: Shepody Bay, NB in August, 1987 and Minas Basin, NS in August, 1988.
    ....Southern Bight - Minas Basin, Nova Scotia (immediately north of ....Bald Eagles at the Bras d'Or Lakes - At Sheffield Mills in King's
      County, feedings by poultry farmers have turned into an annual event, attracting thousands of people in a single "Eagle Watch Weekend". During these feedings, it is not unusual to see 40 eagles sitting in a single tree.
    ....Atlantic Bird Observatory - some birding information about Seal and
      Bon Portage Islands
    ....Birding on the South Shore - For best results, seek out the smallest
      roads ... old logging roads are a wonderful choice.
    ....Kejimkujik National Park - The Seaside Adjunct is a breeding area
      for the piping plover, a small secretive shorebird which was listed as "endangered" by Council on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada in 1985. About 10 pairs of plovers, which represent a significant portion of Nova Scotia's breeding population, nest on St. Catherines River Beach. 
    ....1997 Nova Scotia's Southern Islands Trip Report - by Ian McLaren. 
      We set out from Halifax early September 28 for Cape Sable Island with our appetites whetted by a slide show on the islands and their birds the previous evening. We roamed the island's roads and beaches in glorious afternoon sun.
    ....Trip to Nova Scotia and the Saga of the Piping Plover. We took a trip
      to Cape Breton (June 17 and 18 1997) and Cape Sable Island (June 20 and 21 1997) in Nova Scotia. 
    ....Nova Scotia Trip Reports - a number of Nova Scotia trip reports
      are available from Blake Maybank's "Birding the Americas - Trip Report and Trip Planning Repository". 

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Tours and Guides

>>>>>> A Birding Pal is not a paid guide, but someone who likes to help out of town visitors. You can become a Birding Pal today! Help someone to enjoy your local birding spots and find a pal to help you when you travel. Click here for Nova Scotia Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
    **..Newfoundland and Nova Scotia with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours
      (VENT). These Canadian provinces have much to attract both birders and non-birders alike–dark Acadian woodlands and boreal forests; ruggedly scenic coastlines; the greatest array of seabirds in the North Atlantic; mammals such as whales, caribou, and moose; the rich history of St. John's; excellent seafood cuisine; and cool mid-summer temperatures. This tour coincides with the peak of the nesting season and allows ample time for observing and photographing some of this continent's greatest avian spectacles. The island of Newfoundland, the world's tenth largest, not only has vast numbers of nesting seabirds lining its cliffs, but pelagic species also concentrate in its offshore waters. Our ferry crossing from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland, barring difficulties with fog, has some of the best pelagic birding opportunities anywhere on the Atlantic.
      • July 04 - July 14, 2001 (11.0 days - Limit 16) with leaders Kim Eckert & Barry Lyon
      VENT offers nearly 140 tours to over 100 land-based destinations each year and is the largest tour company in the world specializing in birding and natural history.
    ....Adventure Nova Scotia - birding tours
    ....Turnstone Nature Tours - Turnstone Nature Tours offers a variety of trips,
      from half day local tours to multiday adventures.  We can help you find the rarities and bring you to the most scenic birding sites.  Any season is birding season...winter brings the dovekies, gulls and other seabirds, while the other seasons have their own specialties, too.  Migrations of shorebirds, songbirds and others are all here to be experienced.
    ....Bird Island Boat Tours - A fully narrated 2 1/2 hour boat tour daily 
      May 15th to Oct 15th. The boat follows the scenic coast to two rock island one mile offshore. You will see colourful Atlantic Puffins and other birds plus grey seals, each during their own nesting season.
    ....Brier Island Whale & Seabird Cruises Ltd. - Westport, Nova Scotia.
      Our cruises run from June 1 until October 26 for the 1998 season with special pelagic bird and whale watching trips planned for after September 7. We see a variety of seabirds including puffins, gannets, shearwaters (sooty, greater and manx) and many phalaropes. During the fall months we see jaegers, skuas, kittiwakes and much more. Our trips have been very successful: it is a rare day when we do not see whales.
    ....Freeport Whale & Seabird Tours - located in the picturesque town of
      Freeport, Long Island on the Southern most tip of Nova Scotia, Canada. Long Island is located adjacent to The Bay of Fundy, which is world renowned for it's rich and diverse population of marine mammals. With some of the most highest tides in the world the Bay of Fundy is a major summer feeding ground for many species of whales and seabirds that inhabit the bay each summer. 

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Local Events

    ....Nova Scotia Birding Society - Upcoming Field Trips - Field trips are open to
      non-members as well as members. Please phone the field trip leader or contact person ahead of time to register for the trip.
    ....Blomidon Naturalists Society -  Meetings and Upcoming Events - Blomidon ....Halifax Field Naturalists - Field Trips. Field trippers usually meet informally
      for carpooling in the staff parking lot of the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax. 

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 Rare Bird Alert

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North American Specialities in Nova Scotia

Information derived from Sibley & Monroe checklists in Thayer's Birder's Diary - Version 2.02.
These counts will differ in minor ways from counts based on the ABA classification,
but an international checklist system was required to enable world-wide
country to country comparisons.These speciality birds may be uncommon, or extremely rare
at this location, or may only be present in migration. However, documented sightings of
each species noted below have been made in Nova Scotia. Consult the Breeding Bird Survey or
Christmas Bird Count data on the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center website
to determine the "best" place to see each bird.

North American Endemic Specialities in Nova Scotia - No Canadian Endemics

___ Black-headed Grosbeak
___ Brewer's Sparrow
___ California Gull
___ Cassin's Sparrow
___ Chestnut-collared Longspur
___ Fish Crow
___ Harris's Sparrow
___ House Finch
___ Le Conte's Sparrow
___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow
___ Pileated Woodpecker
___ Red-bellied Woodpecker
___ Red-Shouldered Hawk
___ Ruffed Grouse
___ Say's Phoebe
___ Seaside Sparrow
___ Smith's Longspur
___ Spruce Grouse
___ Townsend's Solitaire
___ Tufted Titmouse

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Links checked December 5, 2000