Birding Factoids

466 species
in 47 families

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

Checklist of Ontario BirdsLocal EventsTours and GuidesRare Bird AlertsSpeciality Birds
Build your own Field Guide for specific local areas in Ontario at the Royal Ontario Museum,
check out Michel Lamarche's Photos of Ontario and Quebec birds
or have a look at Harold Stiver's Bird Images, many of which were taken in Ontario.
Or, check the Ottawa images from Nature's Encounters.
Ontario Specialities
(Pause your cursor on the photo to see the species name. Click on the birds for more info... )
Common Loon - 0ntario Provincial Bird - Photo by Don Baccus
Photo by Don Baccus

Canada Warbler - Photo copyright Robert Royse

Photo copyright Robert Royse

Spruce Grouse - Photo copyright Peter Weber

Photo copyright Peter Weber

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Photo copyright Peter May

Photo copyright Peter May

Magnolia Warbler - Photo by Marcus Martin

Photo by Marcus Martin

Little Gull - Courtesy of the SW Louisiana Birding Page

Courtesy of SouthWest Louisiana Birding Page

Palm Warbler - Photo by Bob O'Brien

Photo by Bob O'Brien

Chestnut-sided Warbler - Photo copyright Douglas Herr

Photo copyright Douglas Herr

Swamp Sparrow (highest breeding density) - Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Bay-breasted Warbler - Photo copyright Steve Nanz

Photo copyright Steve Nanz

Hooded Merganser (highest breeding density) - Photo copyright Erigen Birding Pages

Photo copyright Erigen Birding Pages

Yellow-rumped Warbler - Photo copyright Bill Scholtz

Photo copyright Bill Scholtz

Red-eyed Vireo - Photo copyright David Geale

Photo copyright David Geale

Black-backed Woodpecker - Photo copyright Peter Weber

Photo copyright Peter Weber

Ring-billed Gull - highest breeding density - Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Photo copyright Don DesJardin

Rusty Blackbird - Photo copyright Steve Nanz

Photo copyright Steve Nanz

Boreal Owl - Photo copyright Terry Brashear

Photo copyright Terry Brashear

Mourning Warbler - Photo copyright Alain Hogue

Photo copyright Alain Hogue

Broad-winged Hawk - Photo copyright Jean Coronel

Photo copyright Jean Coronel

American Woodcock - Photo copyright William J. Stone
Photo copyright William J. Stone

    Key to Icons....Point Pelee National Park Bird Watching (20 miles southeast ....
    Key to Icons....Birding the Point Pelee Birding area - with other "hotspots" in the area.
      Prepared by the Windsor, Essex County & Pelee Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
    Key to Icons....Birds of Point Pelee - May, 2001. By Paul Geale. A combination trip
      report and photo gallery, this website is definately worth a visit if you're heading for the point! Also covers Hillman's Marsh and Lake St
    Key to Icons....Niagara Falls and the Niagara River - Birding is better from the
      Canadian side of the River.
    ....Ontario's RAMSAR sites: information is available on: ....
    ....Potential Southern Ontario IBAs - This is a working list and map of
      potential globally Important Bird Areas in Ontario. Includes site information for areas confirmed as Important Bird Areas,including:
      • Point Pelee National Park
      • Long Point 
      • Niagara River
      • Presqu'ile Provincial Park
      • Prince Edward Point
      See also Potential Ontario IBAs for location of other Ontario sites being considered as IBAs.
    ....Explore Ontario's Biodiversity (includes regional checklists)
    ....Ontario Birding Home Page - Ontario Birding Hotspots -
      includes information on:
      • Presqu'ile Provincial Park
      • Long Point
      ....Key to Icons  Point Pelee National Park
      • Rondeau Provincial Park
      • Durham Region
      • Niagara Falls
      • Toronto and Local areas
      • Hamilton area
      • Peterborough area
      • Windsor
      • Sarnia
      • Owen Sound
      • Kingston area
      • Ottawa area
      • Algonquin Provincial Park
    ....Long Point Bird Observatory, information provided by Bird Studies
    ....Long Point (Ontario) - Canada's first Globally Important Bird Area
      (GIBA) - In August of this year, the official identification of the first Globally Important Bird Area (GIBA) in Canada was announced at a meeting of the Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation in Toronto, Ontario. Sergio Marchi, the Canadian Environment Minister, declared that Long Point, located in Ontario along the Lake Erie shoreline, is an area that clearly meets the criteria of the Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program at the global level of significance.
    ....Minesing Swamp and the Matchedash Bay Provincial Wildlife Area ....
    ....Canadian Peregrine Foundation - Peregrine falcons made history in
      Ontario in 1995 when two pairs successfully nested and raised young, in Toronto and in Hamilton. Since then, more urban sites have been established throughout Ontario and the rest of Canada. Now more questions are being raised about the long-term survival of the peregrine falcon (anatum subspecies). The Canadian Peregrine Foundation is dedicated to providing whatever means are necessary to continue studying, documenting and protecting this species, not just in Ontario but throughout Canada. Webcams are operating in Ottawa, Hamilton, and Etobicoke.
    ....Ontario's Best Kept Secret - Waterbirds, Raptors, Shorebirds,
      Warblers - Hamilton has it all! By Mike Street.
    ....Birdfinding in the Pembroke Birding Area - Situated in the Ottawa
      Valley in Eastern Ontario, Canada, our organization is 14 years old. Formerly, we were The Pembroke & Area Bird Club. 292 species of birds have been documented within a 50 km. radius circle centred on the inter-provincial bridge, which spans Ontario and Quebec.
    ....The Canadian Peregrine Foundation - try some virtual birding at the
      live falcon and osprey web cams to the downtown Toronto, Ottawa, Mountsburg, Richmond Hill, Guelph, Etobicoke, and Hamilton peregrine nest sites.  Sites are also being established as London, Mississagua, Niagara Falls and Buffalo. 
    ....Where to go birding in the Ottawa Area - from the Ottawa Field
      Naturalists Club. Information and maps are provided to:
      • Britannia Conservation Area
      • Andrew Haydon Park (Ottawa Beach)
      • Carp Hills
      • Mer Bleue Conservation Area
      For the location of the Ottawa Public Bird Feeders for winter feeding, see also the Other Activities section of this website. See also the Birder's Checklist for the Ottawa-Hull District, compiled by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club Birds Committee. 
    ....Birding Ottawa - Birding Ottawa began as a book several years 
      ago and has now evolved into a website. The internet is a much more dynamic format than a book. A true web of connections can be created. You will find many different paths to follow here.
    ....Bird Sightings in Toronto - provides information on current status
      of migrants in the Toronto area, as well as bird reports for local birding sites.
    ....Toronto's "Spit" - On Toronto waterfront, there is a park with a 
      difference for nature lovers. A Public Urban Wilderness that is the habitat of hundreds of plants and birds. An informal, unmanicured, car-free park where you can birdwatch, walk, cycle, look at wildflowers, push your baby's pram, rollerblade, landscape paint, take photographs... or just do nothing. 
    ....Wye Marsh Conservation Centre - a leader in special conservation
      projects such as the Trumpeter Swan Re-introduction Program. Visitors have the opportunity to watch and learn about this majestic bird, once threatened with extinction. Wye Marsh has  recently received international designation from Bird Life International as an Important Bird Area (IBA)!
    ....Long Point National Wildlife Area, Ontario (40 miles west of
      Niagara Falls) - Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands
    ....Birding in Elgin County - Elgin County is a warm, southerly area of 
      Canada. Late springs mean later leafing up of the trees, and thus improved visibility for bird watchers. The north shore of Lake Erie is a major migratory route for raptors, and a resting place for birds that have just crossed the lake. The Carolinean woodlands, and largely rural areas of the county are very attractive to birds. The clean air, low traffic, friendly small towns and major migratory bird routes are very attractive to birders. 
    ....Birding in Bruce County - Bruce County is one of the best places
      in Ontario for birdwatchers. Because of the concentration of land surrounded by two huge bodies of water, an almost continuous river of migrating birds land on our shores. 
    ....Birding Hotspots - in the South Peel region (Halton and Peel south
      of Derry Road). 
    ....St. Clair National Wildlife Area, Ontario (On the east shore of
      Lake St. Clair. Chatham is 30 km to the east) - Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands. More information.
    ....Southern James Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuaries, Ontario
      (Hannah Bay Bird Sanctuary is located 60 km east of Moosonee. Moose River Bird Sanctuary is 18 km to the north-east of Moosonee) Information sheet on Ramsar Wetlands
    ....Prince Edward County is a World Class Birding location, with the ....
    ....Kitchener Waterloo Field Naturalists  - Over the years, the KWFN
      is proud that it has been able to purchase four properties, some of which are now owned and managed by the Grand River Conservation Authority.
    ....Second Marsh - Oshawa Second Marsh is a Provincially Significant
      Wetland Area of Natural and Scientific Interest located on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in the south-east end of Oshawa. Points of interest include: 
      • The two-level Beaver Pond Tower and Boardwalk through an actual beaver pond, dam and den. 
      • Viewing tower to Harmony Pond, a bird watchers haven. 
      • Scattergood Pond, with its Yellow Water Lilies, Painted Turtles, Leopard and Green Frogs 
      • General Motors Viewing Tower, McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve and its extensive trail system, a unique trail for the visually impaired.
      See also the Friends of Second Marsh website.
    ....Local Birding Locations - Nippissing
    ....Ontario Bird Banding Association - this website also lists the
      associated Bird Observatories in Ontario. 
    ....Birdwatching Info  for Presqu'ile Provincial Park
    ....Quantum Bird Sanctuary - located in Elora, Ontario Canada.
    ....Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Birding Sites - includes 
      information on: 
      • Beamer Memorial Conservation Area - encompasses 53 hectares (132 acres) of escarpment land and mature woodlot. Excellent for hawk watching in migration. 
      • The Wainfleet Wetland is located just west of Port Colbourne in the township of Wainfleet. 
      • Mud Lake - Located beside the old Welland Canal, this wetland property is noted for an observation site along the flight path of many migratory birds.
      • St. John's Conservation Area - Mature Carolinian forests, wetlands and pond environments attract waterfowl and other species. Rare and endangered species have been recorded nesting at St. Johns. 
    ....Birding Canada - by Martin Tribe. If you scroll down through the left 
      hand frame, you will find links to information on birding in the Toronto area and includes information on:
      • High Park 
      • Lake Ontario Shore 
      • Humber Bay East Park 
      • Riverdale Park and Wellesley Park 
      • Train-trip from Toronto to Montreal 
    ....Point Pelee, Ontario 18 May 2005 - by Charlie Moores. The early 
      attraction the peninsula had for the first people to come in search of game, continues in the overwhelming popularity the park has amongst bird watchers and day visitors: Point Pelee is one of Canada's smallest national parks, but with a bird list of over 375 species and a reputation as one of North America's top migrant traps this tiny oasis of green attracts nearly 400 000 visitors each year.
    ....Point Pelee, northern Michigan and Southern Ontario - Trip Report
      by Trev Feltham. As this was my first birding trip outside Britain, naturally I felt like a child let loose in a toyshop on Christmas Eve. There was so much to see and take in, I didn’t know where to start, in fact it was almost overwhelming, with the emphasis on the word ALMOST. It was probably the most unforgettable twenty-three days of my life - I had driven 5,500 miles (on the wrong side of the road), and seen 225 species of birds. Definitely an experience I’ll never forget for as long as live.
    ....Point Pelee, 1999 - by Steve Bird. Part of John Girdley's trip report
      archive (follow the North America, then Canada links from the main page), This is an excellent trip report by a group of British birders in Canada, with a brief trip to see the Kirkland's Warbler in Michigan.
    ....1998 Point Pelee & the Kirtland's Warbler Trip Report
      by Peter Burke. This (commercial) trip report identifies birding locations in the Point Pelee area, with a side trip to Michigan, and the birds to be found there.
    ....Ontario Trip Reports - a number of Ontario 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 Ontario Birding Pals, or join to be a Birding Pal!
Kirtland's Warbler - Photo copyright Vic Fazio
Photo copyright Vic Fazio
    **..Point Pelee and the Kirtland's Warbler with Victor Emanuel Nature
      Tours (VENT). Point Pelee National Park in Ontario, Canada, has long been famous as one of the most remarkable migration concentration points in North America. Extending some nine miles into the western end of Lake Erie, Point Pelee is a funnel of land that birds follow on their way south in fall. More significantly, it is the first available land that trans-lake migrants reach on their way north in spring. The great variety of habitats in this relatively small area further increases the diversity of birds using the Point during migration, and it is little wonder that the park checklist includes well over 300 species. Following our stay at Pelee, we will travel to the jack pine forests of north-central Michigan–the breeding grounds of the endangered Kirtland's Warbler.  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.

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Local Events

Tennessee Warbler - Photo copyright Ivan Petrov
Photo copyright Ivan Petrov

Ovenbird - Photo copyright Harold Stiver

Photo copyright Harold Stiver

Great Grey Owl - Photo copyright Robert McDonald

Photo copyright Robert McDonald

Sharp-shinned  Hawk - Photo copyright Southwest Birders

Photo copyright Southwest Birders
    ....Brereton Field Naturalists' Club - Upcoming events and meetings
    ....Ontario Field Ornithologists - Upcoming Trips
    ....Ottawa Field Naturalists Club - Calendar of Events
    ....Pembroke Area Field Naturalists - Field Trips (occaisionally go into
    ....Kitchener Waterloo Field Naturalists Club - Outings
    ....South Peel Naturalists Club - Field Trips
    ....Peel Birding Class - Peel District School Board, Community Education,
      Ontario, Canada. Instructor: Brete Griffin. This general interest course is offered in the spring and fall as part of the Community Education Program of the Peel District School Board.

    ....Presqu'ile Waterfowl Festival - March 25 - 26 and April 1 - 2, 2000 - 

      Brighton, ON. Phone: 613-475-4324
    ....Festival of Birds - May 1 - 31, 2001. Point Pelee National Park - contact
      (519) 322-2365.
    ....Prince Edward County Birding Festival. May 13 - 20, 2000. Contact
      Quinte Conservation, Box 698, Belleville, Ontario, K8N 5B3 (613) 968-3434.
    ....Warblers and Wimbrels Weekend, Brighton, Ontario - May 22 - 23,
      2000. For more information, call Mike Gurr, Presqu’ile Provincial Park, R.R. #4 Brighton, ON, K0K 1H0. (613) 475-4324 
    ....The Huron Fringe Birding Festival - May 28 - May31, 2004. Participate
      in the annual Huron Fringe Birding Festival at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, Port Elgin. Sponsored by the Friends of MacGregor Point Park, this exciting new nature festival will have numerous activities to celebrate Spring along the Lake Huron Shoreline.
    ....Holiday Beach Conservation Area - Festival of Hawks. September 8-9,
      15-16, 22-23, 2001. The Festival of Hawks is a celebration of the annual fall migration spectacle. Thousands of hawks migrate through Holiday Beach Conservation Area, Amherstburg, Essex County, Ontario. 
    ....Wye Marsh Festival - September 16 - 17, 2000. Wye Marsh Wildlife 
      Centre, Midland, Ontario.
    ....Migration Festival - October 1, 2000. Contact: Friends of the Perth 

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 Rare Bird Alert

Merlin - Photo copyright Bill Scholtz
Photo copyright Bill Scholtz
           Simcoe County Bird Hotline (705) 739-8585
           Oshawa(Durham) (905) 576-2738
           Hamilton (905) 648-9537
           Ottawa (613) 825-7444*
           Kingston (613) 549 8023
           Sault Ste Marie (705) 256-2790
           Timiskaming (705) 679-5030
           Toronto & area (416) 350-3000 (then 2293 from tone phones)
          Leslie St. Spit (416) 661-6600 Ext. 233.
           London (519) 457-4593
           Windsor/Detroit (810) 477-1360
           Windsor/Pt. Pelee (519) 252-2473
           Check also the Ontario RBA Archives
           The Muskoka Bird Board keeps records of recent sightings of birds
      in and around Muskoka, including Algonquin Park.
    ......Kitchener/Waterloo/Cambridge Sightings in Nature is a bird board for
      recent sightings

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North American Specialities in Ontario

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. Species highlighted in bold italicprint have
ONLY been found in this province of Canada. However, documented sightings of each species
noted below have been made in this location. 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. Species printed in blue are endangered.

North American Endemic Specialities in Ontario - No Canadian Endemics

___ Bachman's Sparrow
___ Black-capped Vireo
___ Black-headed Grosbeak
___ Black-headed Sparrow
___ Broad-billed Hummingbird
___ Bullock's Oriole
___ California Gull
___ Carolina Chickadee
___ Cassin's Finch
___ Cassin's Sparrow
___ Chestnut-collared Longspur
___ Clark's Nutcracker
___ Common Poorwill
___ Ferruginous Hawk
___ Fish Crow
___ Grey Flycatcher
___ Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch
___ Harris's Sparrow
___ House Finch
___ LeConte's Sparrow
___ Lewis's Woodpecker
___ Mountain Bluebird
___ Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow
___ Pileated Woodpecker
___ Phainopepla
___ Prairie Falcon
___ Red-bellied Woodpecker
___ Red-Shouldered Hawk
___ Ruffed Grouse
___ Sage Thrasher
___ Say's Phoebe
___ Scott's Oriole
___ Sharp-tailed Grouse
___ Smith's Longspur
___ Spotted Towhee
___ Spruce Grouse
___ Townsend's Solitaire
___ Trumpeter Swan
___ Tufted Titmouse
___ Western Grebe
___ Whooping Crane
Other Notable Ontario Birds

___ Kirtland's Warbler

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Links checked November 24, 2000