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Canadian Birds

Updated on January 15, 2015
Canada Geese at Bluffers Park, Toronto, Ontario
Canada Geese at Bluffers Park, Toronto, Ontario | Source

Explore the world of Canadian Birds across Canada. See puffins in Newfoundland, pelicans in Lake of the Woods and hummingbirds in my garden.

As an avid bird watcher I have always enjoyed observing and photographing our feathered friends. I have recently written an article about Canadian Birds in my Garden, and it occurred to me that I also have a lot of photos of other Canadian birds from my travels around the country.

Although my collection is relatively small at the moment, I have written this article to document the Canadian Birds that I have seen so far, and will add to the collection over time.

When we think of Canadian Birds, the first one that comes to mind is the Canada Goose, the most common and well known goose. Canada geese are native to North America but have been introduced into some European countries. Unfortunately, in urban areas, where they are fed by residents, the geese can become a problem, fouling parks and walkways.

Canada: A Land of Lakes

American White Pelicans on Lake of the Woods
American White Pelicans on Lake of the Woods | Source
Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle | Source
Osprey on Nest in 30,000 Islands, Georgian Bay
Osprey on Nest in 30,000 Islands, Georgian Bay | Source

Canada is a land of freshwater lakes which create a perfect environment for birds that feed on fresh fish.

I have always seen and admired Pelicans on my visits to Florida and California, but I never dreamed that they would live in the Great White North.

However, on a recent fishing vacation to Lake of the Woods in Western Ontario, I was amazed to see that populations of American White Pelicans spend the summer there.

Also a common fixture in Lake of the Woods is the spectacular Bald Eagle. It is often seen perched on the top of the highest tree which gives it a commanding view of potential prey.

The Osprey, also known as the fish eagle, can be seen throughout Canada because of the large number of fresh water lakes that provide their staple diet of fish.

DVD and Blu-Ray from Amazon

Have You Seen The Movie 'The Big Year'?

If you love bird watching then don't miss 'The Big Year', a new movie starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson.

The 'Big Year' referenced in the title is when an avid birder picks one calendar year to see as many different species of North American birds as possible. The existing record, held by Owen Wilson's character, is 732 species of birds.

Now, the three lead characters are each embarking on their own 'Big Year', to see if they can topple the record. The movie is a comedy and, with such star power, it is a sure-fire hit even if you don't like bird watching.

But if you love bird watching as much as I do, then you shouldn't miss it!

Birds of Trees and Hedgerows

Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwing | Source
Oriole | Source
Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird | Source

I was so excited to get this shot of a Cedar Waxwing!

Ever since I was a small boy in England, I had admired this bird on Brooke Bond tea cards but had never seen one.

Then, on a bird watching trip with my Dad in Oshawa, Ontario, I spotted this beauty and got the perfect shot!

On the same field trip, I also was able to get photos of:

  • The Northern Oriole (Baltimore race)
  • The Red-winged Blackbird, and
  • The Yellow Warbler below (another first)!

Other highlights of that day included a fly-by from a Northern Harrier, a common resident of the grasslands and marshes that we were exploring.

Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler | Source


Tundra Swan
Tundra Swan | Source
Grebes on Eagle Lake
Grebes on Eagle Lake | Source
Mallards in Lake Ontario
Mallards in Lake Ontario | Source

I photographed these swans on Lake Ontario, a mile from my house. These Tundra swans have a black beak, and erect neck, which differentiates them from the Mute Swan below.

The Grebes were spotted in Eagle Lake, Ontario just before one of them became trapped in what appeared to be fishing line. As we pulled closer in our canoe, I was leaning over to reach for the bird when I suddenly realised that a large snapping turtle had fixed on to the grebe's leg. Before I could react, the turtle released the Grebe and it escaped, hopefully none the worse for wear.

Mallards are also a fixture on most freshwater lakes across the country, having the widest range of any North American duck.

Mute Swan
Mute Swan | Source

Canada: The Atlantic Coast

Atlantic Puffins in Newfoundland
Atlantic Puffins in Newfoundland | Source
Herring Gull
Herring Gull | Source

On the Atlantic (East) coast of Canada, on the island of Newfoundland, we took a whale watching tour. In addition to seeing Humpback whales off the coast, we were also fortunate enough to visit one of Canada's only breeding colonies of Atlantic Puffins. With their unique, colourful bills and squat shape, these birds are like none other. Their wings are very short so when they fly, the wings have to beat very fast.

In addition to the common Herring Gull, we also saw a colony of Common Murres.

Common Murre
Common Murre | Source

Canadian Birds in my Garden

Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks
Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks | Source
Northern Cardinal and American Goldfinch
Northern Cardinal and American Goldfinch | Source
Blue Jay
Blue Jay | Source

Many of the most well-known Canadian birds are shown in my article on Canadian Birds in my Garden, including the:

  • American Goldfinch
  • Hairy and Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Blue Jay
  • Mourning Dove
  • American Robin
  • Common Grackle
  • Flicker
  • Great White Heron
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Black-eyed Junco
  • Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches

Canadian Animals in my Garden

Chipmunk | Source
Raccoon at Night
Raccoon at Night | Source

If you are interested, you can also see Canadian Animals in my Garden, including:

  • Chipmunks
  • Raccoons
  • Black, grey and red Squirrels
  • Leopard Frog
  • Garter Snake
  • White-tailed Deer
  • Fox
  • Rabbit
  • Mink

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Ruby-throated Hummingbird | Source

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds hold a special place in my heart because of their amazing flight capabilities.

If you are interested in sharing the same enjoyment that I experience watching these beautiful birds, then let me show you How to Create a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Habitat.

Can You Identify These Birds?

Unidentified grouse?
Unidentified grouse? | Source
Unidentified Bird of Prey
Unidentified Bird of Prey | Source

I am still a relative novice when it comes to identifying some of the less common species. Here are two birds where I need your help.

The first bird was seen crossing the road at Totem Lodge in Lake of the Woods, Ontario. It is almost certainly a Grouse, but which species?

The second bird is a bird of prey that landed in my garden in Toronto , Ontario. Based on my bird books, I thought it might be a Merlin falcon, but I have since been told that it might be a hawk. Any ideas?

Canadian Birds

I hope you found this article on Canadian Birds interesting. I plan to add more birds as opportunity permits.

Other articles that might be of interest to you are:

Happy Bird Watching!



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