Northern Ontario Birds – The Great Migration
Every spring and summer, the woods becoming deafening with the melancholy songs of the birds migrating through northern Ontario. After a silent winter, seeing and hearing all of the different species of birds coming back to nest is truly a treat for local birdwatchers. Pictures start to overwhelm the birding pages on Facebook. Bird-watching is thing, a big thing in northern Ontario!
Yes, the first sighting of a robin is a tell-tale sign of spring. But, when the hummingbirds, warblers, cedar wax wings and bobolinks show up, you know that summer is just around the corner. Nothing brings the birds in faster than a good fly hatch, because many species of birds are insectivores. However, northern Ontario is also a nesting ground for birds of prey and birds that fish to survive.
Ospreys, bald eagles, American kestrels, and many species of hawks dot the skies, trees and lakes as well. Newcomers to the hobby of bird-watching count on websites such as Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology. The site helps identify backyard visitors. Cornell’s All About Birds is a great place to browse pictures and listen to calls. Birds can be secretive and are often heard and not seen. The lab of ornithology also allows enthusiasts to sign up for backyard sightings and to report what you see.
Going beyond the backyard, northern Ontario road trips to birding hotspots, such as Manitoulin Island and many of the provincial parks are a hot activity in the warmer months.
It can be a sad day when the songs cease, but birdwatchers are ever hopeful and put up their winter bird feeders and suet stations in hopes of keeping a few feathered friends around for the winter.