Learn more about our nature
The Bruce Peninsula is a great place to go birding in Ontario. It doesn't matter which season or where you are on the peninsula - there are lots of birds to find. The habitats are diverse and the geography is ideal.
Good roads and trails take you to a variety of forests, lakes, wetlands, shorelines, fields, meadows, streams and more. The peninsula is one large "corridor" of land between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. During migration season, there are multitudes of travelling birds to track down.
The different habitats offer homes to good mix of species. This all adds up to a great place to go "birding". Access is available through the parks, conservation areas, roads, trails and waterways. A pair of binoculars, a good field guide, a decent map and a healthy dose of curiosity is all you need.
Wetlands (fens, marshes and swamps) are rich with wildlife and especially birds. Good examples are; Isaac Lake, Oliphant Fen, Black's Creek, Crane Lake and Dorcas Bay. Here, expect to find; Pied-billed Grebes, Mallards, Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Great Blue Heron, American Bittern, Osprey, Caspian Terns, Snipe, Woodcock, Kingfisher, Pileated Woodpeckers, wrens, swallows, warblers and Red-wing Blackbirds. At night listen for Virginia Rail and Sora.
Photo by Melissa H-D
Photo by Rachal Wiles
Out on the open waters of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay you can find Common Loon, mergansers and gulls throughout the year. During the busy migration (early spring and late fall) you can find; grebes, cormorants, scooters, Oldsquaw, Goldeneye, Bufflehead, terns and other transient waterfowl. Spotted Sandpipers have staked claims for all available shoreline. They bop and fly along the water's edge almost everywhere you go from May to September. Lake Huron has a few good stretches of sand and mud which attract a regular mix of shorebirds during busy migration.
The meadows and over grown fields are scattered everywhere. All the regular open land birds are represented here including; Eastern Kingbird, Horned Lark, Brown Thrasher, Gray Catbird, Robin, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and loads of sparrows. The vast expanse of the Ferndale Flats, smack in the heart of the Peninsula, acts like our own chunk of prairie habitat and attracts a few interesting species. This is a good place to find; Upland Sandpiper, Brewer's Blackbird, Northern Harrier and Grasshopper Sparrow. Sandhill Cranes like to forage throughout the flats and can be seen in a few fields from May to October.
The Niagara Escarpment has some impressive cliff faces. The ledges and crannies on the rock faces offer special nesting sites for colonies of Rough-winged, Cliff and Barn Swallows. Turkey Vulture, Common Raven and Herring Gulls also seek the isolation of these places.
This is a sample of great birding spots and only a partial list of what you might experience while Birding the Bruce Peninsula.