The diverse habitats across Ontario support marsh, shore and field birds and a spectacular number of migratory birds stopover at various parts of Ontario during spring migration. Plenty of events are held to celebrate this wonder of a phenomena. Here are the most famous and must attend festivals whether you are a avid birder or just looking to spend some time immersed in nature.
1. Festival of Birds
The cool climate and the beautiful eco-systems defined by the rare Carolinian floral species gives a defiant space for any birder with an interest for adventure in the mild green lands characterized by the sweet audacious melodies from the birds in the park. It is one of the largest migration corridors including birds and butterflies whose migration peak time occurs in spring after their journey across Lake Erie. More than 100 species of birds live in the park and over the years at least 350 different migratory species of birds have been observed. To celebrate avian migration phenomenon in Canada’s southernmost mainland, The Friends of Point Pelee and Point Pelee National Park organises Festival of Birds every May. Details
May 1 to 20, 2019
Point Pelee National Park & Hillman Marsh Conservation Area, Leamington
2. Spring Birding Festival
Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area is located about 20 kilometres (km) southeast of Picton along the northeast shore of Lake Ontario. The geographic location and diversity of habitats causes a spectacular number of migratory birds to concentrate at the tip of the peninsula. Also, large numbers of diurnal and nocturnal raptors pass through the area during spring and fall migration. The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory (PEPtBO), located in the southeast corner of Prince Edward County on Long Point organises this annual festival that celebrates migration along this corridor. Events include Spring-time bird banding demonstrations, and Fall Northern saw-whet owl banding, World Migratory Bird Day celebrations, PEPtBO Photography Contest 2018 and more! Details
April 15 – May 31, 2019
Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, 6056 Long Point Rd, Milford
3. Huron Fringe Birding festival
With birds on the nest and blossoming flowers, you will have excellent time uncovering the beauty of Huron shoreline. Although, there is so much more to this festival! In the morning, you can participate in guided hiking which is truly outstanding experience as you will focus not only on birds but flowers and insects both inside and outside of the park. As the festival takes place in the early spring, photographers and enthusiasts will get a unique opportunity to capture wonderful Huron coastline. Additional hiking and workshops take place in the afternoon. Workshops are about bird identification, nature photography or other nature-related topics. Special events include banquet and night hiking! You can listen to one of the guest speakers at the banquet and learn some amazing things while having fun. Details
May 24 – 27 & May 30 – June 2, 2019
McGregor Point Park, Port Elgin
4. Warblers and Whimbrels Weekend
Presqu’ile is the perfect place to view amazing birds on their migratory journey. During spring, smaller birds and shorebirds such as warblers and whimblers migrate north and stop at Presqu’ile to rest. The park is the perfect spot for birds to stop over since it is positioned as a peninsula in Lake Ontario and has diverse habitats availing plenty of food and a place to rest. If you want to witness the spectacle, May is your month. Although the number of birds will vary from day to day, there’s always something to see throughout the month. Activities include bird banding, beginner walks, orientation, bird-banding and more! At the Lighthouse Interpretive Centre, you can buy a souvenir or a hot drink or join the friends BBQ fundraiser at the lighthouse. Details
May 18 and 19, 2019 – May Long Weekend
Presqu’ile Provincial Park, 328 Presqu’ile Pkwy, Brighton
5. World Migration Day Celebrations
Every year, during the second Saturday in May, World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated to encourage bird conservation and increases awareness of birds through activities that are fun, engaging and educational. Across Ontario, many events are held to celebrate the annual event.
May 11, 2019
Spring Bird Festival @ Tommy Thompson Park, Toronto. Tommy Thompson Park is Toronto’s largest greenspace and provides critical stopover habitat for migrating birds. There have been 318 native species recorded to date at the park!
World Migratory Bird Day @ Rouge National Park: Join Parks Canada and the Toronto Zoo in celebrating the return of the migratory birds in the Rouge, and the start of the Toronto Bird Celebration with this annual World Migratory Bird Day event!
Toronto Bird Celebration: Bird-themed events will be happening all across the city, hosted by many of Toronto’s conservation organizations and community groups.
Ottawa Migratory Bird Day: The event will include naturalist guides leading walks to observe birds and their habitat, birds of prey demonstrations, and outdoor activities for bird lovers of all ages. Details
Many events are held across Ontario on May 11, Check events here.