Skip to Main Content
A Bird-Finding Guide to Ontario

A Bird-Finding Guide to Ontario

Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 480
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    A Bird-Finding Guide to Ontario
    Book Description:

    A Bird-Finding Guide to Ontariohas been the indispensable guide for Ontario birders since it was first published in 1982. With this completely revised and greatly expanded edition the reader will now have, in one volume, complete, up-to-date information on where and when to look for birds, and detailed information on the distribution of all species recorded in the province.

    Ontario offers a host of opportunities for the bird watcher. More than 450 species of birds have been found in the province, and at least 285 have nested. From southern deciduous woodlands to Arctic coastline, this guide presents precise directions on where birds are found, emphasizing the most popular and productive localities, but also citing numerous little-known locales that will delight aficionado and novice alike. County maps show the locations of the areas covered. Additional, more detailed maps supplement the text.

    Goodwin supplies valuable information on the province as a whole and the habitats contained within. He lists common breeding birds one can expect to encounter, and describes seasonal weather conditions and migration patterns and the most productive kinds of birding to be found. The book concludes with special information for visitors to the province. An extensive index provides easy access to the guide.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7142-3
    Subjects: Zoology

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-1)
  5. 1 How to Use This Book
    (pp. 3-8)

    This chapter presents the plan of the book. There are four main sections. The first gives general information on Ontario birds and their status in the province, the next (chapters 3–18) contains the regional accounts and forms the major body of the text, and the last two chapters contain information for visitors and a systematic list of species.

    If you are unfamiliar with the province, first read chapters 2 and 19. Chapter 2 starts with a general picture of the province as a whole, the habitats it contains, and the common breeding birds one can expect to encounter. There...

  6. 2 Ontario and Its Bird Life
    (pp. 9-35)

    The province of Ontario has an area of 1,068,587 square kilometres (412,582 square miles), or over four times that of the United Kingdom and a third more than the state of Texas. It is not only huge in area but in extent: it is over 1,600 kilometres from west to east, and also from north to south. In practical terms it is even more formidable: if you cross into the province from the Quebec boundary in the extreme southeast and drive to Manitoba you will cover well over 2,000 kilometres; cross from the United States at Windsor in the southwest...

  7. 3 Point Pelee and Area: Essex and Kent Counties
    (pp. 37-63)

    For a birder a first drive through the flat arable farmland bordering Highway 401 in Essex and Kent counties seems to hold little birding promise. The sweeping vistas are little interrupted by woodlands or natural habitat, and the Carolinian forests that once must have covered much of this land seem hardly a memory. Yet these two counties offer some of Canadaʹs most exciting birding. They are the stronghold of southern species that occur only rarely farther north, and their location as a peninsular tip to the rest of the province channels migrants and creates concentrations of species and rarities that...

  8. 4 Sarnia and Area: Lambton County
    (pp. 65-75)

    Lambton County lies directly north of Kent County, with the St Clair River forming its western boundary, and Lake Huron to the north. These two features do much to define the areaʹs attraction for a birder; fall waterbird migrants moving down the length of Lake Huron are gradually channelled westwards as the lake narrows until, at Sarnia, it ends completely. Birds must then follow the river, or embark on a long overland flight. In fact, it appears they do both. In winter, parts of the river remain open, so in this season it is also of significance for concentrations of...

  9. 5 Eastern Lake Huron and the Bruce Peninsula: Huron, Bruce, and Grey Counties
    (pp. 77-93)

    These three counties are isolated from the main communication networks of southern Ontario, lack major population centres – Owen Sound, with a population of some 20,000, is the largest town – and are also away from the prime birding destinations along the lower Great Lakes. Formerly they were rather neglected by birders, particularly those areas south of the Bruce Peninsula. The Bruceʹs reputation as a haven for some of the provinceʹs rarest and most attractive plants has drawn naturalists north to the peninsula, and it is now recognized for an outstanding array of breeding birds as well. The configuration of...

  10. 6 London, Hawk Cliff, and Area: Middlesex, Elgin, and Oxford Counties
    (pp. 95-105)

    These counties are much more diverse than those to the west. Although heavily agricultural, the farming is more varied and areas of poor soils and of woodland more common. The countryside along the lake is mainly flat and becomes very sandy in the east, resembling the areas of the adjacent Haldimand-Norfolk Region. Elsewhere the landscape is rolling, yielding bucolic vistas of contented cattle and prosperous farms.

    The city of London, with some 300,000 population, is the major centre for all of southwestern Ontario. Its airport is often the most convenient access point for the areas to the west: Pelee is...

  11. 7 The Long Point Area: Haldimand-Norfolk Region
    (pp. 107-123)

    The Lake Erie shoreline east from Elgin County is bounded by a broad sandy plain which occupies the western half of Haldimand-Norfolk Regional Municipality. The agricultural lands here are subject to serious wind erosion, which has led over the years to extensive coniferous reforestation and the planting of windbreaks. Many of these plantings are now well grown and form some of the most extensive tracts of coniferous forest south of the Shield. The natural forests of the area are the deciduous woodlands common to the Erie shores; they exist today mainly as woodlots, some of which are quite extensive.


  12. 8 Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, and Area: The Counties of Wellington, Waterloo, Perth, and Dufferin
    (pp. 125-139)

    These counties lie almost entirely in the Great Lakes–St Lawrence Forest Region, although the northern edge of the deciduous forest reaches as far as Cambridge. Lying well inland from the Great Lakes and downwind of Lake Huron, they have more severe winters and heavier snow than areas to the south, and also lack areas of comparable birding quality. Nevertheless, the region is not without good birding spots; the mixture of forest types around Cambridge yields a fine diversity of natural communities in close proximity to one another, and Luther Marsh is a major wetland. There are a number of...

  13. 9 The Niagara River and Area: Niagara Regional Municipality
    (pp. 141-151)

    Niagara Falls is one of Canadaʹs major natural spectacles, and draws tourists from all over the world. The area is a major attraction for birders as well, but for different reasons: the Niagara River has become famous for the thousands of gulls that concentrate there in later fall and early winter. It is to see this sometimes rather uncertain spectacle, and the rarities the milling flocks contain, that most birders will travel to the area. Nevertheless, the Niagara Peninsula has more birding to offer than the river alone, particularly for a Canadian visitor.

    The region presents an assortment of delights....

  14. 10 Hamilton and Area: Hamilton-Wentworth Region, Brant County, and Adjacent Areas
    (pp. 153-171)

    The city of Hamilton, sitting at the westernmost end of Lake Ontario, abounds with places of interest to a birder. Here the Niagara Escarpment curves along the lake, and below it the waters of Hamilton Harbour are cut off from Lake Ontario by the long sandbar of Burlington Beach. Both water and landbird migrants are concentrated here, and also farther inland. At the west end of the harbour Dundas Marsh provides the city with a major wetland, and there are wooded tracts along its shores, and inland along the line of the escarpment. This is still the Carolinian Forest Region,...

  15. 11 Toronto and Area: Metropolitan Toronto and the Regions of Halton, Peel, York, and Durham
    (pp. 173-207)

    Metropolitan Toronto is a city of over two million persons, with all the urban sprawl that implies. Like all large cities, its shadow extends far beyond its formal boundaries, and the southern parts of the regions of Halton, Peel, York, and Durham are all heavily urbanized, giving the entire conurbation a population of three million or more. In spite of its size, however, it has many excellent birding locales, most of them associated with the Lake Ontario shoreline.

    Toronto is the entry point to Ontario for overseas visitors, and indeed for most persons arriving by air; and the major provincial...

  16. 12 Peterborough, Presquʹîle, and Area: Victoria, Peterborough, and Northumberland Counties
    (pp. 209-225)

    East of the sprawling mass of Toronto and its satellite communities the rolling, scenic countryside of the Oak Ridges Moraine approaches the lake. Beyond it to the north drumlin fields and further moraine land continue up to the Precambrian Shield. The Shield itself gradually probes south as the lakeshore angles gently north: Shield occupies the northern edge of Victoria County and maybe a third of Peterborough County. To the south, along the lake, the narrow agricultural plain continues east through Northumberland County to Trenton. It all adds up to a diverse and picturesque region with prosperous agriculture and orchards alternating...

  17. 13 The Kingston Area and Prince Edward Point: The Counties of Hastings, Lennox and Addington, Frontenac, Leeds and Grenville, and Prince Edward
    (pp. 227-245)

    Southwestern Ontario is the glamour spot, but for superb birding year-round, the Kingston area is hard to beat. These counties embrace the southernmost extension of the Precambrian Shield – the Frontenac Axis – and the diverse forests here attract a rich assortment of breeding birds, offering a fascinating mix of northern and southern species at the limits of their respective ranges. Much of the Shield is bounded by limestone plains with shallow soils and marginal agriculture, yielding the characteristic birds of old field habitats, while the extensive marshes in the many sheltered bays and along the Cataraqui River are ideal...

  18. 14 Ottawa and Eastern Ontario: The Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, and the Counties of Lanark, Prescott and Russell, and Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
    (pp. 247-259)

    The far eastern counties of Ontario are dominated by Ottawa, a city of over 300,000 inhabitants. As the nationʹs capital, it has a good airport and is well served by Highways 417/17 from the east and west. Since the regionʹs southern boundary, along the St Lawrence River, is traversed by Highway 401 (with Highways 15, 16, and 31 linking it to Ottawa itself), the region is well served by major highways.

    Since the first edition of this guide, much fieldwork has been done in eastern Ontario as a whole by members of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists. New localities have been identified...

  19. 15 Eastern Georgian Bay and the Sudbury Area: Simcoe County, the Districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound, Manitoulin and the Southern Part of Sudbury District
    (pp. 261-277)

    This chapter will cover four rather distinct areas: Simcoe County; the northward routes of Highways 11 and 69 through the districts of Muskoka and Parry Sound; Sudbury and its environs, including the Regional Municipality and the District of Sudbury south of and including Highway 17; and finally, Manitoulin Island.

    The northwest of Simcoe County is dominated by the Niagara Escarpment, and to the northeast are the ancient rocks of the Precambrian Shield. In between is a diverse landscape much modified by glaciation, with gravelly ridges, picturesque gorges, extensive bogs and wetlands, together with some areas of prosperous farmland. In the...

  20. 16 Algonquin Park, Pembroke, and North Bay: Renfrew and Haliburton Counties, and the District of Nipissing South of Highway 17
    (pp. 279-289)

    This chapter includes some of the agricultural lands along the Ottawa valley north from Arnprior, but the area is mostly Shield, heavily forested, and very picturesque. The main Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 17) traverses the northeast boundary of the region, and the two larger communities, the cities of Pembroke and North Bay, are associated with it. Otherwise population centres are relatively few, and they and the limited road network primarily service the recreational activities that abound. In spite of its relative remoteness, the southwest of the region is only some 200 km from Toronto, and Ottawa is even closer to the...

  21. 17 Northern Ontario
    (pp. 291-335)

    Northern Ontario as treated here is all of Ontario north of Lakes Huron and Superior, excluding Manitoulin Island, the Regional Municipality of Sudbury, and the area south of the line formed by Highways 6 and 17 between Little Current and Mattawa. It includes the District of Sudbury north of the Regional Municipality and Highway 17, and the District of Nipissing north of 17. The extreme western part of northern Ontario – the District of Rainy River west of Highway 71 – is dealt with in the next chapter.

    The enormous size of this region can only be grasped when one...

  22. 18 Rainy River and Lake of the Woods
    (pp. 337-344)

    West of Fort Frances the character of the landscape changes sharply from a rugged country of mixed forests and lakes to flat farmland interspersed with mixed bush. This southern corner of extreme western Ontario is not only remote from the rest of the province geographically; its bird life is very different as well. With average summer temperatures similar to those at Toronto, many southern birds which do not appear in most of the north do occur here. Poor drainage and severe winters produce boreal islands of black spruce bog, with associated northern birds. Most striking to the visitor from southern...

  23. 19 For the Visitor
    (pp. 345-354)

    Public transportation outside cities in Ontario is rather limited, but there are bus, rail, and air links between major centres. Most international or transcontinental flights arrive at Toronto, the hub of the provincial transportation network. Cities with major airports are marked on the provincial road map.

    Ontarioʹs principal road network is the system of numbered Queenʹs highways, designated by a number in a shield topped by a crown. Most of these roads (those numbered to 99) are surfaced and of good all-weather quality, and the Queen Elizabeth Way and the 400 series are all major, divided, controlled-access highways. Other highways,...

  24. 20 Systematic List
    (pp. 355-448)

    This list provides concise statements on the status of all species recorded in the province, with accompanying bar charts on the more regularly occurring ones. The coverage follows Ross D. James,Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Ontario, (Royal Ontario Museum 1991), with the addition of species that have been reliably reported since his list was published, to the end of 1992. A few later records have been included. These have been referred to as ʹrecent reports,ʹ not to imply doubt as to their validity, but simply to identify them as awaiting the usual processes of review. The nomenclature has...

  25. Appendix: Scientific Names of Mammal, Reptile, and Plant Species Mentioned in the Text
    (pp. 449-450)
  26. Index
    (pp. 451-477)