Hotspots Near You

  • 244. Rosetta McClain Gardens Raptor Watch, Toronto, Ontario

    My favorite hawk watch sits atop the Scarborough Bluffs in Canada’s largest city. It affords spectacular views of Lake Ontario, and on clear days you can see the mist rising from Niagara Falls across the lake. Hawks often fly low along the bluffs, providing exceptional opportunities for close study.

  • 239. Penticton Marina and Esplanade, Penticton, British Columbia

    Birding Okanagan Lake combines ease of access with a scenic backdrop. I feel fortunate to have lived not far from the Penticton Marina for almost 20 years. I enjoyed the convenience of driving to the lakeshore in fall and winter, pulling into a free parking slot, and watching ducks, geese, and gulls only feet away on a sandy beach.

  • 217. Hawk Cliff Hawk Watch, Elgin County, Ontario

    I’ve been making the trek to Hawk Cliff for almost 30 years. I usually try to arrive early, before the raptors are in the air, to look for migrant songbirds. A wonderful, large mulberry tree near the main observation area is often filled with warblers, Cedar Waxwings, Baltimore Orioles, and other species.

  • 190. Riding Mountain National Park, Wasagaming, Manitoba

    Approximately one hour north of Brandon, Manitoba, is Riding Mountain National Park, one of the best birding hotspots in all of Canada. An incredible diversity of habitats — mature boreal forest, prairie grasslands, and warbler-filled hardwood forests — makes the park spectacular. Riding Mountain supports more than 250 species of breeding birds, including such sought-after species as Connecticut Warbler, Great Gray Owl, and Spruce Grouse. Big Days in and around the park have approached 200 species.

  • 181. Luther Marsh WMA, Grand Valley, Ontario

    A recent memorable birding day for me began at dawn on a day in late May at Luther Marsh. I was participating in Bird Studies Canada’s annual Baillie Birdathon. I wanted to see how many species I could count in 24 hours during breeding season. By 12:30 p.m., I had observed 76 species, including American Bittern, Le Conte’s Sparrow, and Mourning Warbler.

  • 173. Boundary Bay Dykes, Delta and Surrey, British Columbia

    The 10-mile Boundary Bay dyke trail from Mud Bay to Beach Grove offers great birdwatching and exceptional views of salt marshes, mudflats, distant islands, and snow-capped mountain peaks. Hundreds of people have used the trail to see Snowy Owls, which have showed up in big numbers the last two winters. Even when the owls do not winter here, Boundary Bay has many other birds to enjoy. It is a globally significant Important Bird Area, and well known for raptors, waterfowl, and shorebirds.

  • 168. Oak Hammock Marsh, Stonewall, Manitoba

    Known for its beautiful location and abundant wildlife, Oak Hammock Marsh is home to 300 bird species, 25 mammal species, and numerous amphibians, reptiles, and fish. During fall migration, the number of waterfowl using the marsh can exceed 400,000 daily.

  • 165. Gaetz Lakes Sanctuary, Red Deer, Alberta

    I love to get people enthused about nature, and I’ve had many opportunities to wander the trails here with both children and adults. Once, when I was at the bird blind with a group of Girl Guides (the equivalent of Girl Scouts in the United States), we heard the hysterical giggle of a Sora. I explained that Sora is secretive and hard to see. A girl asked what it looked like, and I told her. She replied, “You mean, like that one standing there?” Sure enough, a Sora was foraging out in the open. The girls were thrilled. Later, the girl confided to me that she hadn’t realized birding could be so much fun.