Ontario’s provincial bird is the Common Loon. This bird, which can be found in lakes and rivers around the province, was chosen in 1994.
The Bald Eagle is the largest bird in Ontario, with females having a wingspan of up to 8 feet (2.5 m) and males having a wingspan of up to 8 feet (2.5 m).
The Calliope Hummingbird is Ontario’s tiniest bird, measuring only around 3 inches long, although it can fly considerable distances from Canada to southern Mexico.
It appears in 45 percent of all Ontario checklists on eBird throughout the year and is the most common bird in the state.
If you want to get out and see other birds in their natural habitat, Ontario contains 6 National Parks, 10 National Wildlife Areas, and 9 Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
1. Black-capped Chickadee
The Black-capped Chickadee has a small body and a large round head. These birds of Ontario will happily eat from backyard feeders and will inspect everything, including you!
Their beaks and heads are black, their faces are white, and their backs, white wing bar, wings, and tail are grey.
Forests, open woods, and parks are all good places to look for them. Black-capped chickadees eat seeds, berries, insects, spiders, and suet.
Suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts or peanut butter are all good ways to attract additional Black-capped Chickadees to your yard. They’ll even eat from your hand, and they’re usually the first to notice new feeders. They’ll also use nest boxes, especially if they’re filled with wood shavings.
2. American Robin
American Robins, which consume earthworms, are a common sight on lawns. Their heads and backs are black, while their breasts are crimson or bright orange. Because they prefer to roost in trees during the winter, you’re more likely to see them in your backyard starting in the spring.
American Robins can be found in a variety of environments, including woods, forests, and mountains, as well as fields, parks, and lawns. Earthworms, insects, snails, and fruit are among their favorite foods.
Sunflower seeds, suet and peanut hearts, fruit, and mealworms can all be used to attract more American Robins to your yard. Platform feeders or food distributed on the ground are ideal—Plant Juniper, Sumac, Hawthorn, and Dogwood, which are natural plants that produce berries.
3. American Crow
Crows in the United States are huge blackbirds that produce a harsh cawing sound. They are common birds that can be found in a variety of environments such as trees, woods, fields, beaches, and cities.
They eat a wide variety of foods and like to graze on the ground, where they eat earthworms, insects, seeds, and fruit. They also eat fish, young turtles, mussels, clams, eggs, and nestlings from a variety of bird species.
American Crows congregate in enormous flocks of up to two million birds of Ontario sleep in communal roosts in the winter.
If you toss peanuts in your backyard, you can attract more American Crows, but they can become a nuisance if you leave garbage or pet food out.
4. Blue Jay
Blue Jays have a blue erect crest, blue and black backs, white undersides and are common songbirds. They are noisy birds of Ontario that wander in big flocks around the Great Lakes and Atlantic coast, eating acorns when they are available.
They live in woodlands but like to be near Oak trees because they eat acorns. They can also be found near feeders in backyards. They eat insects, nuts and seeds, and grain in addition to acorns. They may also remove eggs or nestlings from nests.
If you want to attract more Blue Jays to your yard, try feeding them peanuts, sunflower seeds, or suet in tray feeders or hopper feeders on a post. They’ll also appreciate a birdbath.
5. American Goldfinch
The males of American Goldfinches have a striking yellow and black plumage in the spring. In the winter, females and males are both a dull brown color.
American Goldfinches breed in the far north and in Canada before moving to the south, where they spend the entire year.
They forage for sunflower, thistle, and aster plants in weedy fields and overgrown places. They’re also common in parks, backyards, and suburbs.
Plant thistles and milkweed in your yard to attract more American Goldfinches. Most bird feeders will attract them, and they like sunflower and Nyjer seed.
6. Mourning Dove
Mourning Doves are small, graceful birds of Ontario with plump bodies and long tails. The wings have a light pale brown color with black markings.
In grasslands, pastures, and backyards, they can be observed perching on telephone wires and foraging for seeds on the ground. Mourning Doves can be found in open regions or along woodland edges.
Mourning Doves are found across the lower 48 United States throughout the year. However, they travel south after breeding in southern Canada and northern central United States.
By distributing millet on the ground or using platform feeders, you can attract more Mourning Doves to your yard. They’ll consume black sunflower seeds, Nyjer, cracked corn, and peanut hearts, among other things.
7. Black-Throated Gray Warbler
The Black-throated Gray Warbler has a striking monochrome appearance, with only a little yellow spot above and in front of the eye. It gets its name from its black throat and grey back, but its distinctive black-and-white striped face is equally striking.
These are some of the birds of Ontario that can be found in pine and mixed pine-oak forests west of the Rocky Mountains. It sings a buzzy zeet-chee zeedle zeedle zeet-chee song.
8. Red-winged Blackbird
The all-black plumage of red-winged blackbirds, save for the vivid red and yellow shoulder patches, makes them simple to distinguish. In comparison to the streaky brown coloring of the males, the females are quite drab.
Red-winged Black birds of Ontario are found across the United States. However, they may migrate after reproducing in the extreme north.
They are frequently seen sitting on telephone wires, and during the breeding season, the males will fiercely protect their territory, even attacking individuals who come too close to nests. During the winter, they roost in enormous flocks, numbering in the millions.
Spread mixed grain and seeds on the ground to attract more Red-winged blackbirds to your yard. They’ll eat enormous tube feeders or platform feeders as well.
9. Song Sparrow
They are brown-streaked birds of Ontario that are commonly perched on a low shrub singing in open, shrubby, and damp settings. They’re frequently seen at backyard feeders.
Beetles, caterpillars, midges, spiders, and earthworms are among the insects and plants that Song Sparrows eat. Buckwheat, sunflower, raspberries, wild cherries, blackberries, wheat, and rice are additional favorites.
10. Common Grackle
The Common Grackle is a blackbird with glossy iridescent bodies that is taller and longer-tailed than other blackbirds.
They eat a variety of crops, but primarily maize, and congregate in noisy groups high in the trees. They will also devour trash, making them a nuisance. Open forests, marshes, parks, and fields are among their many habitats. In the winter, they may congregate in the millions to forage and roost alongside other blackbird species.
The Common Grackle spends the entire year in much of the east and all of the southeast but migrates south after mating in the far north and west of its range.
Most mixed grain and seed, strewn on the ground or on platform feeders, can attract more Common Grackles to your garden.
11. European Starling
European starlings are not native to the United States, yet they have become one of the most common songbirds. They’re stocky black birds with purple, green, and blue iridescent tones.
Some consider these birds of Ontario to be pests because of their aggressive demeanor. They can be found perched in groups on the tops of trees or flying over fields in flocks.
Beetles, flies, caterpillars, earthworms, and spiders are among the insects that starlings eat. Fruit such as cherries, holly berries, mulberries, Virginia Creeper, sumac, and blackberries, as well as grains and seeds, are consumed by them.
12. Chipping Sparrow
Chipping Sparrows are slender, long-tailed birds with a rust-brown crown and black eye line, as well as a greyish belly and black and brown streaks on the back. The colors are more subdued in the winter.
They breed across much of North America and Canada before flying to Mexico and Florida or the further south, where they spend the entire year.
They can be seen in small flocks on open terrain, and they will visit backyards in search of various types of birdseed.
13. Cedar Waxwing
Cedar Waxwings are graceful sociable birds with a light brown head, chest, and crest that fades to grey on the back, wings, and tail. The outer tail feathers are bright yellow, and their belly is pastel yellow. Their eyes are hidden under a tight black mask, and their wingtips are blazing red.
They can be found in berry bushes, forests, and near streams and have a high-pitched call. They breed in Canada before migrating south for the winter. They spend the entire year in the northern states of the United States.
Plant natural trees and shrubs with small fruits, such as serviceberry, dogwood, juniper, winterberry, and hawthorn, to attract Cedar Waxwings to your yard. Fruit can also be used in platform feeders.
14. Common Yellowthroat
Yellowthroats are little songbirds with long tails that are brownish on the back and a bright yellow patch beneath. The males wear a black mask that covers their entire faces. The intensity of the yellow varies by location, and some areas beneath the surface may appear more olive.
They breed in much of North America, with the exception of Alaska and northern Canada, and can be found in marshy or wetland environments, as well as brushy fields, in thick, tangled vegetation, the spring and summer.
They eat large insects and can be found in vast, densely vegetated backyards.
15. Yellow-throated Warbler
Yellow Warblers are little brilliant yellow birds with a bright yellow-green back and chestnut stripes on the breast that can be seen in the summer.
They migrate enormous distances to breed and migrate over most of Canada, Alaska, and the northern and central United States before wintering in Central and northern South America. During migration in the southern United States, they can be seen.
Yellow-throated Warbler can be seen foraging for insects such as caterpillars, midges, beetles, bugs, and wasps along streams and wetlands in thickets and along the borders of fields.
Because warblers are secretive and eat mostly insects, they are difficult to entice to your yard. Suet, bright orange, and peanut butter can be used to attract Yellow Warblers, as well as berries and native plants that attract insects, so no pesticides or excessive tidying! Birdbaths with fountains, as well as hidden thickets for safety.
16. Gray Flycatcher
Overall, it’s a drab grey with a narrow eye-ring, a faint mark in front of the eye, and pale wing-bars.
The bill is slender and long—a small grey flycatcher with a narrow bill, pale grey wing bars, and a delicate white eye-ring.
While perched, it jerks its tail up and down in a characteristic manner.
17. Downy Woodpecker
They’re frequently mistaken for other birds of Ontario like chickadees and nuthatches.
They have a red patch on the back of their heads and are black and white stripes, black wings in appearance. They resemble the Hairy Woodpecker but are smaller.
Downy woodpeckers can be found in woodlots, along streams, municipal parks, and backyards, and they eat berries, acorns, and grains in addition to insects, like Beetle Larvae.
Suet feeders are a good way to attract more Downy Woodpeckers to your yard, but they will also eat black oil sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts from platform feeders.
18. Gray-crowned rosy finch
Gray-crowned rosy-finches forage for seeds and insects on open terrain, hopping over snow, glaciers, scree, and talus in search of windblown insects and seeds. To feed, rest, and preen, they perch on rocks, low plants, and trees. They occasionally catch flying insects.
The alpine finch is a medium-sized bird. Overall, the bird is blackish rusty brown streaks with a grey crest and pink highlights on its wings and lower belly. During the non-breeding season, the bill is yellow, and during the breeding season, it is black.
19. House Sparrow
Another introduced species that has thrived and is now one of the most frequent birds of Ontario is the House Sparrow. They’re common near homes and buildings, and they’re extremely tame, so they’ll eat right out of your hand.
They are pests since they are non-native, yet they will still be found in backyards if you do not feed them. Black-throated Sparrow can be found in most crowded settings, particularly in cities, towns, farms, and other places where humans congregate. Grain and seed, as well as wasted food, are their main sources of nutrition.
Most types of birdseed, such as millet, corn, and sunflower seeds, will attract more House Sparrows to your backyard feeders.
20. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks have bright red throat and black wings. They have white stripes over them. They breed in eastern woodlands, where they can be found in both deciduous and coniferous trees. They are most widespread in regenerating woodlands and can be found in parks and along forest borders.
Rose-breasted grosbeaks prefer to forage for seeds, insects, and fruit in the foliage of trees, but they will visit backyard feeders for black oil sunflower seed and safflower seed. Make sure your feeders are stocked during migratory months when they’ll need the most energy.
Read more about Rarest Canadian Birds.
Common Birds of Ontario at Different Seasons
All of the birds of Ontario listed are the ones that show up most frequently on state checklists on eBird, and the data is a mix of birds seen most frequently in Ontario during the summer (June and July), winter (December and January), and all year.
Other birds of Ontario that aren’t frequently seen at feeders or in backyards have been removed to give you the birds in Ontario that you’re most likely to view from your own backyard. This data mix ensures that no matter what time of year you go birding in Ontario, these are the birds you’ll see at your feeders or on your lawn.
The Other birds of Ontario that flock to Ontario backyards fluctuate throughout the year. The tables below indicate the most common backyard birds of Ontario at different periods of the year.
Common birds of Ontario
- Black-capped Robin 40 percent
- Chickadee 45 percent
- The American Crow 39 percent success rate, whereas the Blue Jay 37 percent.
- Mourning Dove 32 percent
- American Goldfinch 36 percent
- Northern Cardinal (31%).
- Song Sparrow 30 percent
- Red-winged Blackbird 31 percent
- European Starling 29%.
Summer birds of Ontario
- American Robin 58 percent
- Song Sparrow (48%)
- Red-Winged Blackbird 45 percent
- American Goldfinch 42 percent
- Common Grackle 39%
- American Crow 38 percent
- Mourning Dove 32 percent
- Black-capped Chickadee (30%)
- 30 percent Blue Jay
- 30 percent European Starling
Winter birds of Ontario
- Black-capped Chickadee 53 percent
- Blue Jay 32 percent
- American Crow 32 percent
- Dark-eyed Junco 31 percent
- Downy Woodpecker 31 percent
- Northern Cardinal 29 percent
- White-breasted Nuthatch 27 percent
- American Goldfinch 27 percent
- Mourning Dove 26 percent
- European Starling 21 percent
What Is the Best Way to Identify Birds of Ontario?
Here are some helpful hints for identifying Birds of Ontario:
The easiest thing to notice about a bird is its size. In guidebooks, birds of Ontario are frequently measured in inches or millimeters. It’s advisable to make a mental note of the bird’s size, whether it’s small, medium, or huge, so you can find it later.
A sparrow is about the size of a little bird, a pigeon is about the size of a medium bird, and a goose is around the size of a large bird.
Shape – Make a mental note of the bird’s silhouette and jot it down or draw it out. Examine the length of the tail, the shape of the bill, the shape of the wings, and the overall body shape.
Color pattern — Write down the primary color of the head, back, belly, wings, and tail, as well as any secondary colors or patterns. Any patterns, such as banding, spots, or highlights, should also be noted.
Are they on the ground, or are they far up in the trees? Are they in groups or are they solitary? Are you able to figure out what they’re eating?
Woodlands, parks, shrubs, grasslands or meadows, beach or marsh are all examples of habitat.
Make use of a bird identification app like eBird or Audubon’s.
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