birds of southeastern Ontario birds of southeastern Ontario

12 Must-See Birds of Southeastern Ontario

Birds of southeastern Ontario find an excellent habitat in Southeastern Ontario for its abundance of bird feed and nesting grounds. 

One can find songbirds, shorebirds, owls and birds of prey in forests, fields, and wetlands. Ontario has more than 500 recorded bird species. One can find the following birds in Ontario: 

  • Turkey Vulture
  • Double-crested Cormorant 
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Cedar Waxwing
  • Tree Swallow, Belted Kingfisher 
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Bald Eagle

From Lake Ontario’s shores and wetlands to the Niagara Escarpment’s wild cliffs to the natural and artificial peninsulas of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, the stunning diversity of bird species that either live year-round breed here in the summer or stop over while migrating is truly astounding.

Most Adorable Birds of Southeastern Ontario

Although the area of southeastern Ontario has many different types of birds, some people still want to learn more about the common and adorable birds in southeastern Ontario. The following are some of the most adorable birds in southeastern Ontario:

1. Red-Winged Blackbirds

The red-winged blackbird, one of Ontario’s most numerous and colourful birds, can be seen perched atop cattails, along soggy roadside ditches, and on telephone wires.

Glossy-black males have scarlet-and-yellow shoulder patches that they can puff up or hide depending on their confidence level. 

Females have a subdued, streaky brown colouration, similar to a large, dark sparrow. Red-winged blackbirds represent good fortune, protection, prosperity, and guardian angels watching over you. 

The red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) are passerine birds throughout North America and much of Central America.

The scientific name Agelaius phoeniceus derives from Greek and means “scarlet flock member,” referring to the male’s wing patch and the birds’ social habits. Their early and tumbling song ushers in the return of spring.

Due to their highly territorial behaviour, particularly during the breeding season, red-winged blackbirds do not have the best reputation among the general public. They’re obnoxious, loud, and prone to attacking anything that comes too close.

Birds of Southeastern Ontario
Source: Shutterstock

2. Blue Jays

Blue Jays are well-known for their spectacular feeding display in the autumn when they congregate in large numbers to gorge themselves on acorns before winter. 

Blue jays are members of the Corvidae (crow) family, which includes crows, magpies, and nutcrackers. They are classified into four subspecies: northern blue jays, coastal blue jays, Florida blue jays, and interior blue jays. 

Also, they are among the noisier birds to be found in Ontario. Their screams can be heard from afar, alerting others to the presence of predators. Blue Jays are large birds that prefer to fly in, pick up a peanut or sunflower seed, and fly away to feed. They have a large, stout beak that can easily crush seeds and nuts. 

They prefer platform or tray feeders that allow them to exit quickly. The fruit of crabapple, red mulberry, and wild cherry will attract blue jays.

Acorns, nuts, seeds, and berries make up their diet. During the winter, however, they change their diet to include more insects and fruits. Hawks, owls, and cats frequently prey on them.

They are very capable of adapting and can live in a variety of habitats throughout Ontario. These birds are also great mimics, frequently imitating hawks.

Birds of Southeastern Ontario
Source: Shutterstock

3. Downy Woodpecker

The Picoides pubescens is the name of the Downy Woodpecker, which lives in eastern and central North America. 

This common Ontario bird nests primarily in the spring but can be seen throughout the year in woodlands. In Ontario, Canada, the Downy Woodpecker is a common nesting bird. 

It is one of the smallest woodpecker species in North America, measuring between 7-9 inches in length. Except for their red caps, they are mostly black and white.

Red feathers cover the crowns of young Downies of both sexes, though the colour is more extensive in males and sometimes absent in females. 

The feathers are usually red-tipped rather than entirely red. The patch’s size varies geographically and, on occasion, among individual nest-mates.

Its small size allows it to forage on weed stalks and in large trees. It frequently joins roving mixed flocks of chickadees, nuthatches, and other birds in the woods during the winter.

Downy Woodpeckers build their nests in dead trees or parts of living trees. They usually use a small stub (around 7 inches in diameter) that leans away from the vertical and has an entrance hole on the underside.

Birds of Southeastern Ontario
Source: Shutterstock

4. Mourning Dove

Mourning Doves can be found in deciduous trees, coniferous forests, weedy fields, parks, roadsides, and cities. 

They have a brownish-grey back and a lighter underside. Females have a paler and greyer complexion than males.The mourning dove is named after its sad and haunting cooing sound. Its call is sometimes confused with that of an owl. The mourning dove’s wings make a whistling sound when it flies. 

Every year, mourning doves have three broods. The female lays two eggs, one in the morning and one at night, and the father sits on the nest during the day while the mother sleeps.

Mourning Doves are frequent visitors to bird feeders! To attract them, try putting out their favorite foods, such as millet, shelled sunflower seeds, Nyjer seeds, cracked corn, and safflower. 

Mourning Doves require a flat surface to feed on, so trays or platforms are their best feeders. They’re probably most at ease feeding on the ground, so leave plenty of food there. Although they visit in smaller numbers each time, the total number of Mourning Doves in Maine is stable.

Birds of Southeastern Ontario
Source: Shutterstock

5. Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinals are distinguished by their red feathers with a black pattern on the crest, wings, and tail. These birds are common in Ontario but can be found throughout North America. They typically consume insects and seeds. They typically consume insects and seeds.

They are widely recognized and adored in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. They typically eat insects and seeds.

The Northern Cardinal also feeds on a variety of seeds at bird feeders, but corn, oats, safflower, and especially sunflower seeds appear to be particularly popular with the Northern Cardinal.

Cardinals have played numerous roles in mythology and literature throughout the centuries, whether they represent love and loyalty or are regarded as spiritual messengers from the spirit world.

Cardinals are not uncommon. Neither the red cardinal nor his buffy-brown companion is uncommon. Today, there are over 120 million breeding cardinals, and the number is steadily increasing. If you live in their range, you have a good chance of seeing one.

Cardinals are extremely loyal animals. Many believe seeing a cardinal signifies good fortune, loyalty, or even a spiritual message. According to Native American legend, if a cardinal is seen, the individual will have good luck within 12 days of the sighting.

6. Dark-Eyed Juncos

Dark-eyed Juncos are eye-catching little sparrows that flit about the forest floors of the western mountains and Canada before migrating to the rest of North America for the winter. 

A dark-eyed junco shells sunflower seeds beneath a feeder, usually a forerunner of wintry weather and snowy days. Dark-eyed Juncos are among North America’s most common forest birds. According to recent estimates, the total population of juncos is around 630 million people. 

Look for them while walking through the woods, in flocks at your feeders or on the ground beneath them. Juncos vary across the country, but they’re generally dark grey or brown birds with pink bills and white outer tail feathers that flash open and close periodically, especially in flight.

Juncos are granivorous, ground-feeding birds that primarily eat seeds and grains. The favourites are hulled sunflower seed, white proso millet, and cracked corn. 

To move along the ground, dark-eyed juncos usually hop or walk. In the autumn and winter seasons, they are very social. Because they eat close to the ground, a low platform feeder or open tray is ideal. 

During these months, juncos congregate in groups of 15 to 25 birds. These flocks are frequently found with American tree sparrow flocks (Spizella arborea).

Dark-eyed Juncos breed in coniferous or mixed-coniferous forests throughout Canada, the western United States, and the Appalachian Mountains. They can be found in open woodlands, fields, parks, roadside ditches, and backyards during the winter.

Birds of Southeastern Ontario
Source: Shutterstock

7. Hairy Woodpecker

The Hairy Woodpecker is a large woodpecker that ranges from 17 to 21 inches.  The male and female are different in colour and size, with the female being smaller. These birds are frequently seen pecking at trees in search of food.

This species resembles the Downy Woodpecker but has a larger bill. They have a white head and neck, a black and white barred back, wings, and tail, and a black and white tail. The long, thread-like white feathers that run down the middle of the Hairy Woodpecker’s black back give it its name.

The Hairy Woodpecker’s most common call is a short, sharp peek note similar to that of Downy Woodpeckers, but slightly lower pitched and often more emphatic. This call is similar to the Downy Woodpecker’s but does not descend in pitch at the end. Hairy Woodpeckers also make a whiny or rattling sound.

With their erect, straight-backed posture on tree trunks and cleanly striped heads, Hairy Woodpeckers have a somewhat soldierly appearance.  Look for them at suet or sunflower feeders in your backyard, and listen for them whinnying from woodlots, parks, and forests.

Hairy Woodpeckers will occasionally drink sap leaking from sapsucker wells in the bark. They’ve also been pecking at sugar cane to drink the sweet juice.

Hairy Woodpeckers occasionally follow Pileated Woodpeckers and appear when they hear the heavy sounds of a pileated excavation. The Hairy Woodpecker investigates the deep holes left by the pileated, capturing insects that the pileated missed.

Birds of Southeastern Ontario
Source: Shutterstock

8. House Sparrows

 The House Sparrow is a common bird. It can be found in various habitats, including forests, fields, and other natural areas.

 In Ontario, most house sparrows prefer to live in human-altered environments such as buildings and gardens. House sparrows are distinguished by their brown-striped heads and chestnut-coloured breast patches. They are some of our most common birds, along with two other introduced species, the European Starling and the Rock Pigeon.

Their constant presence outside our doors makes them easy to overlook, and their propensity to evict native birds from nest boxes makes some people dislike them. But House Sparrows, with their ability to live so close to us, are simply byproducts of our success.

The House Sparrow frequently bathes in the dust. Its body feathers are covered in soil and dust as if bathing in water. A sparrow may make a small depression in the ground while doing so, and this spot is sometimes defended against other sparrows.

The House Sparrow prefers to nest in manufactured structures such as building eaves or walls, street lights, and nest boxes rather than natural nest sites such as tree holes.

House Sparrow eat mostly grains and seeds, livestock feed and discarded food in cities. They will readily consume birdseed such as millet, milo, and sunflower seeds.  Corn, oats, wheat, and sorghum are among the crops they consume. Ragweed, crabgrass, and other grasses, as well as buckwheat, are examples of wild foods.

House sparrow populations are declining due to unfriendly architecture in our homes, chemical fertilizers in our crops, noise pollution that disrupts acoustic ecology, and toxic exhaust fumes from vehicles, according to conservationists.

Birds of Southeastern Ontario
Source: Shutterstock

9. Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadees can be found in backyard bird feeders. They frequently forage in mixed feeding flocks, spotting them easily. 

Gray wings on the outside with light buffy flanks and a contrasting head pattern of a black cap, white cheek, and black throat. Because of its oversized round head, tiny body, and curiosity about everything, including humans, this bird is almost universally regarded as “cute.” 

The chickadee’s black cap and bib, white cheeks, grey back, wings, and tail, and whitish underside with buffy sides set it apart from other birds. Bird feeders are excellent for attracting Black-capped Chickadees! They will be the first birds to visit if you put up a new bird feeder because they are curious about anything new in their territory. 

Black-capped Chickadees are also known for being curious and friendly wild birds. It’s quite simple to entice one to eat birdseed directly from your hand. Chickadees prefer tray, tube, or hopper feeders with black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, shelled peanuts, suet, and peanut butter. 

Chickadees live in breeding pairs during the breeding season, but they are very social during the winter. Because of their small size and athletic ability, these birds can use almost any feeder! 

Sunflowers, peanuts, and suet are the best foods to use. Its habit of investigating people and everything else in its home territory and its propensity to find bird feeders make it one of the first birds most people learn about.

10. American Robin

American Robins, the quintessential early bird, are common sights on lawns across North America, where they frequently pull earthworms from the ground. 

Robins are well known for their reddish-orange breasts, joyful song, and late-winter arrival.

Though they are common in towns and cities, American Robins can also be found in more remote areas such as mountain forests and the Alaskan wilderness. 

Robins are abundant primarily due to their ability to forage, nest, and live in almost any natural and manufactured habitat. The robin’s natural habitat was open woodlands and forest edges.

Although robins are thought to herald the arrival of spring, many American Robins spend the entire winter in their breeding range. 

You’re less likely to see them because they spend more time roosting in trees and less time in your yard. American Robins are friendly songbirds that are naturally drawn to human-populated areas. 

The grass provides an excellent feeding ground for earthworms, and your home provides a haven for them.

Birds of Southeastern Ontario
Source: Shutterstock

11. Red-breasted Nuthatches

Red-breasted nuthatches are found in conifer forests throughout Canada, the Northeastern United States, the Appalachians, Alaska, and the mountains of the West. During the winter, most northern populations migrate south.

Their common name is derived from their habit of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark and then whacking them with their sharp bill to “hatch” the seed from the inside.

 A small, compact bird with a thoughtful expression and a long, pointed bill. Red-breasted Nuthatches have short tails and almost no neck; their bodies are plump or barrel-chested, and their short, broad wings.

Red-breasted Nuthatches are blue-grey birds with patterned heads that include a black cap and a stripe through the eye that is broken up by a white stripe over the eye. 

The underparts are a rich rusty-cinnamon colour, which is paler in females. Nuthatches are primarily insectivorous, but they will frequent bird feeders in the fall and winter for nuts, sunflower seeds, mealworms, suet, and peanut butter. 

Red-breasted Nuthatches are primarily found in coniferous forests and mountains. They can be found in spruce, fir, pine, hemlock, larch, western red cedar, aspens and poplars. 

They can also be found in northeastern North America’s oak, hickory, maple, birch forests, and other deciduous trees.

12. American Goldfinch

This attractive little finch, the state bird of New Jersey, Iowa, and Washington, is a frequent visitor to feeders, where it feeds primarily on sunflower and nyjer. 

Goldfinches frequently congregate with Pine Siskins and Common Redpolls. Males in the spring are brilliant yellow and shiny black with a hint of white.

Females and all winter birds are duller in appearance but can be identified by their conical bill, pointed, notched tail, wingbars, and lack of streaking. During moults, they appear strangely patchy.

The female American Goldfinch is slightly smaller than males. Her wings and tail are black with white wing bars, her legs and feet are light brown, and her bill is orange. 

Her back is olive, her sides are buff, and she has a greenish-yellow forehead, throat, and underside. Most North American birds breed later than American Goldfinches.

They do not begin nesting until June or July, when milkweed, thistle, and other plants have produced their fibrous seeds, which goldfinches incorporate into their nests and feed their young.

Brown-headed Cowbird eggs may hatch in an American Goldfinch nest, but the nestling rarely survives more than three days.  Cowbird chicks cannot survive on the all-seed diet that goldfinch chicks are fed. A goldfinch visit could indicate that someone thinks highly of you and wishes you the best. 

Birds of Southeastern Ontario
Source: Shutterstock

Closing Thoughts

When a loved one wishes you luck and success, that positive energy may come to you in the form of a goldfinch encounter. These birds are the most visible and well-known wildlife in Ontario

Birds are ecologically significant because they provide critical natural services such as insect pest control, plant pollination, and seed dispersal to forestry and agriculture.

Many people find great joy, fulfillment, and inspiration in watching and listening to these birds. However, these birds are also an important parts of Canada and southeastern Ontario environment and protection.




Last Updated on by alishbarehman


  • bulti nayak

    Bulti did her Ph. D in Biotechnology, and completed her Master's degree of Biotechnology. She is a teaching assistant also she is an online academic content writer in Life Sciences, content writer intern at present. She wrote many articles based on food, creative ideas, Canadian outdoor. Her articles are a gem to go through, do give a try!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *