Birds are so unique! Their presence in the environment makes nature look even more beautiful. May it be their chirping or the colorful feathers; every bird has some or the other astonishing feature. Today, I will unveil some of the most beautiful and rarest Canadian birds that you would love to see sometime in your life.
Birds have some distinctive features like wings that make them different from the other organisms on earth. Moreover, they have a body that is so light in weight that makes flying possible. Birds are found in all parts of the bird, and each type of bird is unique in its own way.
Birds might seem to be popular only due to their beauty, but the truth is that they are an extremely important part of our ecosystem. They even help to disperse seeds, which is an essential step for pollination.
The following are some of the rarest Canadian birds that you must know about.
1. Prothonotary Warbler
The Protonotary warbler is one of the most charming Canadian birds. It belongs to the New World Warbler family and is a songbird. It is around 13 centimeters long and weighs approximately 12.5 grams. The prothonotary warbler has an olive-black back and blue-grey wings and tail. It is a tiny bird and is quite rare in Canada.
Another distinctive feature of this compact bird is that it has a blazing yellow or orange head. A male prothonotary warbler generally builds a new and temporary nest, but a female builds a proper nest and lays 3-7 eggs. It is also believed that these birds build a nest in a hole dug by a woodpecker.
These pleasing Canadian birds are always in search of an opaque and dense habitat where they try to find snails and insects for consumption. The sounds that are made by these birds are sweet and chirpy and can be heard loudly.
Prothonotary warblers are beautiful birds that had first appeared in the 1940s, and their news started spreading and wide. These birds migrate all over the world every year. They breed in Ontario and then go on to travel to various places around the world, including the eastern United States, West Indies, and to some western states.
The sad part is that these beautiful birds have continuously been losing their habitats and have become one of the rarest Canadian birds.
2. Citrine Wagtail
Motacilla citreola, also known as a citrine wagtail, belongs to the Motacillidae family of birds and is one of those Canadian birds that cannot be spotted very often in the country. Citrine means yellowish color. The name of the bird thus tells us a lot about the color of the bird, yellow.
Citrine wagtails are generally sylphlike, and their length is around 5-7 centimeters long. Some of the visible characteristics that can help you find them easily are the continuous wagging of the tail, the blue or black color on the upper side commonly found in the males along with white color on their remiges.
Other than these characteristics, citrine wagtails have yellow color on their body that is spread all over except for their brownish little heads. The yellow color in their underparts are commonly seen diluting with white color.
These birds make nests and lay 4-5 eggs. Motacilla citreolas are insectivorous birds that generally prefer areas like bogs and meadows for habitat. These are migrating birds that have been spotted in different areas of the bird but are not seen as much as the other birds.
3. Henslow’s Sparrow
Henslow’s sparrow was a bird that breeds in wet and shrubby fields. It was named by John James Audubon in honor of John Stevens Henslow and belonged to the passerelle family. These birds have a brownish color and generally have a crown-like structure on their heads. Initially, these birds were classified as a part of Emberiza [genus] and were known as Henlow’s bunting in those days.
An adult Henslow’s sparrow is expected to have streaked underparts that are brown in color along with a white belly and a white neck. Their wings have a rusted color, and above all these features, they also possess a short, forked tail, which is quite dark in color.
The nests that are built by an average Henslow’s sparrow is situated close to the ground and can be either open or closed. Nests of these brown birds can be found in grassy areas in small colonies. These birds are continually decreasing in number, primarily due to the loss of habitat. Hence, Henslow’s sparrows have become one of the infrequent Canadian birds.
4. Snow Goose
As the name suggests, a snow goose is a beautiful bird that is white in color and is explicitly found in areas of North America. It is one of the uncommon Canadian birds. The scientific name of snow goose is Anser caerulescens. A snow goose generally has a length of 22-33 inches and has a wingspan of about 4.5 feet!
These precious snow-colored birds are known for their white plumage. However, many of the snow geese have been noticed to have darker colors. When this difference was first found, scientists declared that they were different species. It was later observed that these two types of birds had distinctive colors yet belonged to the same species.
A unique feature of these pretty birds is that they are an indicator of the changing seasons. They fly towards the south during wintertime, and their flocks are recognized due to the shape ‘V.’ They have a completely vegetarian diet and grains are an essential part of their diet.
The time when winter ends is when they fly North for the purpose of breeding. They are seen flying toward the tundra region. During this time, they lay 2-6 eggs for the whole year.
There has been a drastic decline in the number of snow geese. In fact, in 1916, the hunting of this species was banned due to its sudden disappearance in the environment. Strict measures have been taken in order to save the snow geese since then.
5. Cackling Goose
The cackling goose is a bird that belongs to the genus Branta of black geese and is the next in the list of the occasionally spotted Canadian birds. These birds have a remarkable resemblance to the Canada geese.
Cackling geese lay 2-8 eggs per year with an average incubation period of 25-28 days. This species of birds are said to have several subspecies, which include small cackling goose, Moffitt Canada goose, dusky Canada goose, and Aleutian cackling goose. Cackling geese are small-bodied birds that have a triangular-shaped body.
6. Barnacle Goose
The next among the rare Canadian birds are the Branta leucopsis, commonly known as the Barnacle goose. Barnacle geese belong to the Branta genus of black geese and are recognizable due to their black plumage.
These birds are medium-sized birds that are generally 55-70 centimeters long and have a wingspan of 130-145 centimeters’. The face and the belly of an average barnacle goose are usually white in color, and the portion of the head is black.
When barnacle geese are migrating, Canadian birds that fly in a V-shaped structure. While they fly, their silver-grey underwing linings are vividly visible. Barnacle geese give utmost importance to safety and, thus, build their nests in mountainous and rocky regions that are away from predators.
These Canadian birds are often parts of famous stories and legends. There is a legend that narrates that this species of birds were born of driftwood.
The agreement on the conservation of African-Eurasian migratory waterbirds was an independent organization that was formed to conserves bird species that migrated between Europe and Africa. This policy now extends up to the Canadian archipelago and parts of the middle east also. This auspicious treaty is applicable to the Barnacle goose.
7. Trumpeter Swan
The Cygnus buccinator or trumpeter swan is the heaviest as well as the longest North American bird and is one of the rarely spotted Canadian birds. These trumpeter swans can be recognized due to their white plumage and have a huge wingspan.
The breeding habitats of these pleasing Canadian birds include shallow ponds, serene lakes, wide and slow rivers, and marshes along with intact wetlands. These birds fly in a V-shaped flock and are non-migratory.
8. Blue Jay
The blue jay is a passerine bird in the family of Corvidae and is one of the beautiful Canadian birds that are occasionally spotted. These birds breed in both deciduous and coniferous forests. There are four recognized subspecies of the blue jay.
The blue jay is a bird that mainly feeds on nuts and seeds. Besides, small vertebrates might also be a part of their diet at times. These birds build an open nest on trees, and this nest-construction is done by both the genders.
A blue jay lays 2-7 eggs, which are bluish or light brown in color and can commonly be recognized by the brown spots. The children of a blue jay generally remain with their parents for the span of 1-2 months.
9. Ring-Necked Duck
The Aythya collaris, commonly known as the ring-necked duck, is a diving duck that is found in freshwater ponds and lakes and is one of the infrequent Canadian birds. The scientific name of this duck has originated from a Greek word that is mentioned in books by authors like Aristotle and is referred to as an unidentified seabird.
The size of a ring-necked duck can vary from small to large, and the male birds resemble the Eurasian tufted duck. It is observed that the body size of the male birds is slightly larger than the females. As the name already suggests, it has two white rings that surround its grey bill, which makes it look exceptional
These birds have a shiny angular head with a black back. Some other distinctive features of this bird include white lines on wings and pretty yellow eyes. Ring-necked ducks are omnivores and acquire their food primarily by diving into water bodies. Young ducklings, however, are dependent on worms, leeches, midges, and snails.
10. Surf Scoter
The Melanitta perspicillata, commonly known as surf scoter, is a huge sea duck and is one of the infrequent Canadian birds. These birds generally breed in Canada and Alaska.
The male surf scoters are black in color and have some white patches on their body [particularly on their nape and head], whereas the females are slightly browner and smaller. Mussels and benthic invertebrates are the essential parts of their diet. Scoters generally migrate to places that have a temperate environment in the winter season as it is suitable for them.
These Canadian birds usually have a vulnerable period during the month of July or August when they become flightless during the simultaneous shedding of its flight feathers. This week’s phase of the year lasts for around four weeks. Before the shedding of the flight wings, they undergo a complete body molt. During this time, the vivid colors of their body gradually get replaced with dull colors.
Urbanization has had some positive effects on the world. However, it is very unfortunate that it is due to urbanization that several exotic birds are losing their homes and going extinct. Caging birds is another unacceptable practice that many people follow all around the world.
It is essential for all of us to understand that saving birds is our duty as human beings. People should realize this before all the Canadian birds, along with the other birds in the world go extinct.