Sunset at waterfront cottage rental on Manitoulin Island, Northern Ontario Canada

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Birds of Manitoulin Island
Northern Ontario Canada

Birding Table of Contents

Why_is_Manitoulin_Island a_Birding Hotspot ?
Species & Habitats  In_Maple_Hardwoods On_Farmlands Western_Elements Boreal_Forest_Birds Marsh_Birds
                                Others Winter_Birds

Birding Reference Sources
Manitoulin Christmas Bird Counts
Birding Vacations & Weekend Getaways
 

Why is Manitoulin Island a Birding Hotspot ?

Manitoulin Island is located on one of the most popular bird migration paths in North America.  Manitoulin is also the first land after (or the last land before) crossing the Great Lakes.  The birds know they will need to be fully rested before attempting this crossing, or need a full rest having just finished this Olympic-class crossing of open water.

The best times to see migrating bird populations are between the third week of May and second week of June; and then again during the second half of September. In these Fall weeks, it is possible to see large "kettles" of hawks and even eagles drifting over the island.

Based on Christmas Bird Counts done by the Manitoulin Nature Club, the Island has a wealth of bird life even in December. Last year's count turned up 51 different species and around 4,300 individuals.


Red Shoulder Hawk from bird watching vacation at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada

Red Shoulder Hawk

Great Blue Heron from bird watching vacation at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada

Great Blue Heron

Red Tail Hawk from bird watching vacation at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada

Red Tail Hawk

Male Cardinal from bird watching vacation at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada

Male Cardinal

Bluejay from bird watching vacation at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada

Blue Jay

 Great Gray Owl from bird watching vacation at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada

Great Gray Owl

Red Wing Blackbird from bird watching vacation at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada

Red wing blackbird

Bohemian waxwing and Cedar waxwing, birding opportunities during bird watching vacation holidays at Manitoulin Island, Ontario CanadaBohemian waxwing and cedar waxwings
Young bird watching vacation at BBay's beach house vacation rental cottage on Manitoulin Island, Ontario CanadaA young birder tracks his feathered friend while at BBay.

To date, 314 different species of birds have been seen on Manitoulin Island.

There are 155 species that breed on Manitoulin Island.

This birding richness is due to three reasons:   1) the large variety of birding habitats present on the island;   2) Manitoulin being at the cross-roads for major bird flightways; and 3) Manitoulin is the first/last land before/after crossing the Great Lakes.

Waterfront cottage for rent on Manitoulin for your birdwatching vacation holiday

Some of the interesting birds found on Manitoulin include:

Birds In Maple Hardwoods:

Red-Shouldered Hawk (rare)

Barred Owl

Wood Pewee

Wood Thrush

Yellow-throated Vireo

Birds On Farmlands:

Eastern Bluebird

Bobolink

Meadowlark species

Vesper Sparrow

Upland Sandpiper

Eastern Phoebe

Harrier

Bavarian Waxwing

Birds in Western Elements:

Sharp-Tailed Grouse

Red-necked Grebe

Clay-coloured Sparrow

Brewer's Blackbird

Northern Pintail

Lesser Scaup

Boreal Forest Birds:

Gray Jay

Kinglet species

Merlin

Cape May Warbler

White-winged Crossbill

Northern Parula

Marsh Birds:

Swamp Sparrow

Ring-necked Duck

Sora

Virginia Rail

American Bittern

Marsh Wren

Black Tern

Other Birds:

Sandhill Cranes

Indigo Bunting

Rufous-sided Towhee

Red-headed Woodpecker

Green-backed Heron

Golden-winged Flycatcher

Crested Flycatcher

Bald Eagle

Golden Eagle

Cooper's Hawk

Winter Birds:

Great Grey Owl        Northern Hawk Owl       Snowy Owl        Loggerhead Shrike
 

Reference Sources for Birding on Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada

For a much more detailed treatment of Manitoulin's bird life, please see:

Birds of Manitoulin 2nd ed. by John C. Nicholson, Sudbury, Ontario 1981

and

Birds of Manitoulin: A Seasonal Occurrence by the Manitoulin Nature Club.

These books are available at the Manitoulin Expositor in Little Current, at Huron Sands in Providence Bay, or through members of the Manitoulin Nature Club c/o Jean Williamson, P.O. Box 118, Mindemoya, Ontario POP 1S0.

Information provided by

Friends of Misery Bay, R.R. #1 Box 55, Evansville, Ontario POP 1EO

e-mail: jutene@mcimail.com

Manitoulin Christmas Bird Counts

Done each year around Christmas, in both Mindemoya and Gore Bay, proof positive that Manitoulin is a birding hotspot.

1998 Christmas Bird Count, Manitoulin

2005 Christmas Bird Count, Manitoulin

Birding Vacations & Weekend Getaways

Weekend Getaway:  Birding Manitoulin

Birding Vacation Week on Manitoulin

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