10 Common Birds in Ontario- How to Attract & Food

Canadian goose
Photo by Brett Sayles | Pexels

There are many different bird species in Ontario, Canada. Their melodic songs and aesthetic appearance will bewitch you. Some common birds in Ontario include the Blue Jay, the American Robin, the Northern Cardinal, the Downy Woodpecker, the Canada Goose, the Common Loon, and others.

Birds in Ontario are a popular subject of study for birdwatchers. There are many ways to attract them to your yard, such as by providing bird feeders and creating a habitat conducive to their needs.

Most Common Birds in Ontario

  1. The Blue Jay:

The blue jay is a beautiful bird with a black neck and head, white chest, and blue wings. A long tail is also on it. Blue jays are very intelligent and resourceful; they often hide nuts for later consumption.

They are well known for being extremely talkative birds, using various calls and sounds to communicate. Blue jays are common birds in southern Ontario.

common birds in Ontario
Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni / Pexels

Favourite food:

Blue jay eats both plants and insects. But their favourite food is acorns.

Interesting facts:

The majority of blue jays have a life relationship. The blue jay has a 10- to 12-year lifetime.

Its clutch normally contains 3–5 eggs, which are then incubated for 2–3 weeks.

How to attract:

Attract blue jays from the tree branches by hanging gleaming objects like ornaments and foil wrapping paper. You can also keep bird baths and bird feeders in your yard. They enjoy clean and shiny things.

  1. The American Robin:

The American robin is the national bird of Canada. Its body is plump, with red breasts, a white belly, and a darkish head with a white throat and chin. Its legs are bright orange, and its tail is black.

The American robin is also well known as the songbird. These common birds in Ontario are known for singing early in the day.

They mostly eat insects, such as earthworms, beetles, and caterpillars, but they will also eat snails, spiders, and millipedes. But robins will convert to a diet of fruits and berries in the winter when insects are in short supply.

The American Robin
Photo by Skyler Ewing / Pexels

Favourite food:

Different robins may prefer other foods. But common foods that blue American robins may enjoy include insects, earthworms, berries, and fruits.

Interesting facts:

The American robin is the official bird of Michigan. And the national bird of the USA.

The American robin belongs to the thrush family and is related to the bluebird. The American robin is a member of the thrush family and is closely related to the bluebird, hermit thrush, and wood thrush. It was once known as the robin redbreast.

How to attract:

Some good methods to attract American robins include placing a bird feeder in your yard and creating a bird-friendly environment by planting native plants and trees such as dogwoods, elderberries, hawthorns, hollies, and serviceberries.

  1. The Black-capped Chickadee:

This little bird is famous for its cheerful “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” sound. It has a black bib and cap and white cheeks. Their back and wings are dark greys, and their belly is white. Black-capped chickadees are small, that are common birds in Ontario and are mostly seen in backyards in southern Ontario.

The black-capped chickadees are well-known for their bravery. They are not afraid to stand up to larger birds, such as jays and crows, when defending their territory.

They are also known for their smartness; they use their beaks to peck at food and their feet to hold on to branches.

Favourite food:

The black-capped chickadees consume a wide range of foods because they are versatile feeders.

They also consume other invertebrates like insects. However, they enjoy sunflower seeds.

Interesting facts:

The black-capped chickadees are not migratory birds but will move to lower elevations in winter in search of food. It is a gregarious bird that normally lives in flocks of 10 to 15 individuals.

These birds are renowned for their wit and capacity for solving challenging issues. In the wild, the lifetime of black-capped chickadees can reach nine years.

How to attract:

You can attract these friendly birds by providing them with food. Thus, a bird feeder filled with sunflower seeds will undoubtedly draw many of them to your yard. Chickadees are attracted to areas where there are mostly insects. By providing dead trees or dense shrubs to nest in, you also provide them with a safe place to find food.

  1. The Downy Woodpecker:

The house sparrow-sized downy woodpecker is the tiniest in North America. It features a black and white body and black wings with white lines. It has a black tail with a white ring at the end.

It is well-known for its boisterous and unusual calls, frequently audible in wooded regions.

Downy woodpeckers in Ontario are the most prevalent bird species and are not considered to be in danger of going extinct. It can be found in parks, forests, and the margins of woodlands. It primarily consumes spiders, insects, and other tiny animals for food.

The Downy Woodpecker
Photo by Karen F / Pexels

Interesting facts:

The downy woodpecker is one of the common birds in Ontario that is a social species and often forms small flocks outside the breeding season.

On its skull, it bears two white stripes. One stripe runs from the bill to the back of the head, and the other runs from the eye to the back of the head.

It is a primary predator of the destructive emerald ash borer.

How to attract:

Offer a small pond or water feature in your yard, as downy woodpeckers enjoy bathing and drinking. Place a log or wood in your yard for the hairy woodpecker to use as a perch or nesting site.

You can create a brush pile in your yard for the downy woodpecker to use for shelter or nesting. Additionally, you can put sugar water in the hummingbird feeders to draw them.

  1. Mourning Dove:

If you’ve ever had the good fortune to hear one, you can appreciate how unique the mourning dove is from other birds. Its coo is unlike any different sound, and it can immediately elicit feelings of tranquillity.

One of the most common birds in Ontario and sought-after birds to hunt is the mourning dove. Even if you’re not a hunter, you can still appreciate this bird’s beauty.

Photo by Mohan Nannapaneni / Pexels

Favourite food:

Sunflower seeds and cracked corn are favourites of mourning doves, but they will also eat insects and fruits.

Interesting facts:

The mourning doves are a few bird species that can drink by sucking up water through their beaks. In North America, this bird is the most common.

Mourning doves have a maximum lifespan of 15 years in the wild. It is the fastest-flying North American bird. It can fly at a top speed of 55 mph.

It is also known as the rain dove and the symbol of peace.

How to attract:

Following these simple tips can attract mourning doves to your yard and enjoy their company.

One of the best ways to draw mourning doves is to provide a water supply. It is sufficient to set a small birdbath or even a water dish on the ground.

A small amount of seed placed out for the doves to consume would also be appreciated. Put some basis in a feeder low to the ground or scatter it throughout the land.

Giving these lovely birds a place to nest is another method to draw them in. The doves will have a spot to build their nest in a tree or on a pole if a tiny platform or nest box is placed there.

  1. The Northern Cardinal:

The northern cardinal is a stunning bird inhabiting various regions of North America. Cardinals are very social birds and often form pairs that always stay together. The female cardinal is more reddish-brown than the male, blazing red.

A black mask covers the eyes of both sexes. There are not many birds more recognizable than the northern cardinal. With their vibrant red feathers, they are easily identifiable.

Photo by Brian Forsyth / Pexels

Favourite food:

Although the northern cardinal is known to eat a range of foods, sunflower seeds are undoubtedly one of its favourites.

Interesting facts:

Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia all have the northern cardinal as their official state bird. They are among the most common backyard birds.

Northern cardinals’ males and female appearances differ due to sexual dimorphism. They may dwell in various environments, including forests, marshes, and cities. Northern cardinals are super adaptable.

How to attract:

There are a few things you may do if you want to draw cardinals in your yard. The first thing to do is to ensure enough trees and shrubs for them to nest in. Cardinals eat sunflower seeds as a favourite snack. Be sure to place a bird feeder outside and fill it with these sunflower seeds.

  1. American Goldfinch:

Small and sparrow-like, the American Goldfinch has a yellow body, black wings, and a white tail. These are north American birds.

The woman has a brown head, while the man has a black one. These are common backyard birds in Ontario. They frequently appear in big groups and feed on thistle seeds. These happy little birds have a cheery song that is delightful to hear.

The American goldfinch is an extremely active bird frequently spotted soaring or hopping around. It has excellent flying abilities and frequently forms formations. It is a common bird and often appears in groups.

They inhabit open forests, farms, and gardens all over North America. Because they are gregarious creatures, goldfinches frequently move in groups. These common birds are well recognized for their upbeat songs, which they often perform while flying.

American Goldfinch
Photo by Aaron J Hill / Pexels

Favourite food:

Goldfinches will eat a variety of little creatures and insects. But they are seed eaters and are especially fond of thistle seeds. Some favourite foods of American goldfinches include thistle seeds, sunflower seeds, and various types of berries.

Interesting facts:

The American goldfinch is one of the few bird species that can truly alter the colour of its plumage. The males’ golden colour will become more vibrant during the breeding season.

Washington, New Jersey, and Iowa all have the American goldfinch as a state bird.

These are not migratory birds and will often remain primarily in the same location all year. The smallest bird in the finch family is the American goldfinch.

How to attract:

You can do the following to draw American goldfinches in your garden or yard:

Grow local plants and flowers. By growing native plants and flowers, which goldfinches adore eating, you’ll be giving them a natural food source.

Set bird feeders outside. Especially bird feeders that offer thistle or nyjer seed are particularly attractive to the goldfinches.

Give out water. Goldfinches require a place to drink and frequently bathe, so a small birdbath or another water source will provide that for them. Use a feeder with yellow accents to attract goldfinches, which are drawn to yellow.

Northern Ontario

Northern Ontario is home to a wide variety of birds. Cardinals, bluejays, robins, and sparrows are common birds in Ontario that you might encounter daily. However, this area has a considerably wider diversity of birds. If you’re fortunate enough to see a loon on a lake, you’ll undoubtedly experience a stunning sight and sound.

These birds, often referred to as the “spirit of the north,” represent the Canadian environment. In addition, a few other birds are commonly spotted in northern Ontario, including woodpeckers, chickadees, owls, eagles, and hawks.

There is always something unique about viewing a bird in its natural home, regardless of the season. Keep a lookout for any of these feathered buddies if you’re ever in northern Ontario.

  1. Hairy Woodpecker

The Hairy Woodpecker is a small to medium-sized woodpecker that lives all over North America. The adult Hairy Woodpecker is black with white markings on its back and wings and a white belly.

The male Hairy Woodpecker has a red patch on the back of its head, whereas the female does not. These birds are common in Ontario but mostly seen in northern Ontario.

Hairy woodpeckers are one of the most interesting and unique from other birds. Their great size, distinctive red crest, and habit of pecking at the trees of these birds make them well-known. Red crest.

Hairy woodpeckers are typically aggressive. However, they are quite timid toward people. If you are fortunate enough to get a close-up look at one of these birds, you will probably see them immediately take off.

Hairy Woodpecker
Photo by thebeebesknees / Pixabay

Favourite food:

Hairy woodpeckers tend to favour insects and other tiny creatures despite eating various foods.

Interesting facts:

The hairy woodpecker is a primary woodpecker, which means it digs holes in trees to build nests. Many other animal species, including bats, owls, and squirrels, use these nesting cavities after that.

These birds are also well-known for their loud, peculiar call, frequently referred to as a “laughing” noise.

The hairy woodpecker, the largest species in North America, whose red crest may easily identify them.

How to attract:

Trees with numerous deep cracks and insects are attracted to hairy woodpeckers. If you want to draw them to your yard, consider hanging a suet bird feeder or a birdhouse made especially for woodpeckers.

Plant trees and shrubs that hairy woodpeckers prefer, such as maples, birches, and willows. You might also try erecting a dead tree or stump to give the birds a decent site to nest and forage.

  1. The Common Loon

The loon of northern Ontario is your best bet if you want a great birding experience. These creatures are superb; you must experience their haunting calls to believe them.

Although they are common birds in Ontario, the northernmost parts of Ontario are the greatest places to see them. They fly overhead for food and breeding on lakes and rivers.

Northern Ontario is home to the common loon, a stunning bird. With a black and white long neck and a sharp beak. You will be in awe of these birds’ beauty, which makes them a true representation of nature.

The Common Loon
Photo by detillybert / Pixabay

Favourite food:

The common loon’s favourite food is fish. But it will also eat amphibians, crustaceans, insects, and small mammals.

Interesting facts:

The common loon can dive to depths of more than 60 meters and is a skilled diver.

It is a particularly well-liked bird that frequently appears on Canadian coins and postage in Ontario. It is Minnesota’s official state bird.

It is most active at night when it can be heard calling out its distinctive “loon” call.

How to attract:

The best technique to draw common loons is to create an environment that suits their requirements. This comprises a sizable body of water with an abundance of fish and a secure location to build their nests and rear their young.

You can play a recording of loon calls near a body of water where they are known to live and put a decoy loon on the water.

  1. The pileated woodpecker

This bird is one of North America’s largest woodpeckers; it is fascinating to observe. Although they are quite shy birds, you will be treated to an amazing performance if you are fortunate enough to witness one.

Large size and a prominent red crest make pileated woodpeckers the easiest to identify. They are black with white lines on the back and have a white belly. They are renowned for their piercing, powerful call as well.

The pileated woodpecker
Photo by MiniMe-70 / Pixabay

Favourite food:

The diet of the pileated woodpecker typically consists of insects, fruits, and nuts. Its favourite food is ants.

Interesting facts:

The pileated woodpecker has been featured in many works of popular culture.

It is one of North America’s biggest woodpeckers.

And it is the biggest member of the clan of woodpeckers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


    1. How do the birds of Ontario adapt to the changing seasons?

    In Ontario, the birds adapt to the changing seasons by migrating south in the winter and north in the summer. They also change their diet to match the availability of food. In the winter, they eat more seeds and berries, and in the summer, they eat more insects.

    1. What birds stay in Ontario all winter?

    Many birds stay in Ontario all winter, including Chickadees, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Crows, Pigeons, Doves, and Sparrows. These birds can withstand the cold weather and find enough food to stay alive until spring.

    1. What bird is the largest in Ontario?

    The Trumpeter Swan is the largest bird found in Ontario. It is a large bird, huge and white, with a long neck and a black bill. It can be found all over the province’s northern areas.

    1. Which bird in Ontario is the rarest?

    The Kirtland’s warbler is the one that sticks out the most among the several contenders for the title of rarest bird in Ontario. It will be a special experience if you’re fortunate enough to see one! Only a few little areas of the province have this tiny bird, and its population is in decline.

    1. What is the smartest bird in Canada?

    The Common Raven is Canada’s most intelligent bird. Ravens are renowned for their wit and capacity for problem-solving. They have been observed utilizing tools and are one of the few creatures who can acknowledge themselves in a mirror.

End Note

There are numerous planet varieties, and each has distinctive special qualities. Some birds are small and delicate, while others are large and powerful.

Some birds can fly, while others cannot. No matter what type of bird you encounter, there is sure to be one that you will love.

Birds are among the most well-liked groups of wildlife on the planet and for a good reason! These amazing creatures are not only amazing to look at, but they also have a significant impact on many ecosystems. Additionally, birds make terrific athletes.

Also check out, What is the Legal Drinking Age in Canada

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