Birds In Ontario -Different Species You Should Know About

Narayani Bhardwaj
Narayani Bhardwaj Things to Know
24 Min Read
Image by Pixabay at pexels

Birds in Ontario have many varieties of species. However, the birds contribute to the nature and environment of a city. These are cute and tiny flying creatures that may vary in size. So, you will find each size of bird that would vary from tiny, small, medium, above average, to large size birds.

These birds are a major part of the ecosystem of Ontario. You will find many birds in this article, like Humming Birds, Skuas & Jaegers, Loons, Pigeons, Swifts, New World Sparrows, and more. Meanwhile, many birds need to be conserved. It is highly prohibited to hunt any kind of bird or animal. Also rescue programs are also organized for the animals and endangered species of birds. To explore in detail about these birds, let’s go through the information given below.

1. Species of Birds in Ontario – Top 30 Birds To Know About!

There are 508 kinds of Bird species found in Ontario state, Canada. Following is the list of several species of birds in Ontario. So, let’s get into it.

1.1.  Cuckoos

Cuckoos are birds that are part of the family of Cuculidae. It also includes Anis and Roadrunners. The size of these birds varies, with strong legs, long tails, and slender bodies. Following are the name of species from the family of cuckoos.

Common Cuckoo birds in spring

  • Black-billed Cuckoo
  • Groove-billed Ani
  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo

1.2. Cranes

Common crane. Bird sounds and dancing.

Cranes belong to the family of Gruidae. These are the large birds with stretched necks and long legs. Herons are birds that look similar and are often mistaken as Cranes. Unlike herons, the cranes fly with outstretched necks, which they do not pull back. Most of the cranes have noisy courting and elaborative displays. Given below are the species of Cranes found in Ontario.

  • Whooping Crane
  • Sandhill Crane

1.3. Skuas & Jaegers

The Skuas and Jagers are large birds. They belong to the family of Stercorariidae. Usually, they are found in brown and grey plumage. Also, these have white sketching or markings on their wings. With hooked tips, they also have longish bills. Sharp Claws and Webbed feet are the other features of these birds.

Skua facts: Sky Pirates | Animal Fact Files

They often look like big dark gulls. Meanwhile, they also have a feature of fleshy cere right upper side of the above mandible. However, these birds are quite majestic and acrobatic fliers. Given below are the species of Skuas & Jaegers.

  • Long-tailed Jaeger
  • Pomarine Jaeger
  • Parasitic Jaeger

1.4. New World Quail

New World Quail Facts - Montezuma, Mountain, Gambel

The New World Quail are the territorial birds in Ontario. They are small birds that are included in the family of Odontophoridae. However, they are quite different from Old World Quails but with little similarities. But, these are named based on their similar habits and appearances.

Northern Bobwhite is the only specie of New World Quail birds that are found in Ontario, Canada.

1.5. Hummingbirds

The hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are best known to be the smallest birds around the world. However, it belongs to the family of Trochilidae. These birds have the ability to hover in the middle of the air. Besides, they can hover in mid-air due to wings that can easily do rapid flapping. Meanwhile, these are the only birds with the ability to fly backward. Given below are the species of Hummingbirds found in Ontario.

  • Rufous Hummingbird
  • Broad-billed Hummingbird
  • Costa’s Hummingbird
  • Mexican Violetear
  • Calliope Hummingbird
  • Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird

1.6. Loons

Loons are the size of an adult duck. It belongs to the family of Gaviidae. These are the aquatic birds that are totally different from the ducks. However, they mostly have black or grey plumage. Also, they have a bill of spear shapes. The Loons are excellent swimmers and are capable of sufficient flying.

Voices: Common Loon

However, their legs are fixed to the rear side of the body. They are almost vulnerable on land. Following are the species of Loons.

  • Common Loon
  • Yellow-billed Loon
  • Pacific Loon
  • Red Throated Loon

1.7.  Pigeons & Doves

The Pigeons & Doves are lovely birds and famous for being lovey-dovey birds. They have short necks and stout-shaped bodies. In addition to slender and short bills, they also have a fleshy rostrum. Given below are the species of pigeons:

pexels photo 2407721
Image by Shakeb Tawheed at pexels
  • White Crowned Pigeon
  • Passenger Pigeon
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Band-tailed Pigeon

Following are the species of Doves to know:

  • Mourning Dove
  • Eurasian Collared Dove
  • Inca Dove
  • White-winged Dove

1.8. Swifts

Common swift is a bird that sleeps, eats and drinks during its flight!

The Swifts are the small birds involved in the Apodidae family. These birds pass the superiority of their time in flying. Further, these are the birds with tiny legs. So they are not able to settle willingly on the ground. Rather, they land on vertical surfaces. Most of the swift birds have long swept-back wings. So, it looks like a boomerang or a crescent. Further, given below are the species of Swifts:

  • White-collared Swift
  • Chimney Swift
  • Black Swift

1.9. Sandpipers & Allies

Sandpipers and Allies belong to the family of Scolopacidae. It is a diverse family of birds that varies from small to medium-sized shorebirds. These birds include shanks, snipes, godwits, sandpipers, tattlers, curlews, phalaropes, woodcocks, and dowitchers.

pexels photo 14331558
Image by Neal Smith at pexels

Most of these species eat the small invertebrates from soil and mud. These birds may vary in their length of bills and legs. However, it supports them to survive in the same habitat. It is mainly in the coastal area without any food competitions, as everybody has different food.

Given below are the species of sandpipers:

  • Pectoral Sandpiper
  • Upland Sandpiper
  • Stilt Sandpiper
  • White-rumped Sandpiper
  • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
  • Least Sandpiper
  • Buff-breasted Sandpiper
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Purple Sandpiper
  • Baird’s Sandpiper
  • Solitary Sandpiper
  • Western Sandpiper
  • Curlew Sandpiper
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper
  • Spotted Sandpiper

Given below are the species of Phalarope birds found in Ontario:

  • Red Phalarope
  • Wilson’s Phalarope
  • Red-necked Phalarope

Given below are the species of Curlew birds:

  • Slender-billed Curlew
  • Eskimo Curlew
  • Long-billed Curlew

Given below are the species of Godwit and Dowitcher birds:

  • Marbled Godwit
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Short-billed Dowitcher
  • Hudsonian Godwit
  • Long-billed Dowitcher

1.10. Kingfishers

pexels photo 326900
Image by Pixabay at pexels

Kingfishers are medium-sized birds that come from the family of Alcedinidae. These birds have stubby tails, big heads, small legs, and long pointed bills. Belted Kingfisher is the only specie that is found of Kingfisher birds in Ontario.

1.11.  Pelicans

pexels photo 10652147
Image by phiraphon srithakae at pexels

Pelicans are huge water birds that come from the family of Pelecanidae. They have a unique pouch beneath their beak. These birds also have four-webbed toes. Given below are the species of Pelican birds in Ontario:

  • Brown Pelican
  • American White Pelican

1.12. Shrikes

Tiny Vicious Killer Of The Bird World ~ Shrike Impales Its Victims On A Spike

The Shrikes are the perching birds that are present in the family of Laniidae. These are best known for often catching small animals and other birds because it’s their habit. One of their famous habits includes piercing the left uneaten portions of these small animals on thorns. It is a typical bird of prey with a hooked beak.

Northern Shrike and Loggerhead Shrike are the two species of Shrikes found in the state of Ontario, Canada.

1.13. Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers belong to the family Picidae. The Flickers and Sapsuckers are also part of this same family. These birds differ in size from small to medium. They have long tongues, short legs, chisel-like beaks, and stiff tails. Their prolonged tongues help them in capturing the insects.

free photo of close up photograph of a norther flicker woodpecker
Image by Hal Moran at pexels

Several species have feet with only 2 toes pointing backward and 2 forward. Meanwhile, some other species have only 3 toes. Also, woodpeckers are known for their habit of tapping their beaks on the trees’ trunks noisily.

Following are the species of woodpeckers:

  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Lewis’s Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Black-backed Woodpecker
  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • American Three-toed Woodpecker

Given below are the species of flickers and sapsuckers:

  • Northern Flicker
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

1.14.  Owls

The owls are lonely birds of prey that get active after dark. Their sizes vary from small to large. They have big front-facing eyes and ears, along with a hawk-like beak. Also, their eyes are surrounded by a remarkable circle of feathers. It is known as a facial disk.

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Image by Jean van der Meulen at pexels

Given below are the species of owls:

  • Northern Saw-Whet Owl
  • Boreal Owl
  • Burrowing Owl
  • Great Grey Owl
  • Boreal Owl
  • Long-eared Owl
  • Eastern Screech-Owl
  • Snowy Owl
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Northern Hawk Owl
  • Barred Owl

1.15. Grebes

Grebes are the freshwater diving birds involved in the family of Podicipedidae. They vary from small to medium sizes. These birds are outstanding divers and swimmers with lobed toes. But, their feet are fixed quite the back of their bodies. This makes them quite uncomfortable on land.

pexels photo 12329095
Image by Roberto59 at pexels

Following are the species of Grebes:

  • Western Grebe
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Red-necked Grebe
  • Eared Grebe
  • Horned Grebe

1.16.  Nightjars

Nightjars are the nocturnal birds that come in the family of Caprimulgidae. These are medium-sized birds with stretched, pointed wings. Also, they have tiny bills and short legs. However, Nightjars are ground-nesting birds and have soft plumage. Many of them have small feet, which are not much of a use for walking.

Nightjar - Mystic Bird of the Night

Given below are the species of Nightjars birds in Ontario:

  • Eastern Whip-Poor-Will
  • Chuck Will’s Widow
  • Lesser Nighthawk
  • Common Nighthawk
  • Common Poorwill

1.17.  Albatrosses

Albatrosses Use Their Nostrils To Fly | Nature

The Albatrosses are one of the largest flying birds belonging to the Diomedeidae family. A great albatross has the largest wing spans. The Yellow-nosed Albatross is the only specie of Albatrosses that is found in Ontario.

1.18.    Storks

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Image by Alexas Fotos at pexels

Storks are heavy and large birds belonging to the Ciconiidae family. These are the wading birds with long legs and long necks. Meanwhile, they have broad wingspans and stretched stout bills. Birds like Ibises, Herons, and Spoonbills have a powder down that they need to clean up fish slime. But Storks do not have it.

Besides, they also do not have a pharynx, so they are silent birds. The Wood Stork is the only species of Storks found in Ontario.

1.19.  Shags & Cormorants

BTO Bird ID - Cormorant and Shag

The Cormorants are aquatic birds that are part of the family Phalacrocoracidae. These are found in medium to large sizes. Generally, they have dark plumage. Meanwhile, they have colored skin on the side of their beaks on their faces. Also, they have a thin, hooked, sharp, and long bill.

One of their features includes webbed and four-toed feet. Following are the species of Cormorant birds in Ontario:

  • Neotropic Cormorant
  • Great Cormorant
  • Double-crested Cormorant

1.20. Eagles, Kites, and Hawks

Eagles, Kites, and Hawks are the birds of prey that are part of the family Accipitridae. It includes many other birds like harriers and vultures too. These are the birds with mighty hooked beaks. It supports them, tearing the flesh of the prey. However, they also have keen eyesight, powerful talons, and strong legs.

pexels photo 209084
Image by Pixabay at pexels

Following are the species of Hawks:

  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Swainson’s Hawk
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk

Further, the Swallow-tailed kite, Mississippi Kite, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, and Golden Eagle are the other species of the same family.

1.21. New World Vultures

New World Vultures

The New World Vultures are very unlikely related to the Old World Vultures. But, due to the convergent evolution, they precisely resemble Old World Vultures. However, they are also scavengers. Unlike the old world, vultures have good eyesight, but new world vultures have a brilliant sense of smell.

With an excellent smell sense, they can easily find their carcasses (decaying flesh of animals). Given below are the species of New World Vultures which are found in Ontario:

  • The Turkey Vulture
  • The Black Vulture

1.22.  Bitterns, Herons, and Egrets

The bitterns, herons, and egrets are associated with the family of Ardeidae. Egrets and Herons are wading birds, which are usually large in size. Meanwhile, they have long necks and legs. Besides, Bitters are a bit shorter-necked birds. The members of the Ardeidae family fly with their necks revoked.

Following are the species of Bitterns:

  • Least Bittern
  • American Bittern

Following are the species of Herons:

free photo of great blue heron flying low above water
Image by @coldbeer at pexels
  • Yellow-crowned Night Heron
  • Green Heron
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Great Blue Heron

Following are the species of Egrets:

  • Cattle Egret
  • Little Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Reddish Egret
  • Great Egret

1.23.  Wrens

pexels photo 5990560
Image by Jack Bulmer at pexels

Wrens are the unimposing birds that are present in the family of Troglodytidae. These are the small birds that usually sing loudly. Their bills are turned downwards and thin, and they have short wings. Meanwhile, many species of Wrens generally hold their tales upright. Further, these all are insectivorous birds.

Given below are the species of Wren birds in Ontario:

  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Rock Wren
  • Marsh Wren
  • House Wren
  • Carolina Wren
  • Sedge Wren
  • Winter Wren

1.24.  Crows, Magpies, & Jays

The crows, magpies, and jays are the birds that belong to the Corvidae. It also includes nutcrackers, ravens, ground jays, treepies, and choughs. These are above-average birds in terms of their size. However, they also include several larger species that are known to be intelligent.

pexels photo 51540
Image by Freddie Ramm at pexels

The following are the species related to the Corvidae family:

  • Clark’s Nutcracker
  • Common Raven
  • Canada Jay
  • Fish Crow
  • Black-billed Magpie
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Chihuahuan Raven
  • Eurasian Jackdaw

1.25. Thrushes

Thrushes are a bunch of passerine birds. However, they were primarily found in the Old World which belongs to the family of Turdidae. They have soft plumage. Besides, these are found in small to medium sizes. These are plump and insectivorous birds. Also, some of them are omnivores.

Song Thrush Bird Singing in May

Further, they often eat on the ground, and most of them sing addictive songs. Given below are the species from the Turdidae family:

  • Varied Thrush
  • Grey-cheeked Thrush
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Hermit Thrush
  • American Robin
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Bicknell’s Thrush
  • Wood Thrush
  • Veery
  • Fieldfare
  • Townsend’s Solitaire
  • Swainson’s Thrush
  • Eurasian Blackbird

1.26. Euphonias and Finches

Finches are passerine birds that are part of the family Fringillidae. These are small to average-sized birds. Also, they have a robust beak, which is mostly conical in shape. But some of the species have large beaks too. Meanwhile, these all have 9 flight feathers and 12 tail feathers.

10 Most Beautiful Finches in the World

Most of the finches sing beautifully and have a bouncing flight. Following are the species related to the same family as finches:

  • American Goldfinch
  • Cassin’s Finch
  • Brambling
  • Red Crossbill
  • Pine Siskin
  • Grey-crowned Rosy Finch
  • Pine Grosbeak
  • Hoary Redpoll
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Evening Grosbeak
  • Common Redpoll
  • Purple Finch
  • White-winged Crossbill
  • House Finch

1.27.  New World Sparrows

These species were known to be part of the Emberizidae family until 2017. Many of the species are called as Sparrows. Meanwhile, the New World Sparrows belong to the family of Passerellidae. Besides, these are quite different from the Old World Sparrows.

All Sparrow Species / All new world Sparrow species / new world Sparrow species/ sparrow

Most of these sparrows have unique head patterns. Given below are species of the New World Sparrows:

  • Cassin’s Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Fox Sparrow
  • Black-throated Sparrow
  • Clay-colored Sparrow
  • Baird’s Sparrow
  • Lark Bunting
  • Nelson’s Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Brewer’s Sparrow
  • Vesper Sparrow
  • Harris’s Sparrow
  • LeConte’s Sparrow
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Lark Sparrow
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow
  • Grasshopper Sparrow
  • Savannah Sparrow
  • Henslow’s Sparrow
  • Bachman’s Sparrow
  • Field Sparrow
  • American Tree Sparrow
  • Swamp Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow

1.28.  Troupials

♫ Turpial * Icterus icterus * Venezuelan Troupial ஜ

These are the birds involved in the family of Icteridae. So, they are found in small to medium sizes. It includes grackles, blackbirds, New World orioles, cowbirds, and meadowlarks. Their body color is almost black with a little mix of yellow, orange, or red color.

Following are the species related to the Icteridae:

  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Bullock’s Oriole
  • Yellow-headed Blackbird
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Orchard Oriole
  • Common Grackle
  • Hooded Oriole
  • Bobolink
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Rusty Blackbird
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • Scott’s Oriole
  • Western Meadowlark

1.29.  New World Warblers

The New World Warblers are a bunch of passerine birds which are part of the family of Parulidae. However, Wood-Warblers are small birds. Most of these birds are arboreal, some of which are terrestrial warblers. Further, many species are insectivorous.

The Wonderful World of Warblers

Given below are the species of New World Warblers:

  • Ovenbird
  • Painted Redstart
  • Louisiana Waterthrush
  • Mourning Warbler
  • Pine Warbler
  • Worm-eating Warbler
  • Wilson’s Warbler
  • Nashville Warbler
  • Canada Warbler
  • Golden-winged Warbler
  • Black-throated Green Warbler
  • Northern Waterthrush
  • Cerulean Warbler
  • Cape May Warbler
  • Hermit Warbler
  • Blue-winged Warbler
  • Kirtland’s Warbler
  • Townsend’s Warbler
  • Black and White Warbler
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • American Redstart
  • Northern Parula
  • Black-throated Grey Warbler
  • Hooded Warbler
  • Bay-breasted Warbler
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Prothonotary Warbler
  • Grace’s Warbler
  • Swainson’s Warbler
  • Prairie Warbler

1.30.    Cardinals

Northern Cardinal Beauty FYV

Cardinals are a family of strong birds that mainly feed on seeds. They also have robust bills with different plumages among genders. However, these are related to the open woodland and belong to the Cardinaldae family.

Given below are the species of birds from the family of Cardinalidae:

  • Dickcissel
  • Hepatic Tanager
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Painted Bunting
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Summer Tanager
  • Lazuli Bunting
  • Pyrrhuloxia
  • Varied Bunting
  • Blue Grosbeak
  • Western Tanager
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Black-headed Grosbeak
  • Scarlet Tanager

2. Conclusion

In July 2021, 508 species of birds were recorded in the province of Ontario, Canada. OBRC maintains the record – Ontario Bird Records Committee. However, the state of Ontario has a remarkable variety of bird species. Most of the species of birds in Ontario also reside at the shore of the Great Lakes.

The state of Ontario is packed with fascinating bird species. These birds vary in their native nature and residents. Most of the birds remain here throughout the year to breed birds. They spend time in the state to raise their babies and take care of them until they are able to take care of themselves. Several species are also migrants who pass via the state during their favorable conditions. Many of the birds are rare, but it has common birds also.

Mentioned above are the famous species of birds in Ontario. However, the list does not just end here. There is a wide range of bird species in Ontario.

Also these shores are also used as a temporary shelter during the migration of the birds. The bird’s sizes and habits may vary depending on the environment here. Many native birds are adapted to the environment of Ontario and can easily be found here.

For more details, click here.

Last Updated on by Narayani Bhardwaj

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