Migrating Birds - Flyway Habitat Project

Lake Ontario’s north shore is a hotspot for migrating birds. They arrive on our shoreline hungry and exhausted after their 40-kilometre flight across Lake Ontario during spring migration. Our growing communities in the greater Toronto area have left very little natural habitat for migrating birds to rest and refuel.

In 2015, we partnered with CRH Canada to create two hectares of native habitat for migratory birds along the Lake Ontario shoreline on CRH’s Mississauga cement facility. The transformation is called the Flyway Habitat Project. Funding for the project was provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program, with contributions from CRH Canada, CVC and the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics.

The project created habitat that will provide food and shelter for migratory birds as they journey from their wintering locations further south to their breeding grounds up north. The new habitat types use native plants to support a variety of migratory bird species.

New Habitat Types:

Woodland
Trees and shrubs will help support insects such as caterpillars which are a favourite food for birds like the Bay-breasted Warbler and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Thicket
A dense patch of shrubs will provide berries and shelter for birds such as Gray Catbirds and Mourning Warblers.

Meadow and Grassland
Large areas were seeded with native wildflowers and grasses to create a unique habitat with abundant insects and seeds for birds such as Bank Swallows and Savannah Sparrows.

The project ended in March 2018. Our staff will continue to conduct bird and insect surveys on the property to track the project’s success. The property isn’t accessible to the public but it will be a sanctuary for our feathered friends 24/7.

Learn more about migratory birds

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