See a Variety of Birds
Birding is a popular activity in our parks. It’s a great way to connect with nature. There are over 260 different species of birds in the Credit River Watershed.
The diversity of habitats at our parks attracts a variety of birds all year long. You could spot chickadees perched on trees in forests, great blue herons wading in the Credit River or red-winged blackbirds defending their territory in wetlands.
Learn more about birds and wildlife in the Credit River Watershed.
Birds You May See at Our Parks
Our Birding Spots
The forests at Belfountain are home to many birds listed as species of special concern in Ontario. You may catch a glimpse of Louisiana waterthrush, chimney swift or Canada warbler. You can also spot other forest birds like northern waterthrush, veery and brown creeper.
Along the length of the Trailway you’ll most likely come across black-capped chickadee, American goldfinch and cedar waxwing. The Trailway is a great vantage point for peeking into adjacent habitats. Observe grassland birds among the fields and meadow near Erin Village and look for forest interior birds among the mature woodlands near Hillsburgh. Don’t forget your binoculars!
Situated at the headwaters of the Credit River, Island Lake is a birdwatchers delight. In spring and fall look for migratory waterfowl like redhead, ring-necked duck and green-winged teal congregating in large flocks. Be sure to bring your spotting scope.
During the summer, listen for secretive marsh birds like Virginia rail and marsh wren calling from the cattails along the Vicki Barron Lakeside Trail. You may even spot a pair of common loon yodeling on the lake – making you feel like you’re in northern Ontario.
The trails around the two ponds at Ken Whillans offer great vantage points to view breeding ducks such as wood duck, common merganser and mallard. Keep your eye out for aerial insectivores. Barn swallow, tree swallow and Northern rough-winged swallow swoop over the ponds to feed. As you walk the trail, you’ll pass through open woodlands where you can see birds like Baltimore oriole, American redstart, and Northern flicker.
The extensive forests at Limehouse provide habitat for birds like warblers that need the interior habitats of large forest to survive. Species such as black-and-white warbler, black-throated blue warbler, black-throated green warbler and blackburnian warbler can be heard singing from the treetops in the spring as you meander the trails of this escarpment property. The area also has many raptors including broad-winged hawk, cooper’s hawk and sharp-shinned hawk.
Rattray Marsh is a perfect spot to view a variety of migratory birds as they stopover during their long flights. As you walk along the boardwalk in the forest, keep an eye out for chestnut-sided warbler, blue-headed vireo and hermit thrush. Along the rocky shoreline is where you can come across waterfowl like red-necked grebe, long-tailed duck and red-breasted merganser on the lake. In fall, water levels in the marsh often drop exposing mudflats, a great place to view shorebirds like killdeer, greater yellowlegs and least sandpiper feeding on small insects.
Year round you can be sure to see birds like Carolina wren, red-bellied woodpecker and white-breasted nuthatch.
Silver Creek offers a vast forest for birds spanning three concession blocks. This escarpment property features an extensive trail system where you can hear birds that need large forests to survive such as winter wren, black-throated blue warbler and red-breasted nuthatch. You may even be lucky to hear hooded warbler singing too!
Terra Cotta is home to a range of forest birds. You can come across ovenbird, yellow-throated vireo, pine warbler and the special concern wood thrush. On trails that pass through more open parts of the forest, you may even spot yellow-billed cuckoo catching caterpillars on the trees. You can also spot blue-winged warbler, Eastern bluebird, and field sparrow in the meadows. Wetlands and ponds in this conservation area provide habitat for waterfowl such as wood duck and American wigeon.
Upper Credit features a variety of habitats for breeding birds. Keep your eye out for bobolink, Eastern meadowlark and grasshopper sparrow as you walk along trails in the meadows. You can also hear birds like Eastern towhee, American redstart and field sparrow where meadows meet trees. Lastly, walk the trails through the open woodland habitat to find great crested flycatcher, warbling vireo and indigo bunting.