Ouimet Canyon: a northwestern birding hotspot

ontarioparks.comOuimet Canyon Provincial Park has a variety of upland and lowland habitats, and therefore supports a wide diversity of birds. When entering the park, there is an upland stand of Trembling Aspen and White Birch on the west side of the road. On the east side is an open water and cattail marsh known as the Gulch Slough. A parking area at the end of this road just prior to the turn to the west is a good location to park and work your way back southward along the road’s edge.

Here there are opportunities to see a variety of species, including; American Bittern, Pied-billed Grebe, Sora, Least Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Philadelphia Vireo, Wilson’s Snipe, and Belted Kingfisher in the wetland habitats to the west.

On the opposite of the road in the upland habitat, common birds include Winter Wren, Golden and Ruby-crowned, Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Hermit and Swainson’s Thrush, and Veery.

The canyon also provides nesting habitat, year after year, for Peregrine Falcons. Have your ears ready to hear their loud squawks. A set of binoculars or a good scope can be used to scan the rock ledges along both sides of the canyon for a resting falcon. The birds rarely disappoint visitors, provided you put in the time to wait for them to make an appearance.

If you’re a birder interested in warblers (and who isn’t?), this location is great for: Ovenbird, Black-and-white Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler, Canada Warbler and Black-throated Green Warbler.

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