Welcome to the virtual zoo of Northwestern Ontario Forest, a vibrant symphony of feathers, songs, and wings.
This article serves as your guide to the common bird species that grace our skies and fill our forests with life.
From the striking Blue Jay to the majestic Bald Eagle, each entry is a testament to the rich biodiversity of our region. So, let’s embark on this avian adventure and explore the feathered wonders of the Northwestern Ontario Forest.
Click on thumbnailed images for a larger picture and descriptions.
- Known for their bright blue feathers and crest.
- They are omnivores, eating both plants and small animals.
- They are known for their loud, jay-like calls.
- Blue Jays are highly intelligent and have complex social systems.
- Also known as the Canada Jay.
- They are known for their bold behavior around humans.
- Gray Jays are omnivorous.
- They store food for the winter by sticking it to tree bark with their saliva.
- Another name for the Gray Jay.
- The name “Whiskey Jack” is derived from the Algonquin word “Wisakedjak”.
- They are known for their fearless behavior around humans.
- Whiskey Jacks are found in the boreal forests of North America.
- Known for their red-orange bellies.
- They are one of the first birds to sing at dawn.
- American Robins eat both invertebrates and fruit.
- Their nests are often located in human-made structures.
- They are not native to North America, but were introduced in the 19th century.
- European Starlings are known for their iridescent black feathers.
- They can mimic the sounds of other birds.
- They often form large flocks, especially in the winter.
- Males are black with red and yellow shoulder patches.
- They are often found in marshes and wetlands.
- Red-winged Blackbirds are very territorial during breeding season.
- Their diet consists of seeds, insects, and grains.
- Known for their iridescent black feathers and long tails.
- They are omnivores, eating both plants and animals.
- Common Grackles often form large flocks.
- They have a variety of vocalizations, including whistles and clicks.
- They are a species of warbler.
- Ovenbirds are known for their oven-like nests.
- They are primarily insectivores.
- Ovenbirds have a distinctive song that sounds like “teacher-teacher-teacher”.
- Known for their sleek appearance and yellow-tipped tail.
- They eat fruit and insects.
- Cedar Waxwings are named for the red, wax-like tips on their wing feathers.
- They are social birds, often found in flocks.
- They are large finches found in the northern forests.
- Pine Grosbeaks eat seeds, buds, and berries.
- Males are pinkish-red, while females are grayish.
- They have a sweet, warbling song.
- Known for their black cap and bib.
- They are very adaptable and can be found in a variety of habitats.
- Black-capped Chickadees eat insects, seeds, and berries.
- They have a distinctive “chick-a-dee-dee-dee” call.
- They are one of the most widespread sparrows in North America.
- Song Sparrows eat seeds and insects.
- Males have a complex, melodious song.
- They have a streaked brown and white plumage.
- Known for their iridescent blue-green upperparts.
- They are aerial insectivores, catching insects in flight.
- Tree Swallows often nest in tree cavities or birdhouses.
- They migrate in large flocks to Central and South America in the winter.
- They are one of the largest woodpeckers in North America.
- Pileated Woodpeckers eat insects, especially carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae.
- They are known for their distinctive, laughing call.
- They excavate large, rectangular holes in trees to find food.
- Known for their entirely red head.
- They eat insects, seeds, and occasionally small rodents.
- Red-headed Woodpeckers often store food in tree cavities for later use.
- They are considered a species of concern due to habitat loss.
- They are a type of woodpecker known for their spotted plumage.
- Northern Flickers eat mainly ants and beetles.
- They are one of the few woodpecker species that frequently feeds on the ground.
- They have a distinctive “flicker” call, which gives them their name.
- They are the only breeding hummingbird species in eastern North America.
- Ruby-throated Hummingbirds feed on nectar and small insects.
- Males have a bright red throat, or gorget.
- They are capable of hovering in place and can fly backwards.
- Known for their large head and distinctive crest.
- They eat mainly fish, which they catch by diving into water.
- Belted Kingfishers nest in burrows that they dig into riverbanks.
- Both males and females have a blue band across the chest, but females also have a chestnut band.
- They are a game bird known for their fan-like tail.
- Ruffed Grouse eat buds, leaves, and berries.
- Males make a drumming sound by beating their wings against their body.
- They are well-adapted to snowy environments and often burrow into snow for warmth.
- This is a common name for several species of game bird.
- Partridges are ground-nesting birds that eat seeds and insects.
- They are known for their distinctive “partridge in a pear tree” song.
- Partridges are not strong fliers and prefer to run when threatened.
- Known for their black head and neck with a white “chinstrap”.
- They eat grass, grains, and berries.
- Canada Geese are known for their V-shaped migratory formations.
- They are very protective of their nests and can be aggressive.
- They are the most common wild duck in the Northern Hemisphere.
- Mallards eat plants, insects, and small fish.
- Males have a green head, while females are mottled brown.
- They are the ancestor of most domestic duck breeds.
- Known for their colorful plumage and distinctive shape.
- They eat seeds, fruit, and insects.
- Wood Ducks nest in tree cavities and will use nest boxes.
- They are one of the few duck species equipped with strong claws that can grip bark and perch on branches.
- They are known for their eerie, haunting calls.
- Loons eat mainly fish, which they catch by diving underwater.
- They are excellent swimmers, but are awkward on land.
- Loons have striking black and white plumage during the breeding season.
- They are a common seagull species found across North America.
- Herring Gulls eat a wide variety of food, including fish, invertebrates, and human garbage.
- They are known for their loud, laughing call.
- Adults have a white body, gray wings, and a red spot on the beak.
Great Blue Heron
- They are the largest heron in North America.
- Great Blue Herons eat fish, invertebrates, and small mammals.
- They hunt by standing still at the water’s edge and striking with their beak.
- They nest in large colonies in trees near water.
- They are the national bird of the United States.
- Bald Eagles eat mainly fish, which they catch by swooping down over water.
- They are known for their white head and tail, and large, powerful build.
- Bald Eagles build some of the largest nests of any bird species.
- They are one of the largest birds of prey in North America.
- Golden Eagles eat small mammals, birds, and carrion.
- They are known for their golden-brown plumage and fast, agile flight.
- Golden Eagles often mate for life and build large nests on cliffs or in trees.
- They are a common bird of prey found across North America.
- Red-tailed Hawks eat small mammals, birds, and reptiles.
- They are known for their broad, rounded wings and short, wide tail.
- The red tail is not fully developed until the bird is mature.
- They are a bird of prey that specializes in catching fish.
- Ospreys dive feet-first into water to catch their prey.
- They are known for their white underparts and black eye stripe.
- Ospreys often build their nests on man-made structures, like telephone poles.
Great Horned Owl
- They are a large owl known for their horn-like ear tufts.
- Great Horned Owls eat a wide variety of prey, including mammals, birds, and reptiles.
- They are nocturnal and are most active at night.
- Great Horned Owls have a deep, hooting call.
- They are a large, white owl native to the Arctic.
- Snowy Owls eat mainly small mammals, especially lemmings.
- They are known for their yellow eyes and black beak.
- Snowy Owls are often active during the day, especially in the summer.
- They are a large, black bird known for their intelligence.
- American Crows eat a wide variety of food, including insects, seeds, and human garbage.
- They are known for their loud, cawing call.
- American Crows often form large, communal roosts in the winter.
- They are larger than crows and have a thicker beak.
- Common Ravens eat a wide variety of food, including carrion, insects, and grains.
- They are known for their deep, croaking call.
- Common Ravens are highly intelligent and capable of using tools.
- They are a large bird of prey known for their bald, red head.
- Turkey Vultures eat carrion and are important for cleaning up dead animals.
- They are known for their soaring flight, often seen circling in the sky.
- Turkey Vultures have a keen sense of smell, which they use to locate carrion.