Incredible Bird Photography From Across Canada
Bird’s the word! We challenged Canadians from coast to coast to share their adventures in avian photography, and you took to it like ducks to water. Don’t miss this gallery of candid moments in the lives of our feathered friends.
Bird’s eye view
Fans of bird photography will appreciate Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland and Labrador, a popular spot for bird watchers like Alan Cheng. It seems this soaring northern gannet is also enjoying the view!
Discover why Cape St. Mary’s made our list of essential experiences on the east coast of Canada.
“These two made themselves a home in my backyard and spent their days sunning and snuggling on my deck,” writes Linda McIlwain of Selwyn, Ontario. “So calming to watch them and listen to their coos.” If only we could all be so lucky in love—and birdwatching!
Looking to attract doves to your own backyard? Find out which seed works best.
Follow the leader
No ugly ducklings here! This mama mallard takes her brood for a leisurely swim off Petrie Island near Ottawa. Thanks, Paula Brown, for this handsome family portrait!
Check out these heartwarming animal photos that celebrate a mother’s love.
Catching the red-eye
The eared grebe is the “original punk bird,” writes George Vanderberg of Lethbridge, Alberta. No hair gel required for this rockin’ ’do!
Karen Cook of Kingston, Nova Scotia, snapped this photogenic Baltimore oriole among the season’s first apple blossoms in the Annapolis Valley. “Did you know a flock of orioles is called a pitch?” she asks. What a curveball!
Check out Nova Scotia’s best-kept bird-watching secret.
Silly owl… I mean snowy owl!
“This determined juvenile snowy owl was on a mission—but preferred to walk rather than fly! Such a funny bird,” writes Toronto’s Marnie Bonnett, who took this picture at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy in Norfolk County, Ontario.
Discover more hidden gems in Ontario.
Strong silent type
The least bittern is known rarely to vocalize, but this one seems to have something on his mind! Thank you, Marnie Bonnett of Toronto, for sharing this handsome heron searching for his breakfast in Cambridge, Ontario.
Duck on the dock
Who doesn’t enjoy kicking back lakeside? Well, this mallard is no exception. Richard Bourdeau of North York, Ontario, donned tall rubber boots to walk the wharf when the docks flooded, but this duck was sitting pretty in webbed feet.
The most common and widely distributed hummingbird in Canada, the beautiful ruby-throated hummingbird is nevertheless a riveting sight for any bird lover. Jack D. Waller finds this one hovering among the touch-me-nots of Ardrossan, Alberta.
Find out the best flowers to attract hummingbirds to your back yard.
You wouldn’t know it by looking at this pristine pair, but the mute swan is an invasive species in Canada, and quite the bully! Toronto’s Marlon Porter captures the sweet side of this bird, originally brought to North America to beautify parks.
A canola field near High River, Alberta, provides a striking backdrop for this savannah sparrow, a common sight in prairie landscapes. Lethbridge’s George Vanderberg reckons this one is out bug-hunting.
Don’t miss this photographic tour across the western provinces of Canada.
If we didn’t know any better, we might think they’re love birds! Ottawa’s Paula Brown captures a bit of romance as this ruby red male shares a mouthful with his hungry mate. He’s not the only gentleman around—courtship feeding is common among cardinals.
Down the hatch!
“These nuthatch parents worked from sunrise to sunset to supply food,” writes Cathy Gauthier of Magnetawan, Ontario. “I have such respect for these small but mighty birds after watching them day after day taking care of their family!”
Grand Ole Osprey
“What’s up, Mom?” writes Alberta’s Dan Wever from the perspective of the little one. Banff is known for its abundance of natural beauty, but Dan finds these ospreys opting to make their home on a bridge.
Find out the best things to do in Banff on your next visit.
‘Pick up the pace!’
Most of us would be wary of a boss as demanding as this supervising tree swallow, but we expect the nest will be ready in no time! Great timing and camerawork from Craig Jackson of Kagawong, Ontario—bird photography opps like these are hard to come by.
This grouchy owl gives Grumpy Cat a run for her money. The fledgling great grey owl had just been soaked in a downpour when photographer Sheri Skocdopole of Condor, Alberta, spotted him. “The poor thing looks so grumpy, it made me giggle a little,” she writes.
Check out more funny Canadian animals caught on camera.
Mother Nature, carpenter
Here we have a wood duck—so named because it nests in tree cavities—but we think it actually looks like a decoy that’s been whittled from a block of wood. Or is that just crafty camerawork from Philip Klug of Airdrie, Alberta? Either way, this golden hour photo is a fine entry in our gallery of bird photography.
Don’t miss these stunning sunset pictures from across Canada.
No runway needed as Calgary’s Maria Powell finds this American white pelican coming in for a smooth landing on the Bow River.
You’ll find countless opportunities for bird photography in this roundup of the best day trips from Calgary.
“A Forster’s tern hovers above the lake in search of its next meal, possibly a small fish,” writes George Vanderberg of Lethbridge, Alberta. It’s a beautiful sight—unless, of course, you happen to be a small fish!
Strutting his stuff
“A male grouse looks to impress any lady friend to be found as he wanders the tree line of our backyard,” writes Cathy Gauthier of Magnetawan, Ontario. “When they get in this display mode, they only have one thing on their mind, and it’s much easier to get a photo of them in full display!”
Discover the best wildlife experiences across Canada.
“Table for two…”
“… with a view!” writes Lynn C. Bilton of Cobourg, Ontario. She caught these two cordial cardinals shooting the breeze by the Trent River near Hastings, Ontario. With a landscape this nice, we can only assume they had a reservation!
The cattle egret is commonly found in grass, as it loves to hang around large mammals like cows, but Lisa Martin of Amherst notes it is nevertheless a rare sight in her province of Nova Scotia.
These stunning pictures of Nova Scotia will have you packing your bags for the east coast.
Watched like a hawk
It can’t be easy to capture a crisp image of such a swift bird, but Cheryl Goff of Oshawa, Ontario, did a fine job of homing in on this northern harrier hawk hunting over Lake Ontario.
Spotting baby seagulls
While the seagull is a ubiquitous sight, the little ones are not always so visible. Alexandra Fontaine of Mission, B.C., was on a trip to Victoria when she found these babies on a nearby roof from her hotel window. “I had never seen baby seagulls before. Who knew they were so cute?” Thanks for sharing, Alexandra!
Check out 25 fantastic reasons to visit Vancouver Island.
Blackbird in the breeze
Richard Bourdeau of North York, Ontario, was having little success photographing red-winged blackbirds when he happened upon this female. “The males bounce around, but the females tend to be shy,” he writes. “In this case, she seemed not too concerned about human presence.”
Poised to pounce?
Hamilton’s Kim Leaman finds this red-tailed hawk searching for a meal one spring evening. It’s perfectly still in this shot, but we get the feeling it’s ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice!
We’re pretty sure this cedar waxwing is eating a berry, but we wouldn’t rule out that he’s just mugging for the camera. A beautiful shot for our gallery of bird photography from Heather McIlravey of Severn Bridge, Ontario.
Make sure you never feed this to birds.
Norma Howes of Rock Creek, B.C., finds the food chain in action as this American kestrel snacks on an unlucky grasshopper.
Don’t miss this gorgeous guide to the birds of the Okanagan.
This stately bird is a juvenile bald eagle, which counts among birds of Canada despite its famous association with the U.S. This specimen comes courtesy of the speedy shutter button of Wendy Wever of Sarnia, Ontario.
Woody Woodpecker was rumoured to be of the pileated variety, but that doesn’t mean this red-bellied woodpecker was not a welcome sight for Wayne Parks of Gananoque, Ontario. Like Wayne, this woodpecker seems to have found what it was looking for.
Don’t miss these fascinating facts about pileated woodpeckers.
O, Canada Warbler
Despite this songbird’s patriotic name, it only summers here. Thank you, Dale Matthies of Goderich, Ontario, for sharing this shot for our bird photography gallery. Looks like that bird feeder is paying off!
Here’s more expert advice on how to attract more birds to your yard.
Sitting on the fence
Philip Klug of Airdrie, Alberta, finds this uncertain bluebird pondering her next move atop the most idyllic of resting places—a barbed wire fence.
Read up on the efforts to save Canada’s mountain bluebird.
Flicker of joy
Something seems to have caught the attention of this northern flicker, but we’re satisfied with what’s in the frame, courtesy of Wayne Parks of Gananoque, Ontario.
Check out 10 great day trips from Ottawa, including a boat tour in Gananoque.
We’ve seen a lot of bird photography, but we’re reaching the tail end of our gallery. As this wild turkey was walking away, Cheryl Goff of Oshawa, Ontario, admired the fan of its tail and the way it dragged its wings in the snow. Thanks for sharing, Cheryl!
Don’t miss these great Canadian bird stories.
Worth a gander
Do you know Canada’s national bird? (Hint: It’s not the Canada goose!) Still, when we see this symbol of national pride taking such good care of its young, we can’t help but reflect on the need to preserve our country’s amazing natural wonders for the next generation. Thank you, Diane Killman of Burns Lake, B.C., for this lovely family photo.
Wracking your brain for Canada’s national bird? Take our great Canadian trivia quiz to test your knowledge of everything from birds to bacon.
Great grandpa heron
Diane Killman catches this elderly-looking fellow reflecting on the meaning of life as he gazes upon the ocean off the coast of Prince Rupert, B.C.
If you enjoyed this gallery of bird photography, be sure to check out our countdown of the best bird-watching spots across Canada.