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
Birds of Canada fans will appreciate Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland and Labrador, a popular spot for bird watchers like Scarborough’s Alan Cheng. It seems this soaring northern gannet is also enjoying the view!
Discover why Cape St. Mary’s is on this list of essential east coast experiences.
“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!
For us caffeine junkies, there’s nothing better than that first cup of coffee on the deck. Throw in a visit from a picture-perfect purple finch? Welcome to Frank Koenig’s morning in Morinville, Alberta. Way to start your day right, Frank!
Check out these six ways to become a morning person.
Karen Cook of Kingston, Nova Scotia, finds this photogenic Baltimore oriole picture 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.
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 Toronto’s North York donned tall rubber boots to walk the wharf when the docks flooded, but this duck was sitting pretty in webbed feet.
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.
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.
‘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—moments like these are hard to come by.
A grouchy owl gives Grumpy Cat a run for her money. This 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.
Learn about the lives of famous animals that changed history—Grumpy Cat is not among them.
Mother Nature, carpenter
Here we have a wood duck—so named because it nests in tree cavities—but we think it really does look 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 birds of Canada.
“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!”
Check out this list of animals that mate for life.
Allll byyy myyyyself
This songbird sings alone—and likes it that way! Ottawa’s Paula Brown found this eastern phoebe among some beautiful pink branches on Petrie Island. This bird is known to be something of a loner—even mates don’t spend much time together. Whatever works!
Check out this list of celebrities who opted for the single life.
Lynn C. Bilton
‘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!
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 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!
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 for the moment, 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 birds of Canada list 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.
Discover why the Okanagan Valley is one of Canada’s best birdwatching destinations.
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.
OK, 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.
If Woody Woodpecker puts you in a nostalgic mood, check out this list of things all 1950s kids remember.
Jack D. Waller
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.
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.
Don’t miss these great Canadian bird stories.
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 these 10 great day trips from Ottawa, including a boat tour in Gananoque.
We’ve seen a lot of birds, but now we’re getting close to the tail end. 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!
Discover what a wild turkey taught one Toronto man about resilience.
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? Find it among these nine animals you can discover while visiting Saskatchewan’s Prince Albert National Park.