Some birds we’ve seen recently in Canada

The best time to visit Canada for birdwatching is April to early June, or late August to November. The summer months of June and July are mostly unsuitable for birdwatching. During those months you probably won’t find much, even though a few birds can be seen year-round.

Let’s see what kinds of interesting things you can see in August and September in eastern Canada. Let’s start with ducks. Mostly in the summer, in urban areas like Ottawa you’ll mostly just see Mallard, American Black Duck, and Wood Duck. However, when August rolls around, Common Mergansers start to show up.

Common Merganser on a rock at Carleton University

Warblers of course make their seasonal migration south. Although they are harder to identify than in the spring due to lack of breeding plumage, they can still be fun to see.

Magnolia Warbler: a little harder to identify without its breeding plumage

The next picture isn’t the greatest since this bird was quite far away:

Wilson’s Snipe (Gallinago delicata)

It’s Wilson’s Snipe! I believe they can be seen in the summer as well. However, perhaps they have the urge to eat extra food before migration?

Another really cool find of ours this fall is Virginia Rail. We woke up around 5am to find it. Typically, we have found rails and crakes easiest to see in the morning. (In Australia, we also woke up at a similar time to find the Buff-banded Rail.)

It’s Virginia Rail in the back, almost flying (rails do not like to fly it seems)

Another type of bird that comes around urban areas around September is Herring Gull.

Herring Gull at Carleton University

Usually in the summer the most common gull is Ring-billed Gull. The first clue that gives away a Herring Gull over Ring-billed besides the size is its pink legs. Ring-billed Gulls have yellow legs. An even rarer gull is Great Black-backed Gull.

With gulls, terns are also in the family Laridae. We’ve seen lots of terns species in Australia but the first we’ve seen of them in Canada is the Caspian Tern.

Two Caspian Terns at Andrew Haydon park in Ottawa

Finally, I want to celebrate our 100th bird in Canada: the Northern Pintail!

Northern Pintail, our 100th bird in Canada and a lifer, bringing us to 447 birds

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