Northern Cardinals can be found during the winter in High Park.

A bird’s eye view

Winter birding is worth the tweet


When one considers bird watching, it may be thought of as a spring or summer activity due to the migration patterns of birds. But lucky for local bird watchers — or birders as they are sometimes referred — it can be a year-round activity.

“The birds that are present here (in the winter) are the ones who have been able to find the food resources that they require to survive the winter,” said Mark Peck, the ornithology technician at the Royal Ontario Museum.

“Just call a naturalist club and go out and go birding.” Mark Peck, ornithology technician at the Royal Ontario Museum.

According to Peck, birds are mostly prominent in Canada during the months of May, June and July, but many other species stay during the winter months too.

Meantime, an online community is strengthening ties among bird enthusiasts. E-Bird is a public data base that draws bird watchers from all over the world who share sightings and information on the birds they see. It has even spurred some friendly competition amongst bird watchers.

Wild Turkeys are one of the highlights of bird watching at High Park.
Wild Turkeys are one of the highlights of bird watching at High Park. (Toronto Observer/Jonathan Yue)

“As long as people are providing detailed information I don’t think it hurts anyone,” Peck says. “It’s kind of a fun hobby for a lot of people and I think the data now that is gathered and put on E-bird is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn more about birds.” For anyone interested in pursuing a hobby in birding, Peck recommends joining bird watching clubs and groups.

“There are a lot of naturalist clubs that provide free walks for people to learn. Just call a naturalist club and go out and go birding.”