On the flyway to home: Get to know Canada's migratory birds
Conservation Volunteers get a peek at migrating golden eagles (Photo by NCC)
Each spring, skies across Canada are filled with the sights and sounds of millions of birds arriving home from their southern wintering grounds. The four major migration pathways (flyways) in the Americas include:
From the Canadian Arctic to southern Mexico, these sky-high pathways span the continents and follow prominent natural features, such as coastlines, mountain ranges and river valleys. Some bird species only travel along one flyway, while others (species that are more widespread) arrive in Canada via multiple routes during migration. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) protects habitat for more than 300 migratory bird species, ensuring they have areas to rest and feed as well as suitable habitat for nesting.
Learn about some of these returning bird species and where you may be able to spot them.
From April to August, this flycatcher, found mostly along forest edges and openings near wetlands, can be seen in every province and territory except Nunavut.
From February to August, the golden eagle, the largest bird of prey in Canada, can be spotted throughout many of NCC's properties. They are present year-round in some parts of Canada.
From May to September, this endangered woodpecker can be found in BC's southern interior region.
From April to September, this endangered species can be observed on several NCC properties in Saskatchewan during their migration.
From April to August, this brownish-streaked, sparrow-sized bird can be found on all of NCC's grassland natural areas in Alberta, and some properties in Saskatchewan.
From April to September, this ground-foraging songbird can be seen in dry, open prairies with short grass. NCC properties across Canada's prairies provide stopover and nesting habitat for this species.
From May to September, this sparrow-sized bird that has one of the most limited breeding and wintering ranges in North America can be found on the summits of Green and White mountains in the Appalachians in Quebec, and in areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
From late April to August, this endangered shorebird can be seen dotting the sand and pebble beaches and saline wetlands. NCC properties in Atlantic Canada and the prairies provide stopover and nesting habitat for this species.
From May to September, semipalmated sandpipers migrate through Canada and the eastern United States, from the Canadian Arctic and the Hudson Bay lowlands, to make their 10,000-kilometre flight to their wintering grounds along the coasts of South America.
From April to September, this endangered, flashy yellow warbler can be found in southwestern Ontario, including on NCC's Backus Woods property. They are one of two warbler species in North America that nest in small tree cavities.
From May to September, this medium-sized songbird migrates from southern Canada and northern U.S. to their wintering grounds in southern South America — one of the world’s longest migrations (20,000 kilometres) of any North American songbird. They can be spotted across Canada on many NCC properties with grasslands.