Winter Waterfowl

At this time of the year the pickings can be pretty slim for birders. Our regular feeder birds do not change much and a walk through the parks or woodlands may produce limited results. One area that will still have birds though is open water, especially along Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and fast flowing rivers.

This is where a number of species of waterfowl spend the winter, sometimes in good numbers. Diving ducks like Scaup, Common Goldeneye and Long-tailed Ducks may be present in flocks on the lower Great Lakes, riding the waves regardless of the weather. They will be joined by mergansers, Redheads and the smaller Bufflehead.

In shallower water along the shore, you can find Mallards, Black Ducks and perhaps some swans. The swans are very large and stand out prominently. The largest species are Trumpeters with the somewhat smaller Tundra Swans at times present in flocks. The Mute Swan, an introduced bird is between these two species in size and can be locally numerous. Adults have a prominent orange bill bordered with black and a black knob on the top.

Happy Birding!

By Brian Morin

Publisher of Ontario Birding News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.