Waterbirds nesting in Ontario, Canada


This video says about itself:

23 May 2013

Video clips of some birds around my home Ontario Canada. Included: a Blue Jay, Female Rose Breasted Grosbeak, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Male Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Baltimore Oriole, White-throated Sparrow, and female Eastern Wild Turkey.

From Nature Conservancy Canada:

Colonial nesting waterbirds in Ontario

Colonial nesting waterbirds are birds that nest in groups or colonies. The birds that make up this group, including herons, terns, gulls and egrets, are a major component of many coastal ecosystems. Islands in the Great Lakes are important sites for globally significant populations of colonial nesting waterbirds. In Ontario, colonial nesting waterbirds can be found on the Western Lake Erie Islands Islands, Manitoulin Island, Northwestern Lake Superior Coast and the Eastern Georgian Bay Coast. Protecting these natural areas means protecting important nesting, migration stopover and foraging habitat for this unique bird group.

In Ontario you will find many colonial nesting waterbirds, including:

Eighty to 94 percent of the world’s breeding population of ring-billed gulls and as much as 60 percent of the North American population of breeding herring gulls nest in the Great Lakes, mostly on islands.

Each species of colonial nesting waterbird nests in a specific habitat, which may include beaches, marshes and forests, but they occur primarily on mainland coasts and islands. This group of birds may move from site to site each year within a favoured location, depending upon the availability of resources such as food or materials. During nesting season colonial nesting waterbirds are concentrated at colony sites, making them highly vulnerable.

Gulls are the most common of the colonial nesting waterbirds in Ontario. They forage for food near the surface of water or on shore. They are even known to steal food from each other. Gulls can swallow large prey, such as small mammals or other birds, whole. Many gulls are a common visitor to garbage dumps and some are considered a nuisance in urban areas.

Terns forage out in open water, plunging down during flight to capture prey, sometimes hovering briefly before diving down under the water’s surface. They feed on small fish and some invertebrates.

Wading birds — such as herons and egrets — search for prey in shallow water. Unsuspecting fish and other water invertebrates are snatched up in the patient birds’ long bills of  if they swim too close.

Colonial nesting waterbirds are very susceptible to disturbances in their local environment. Human activity such as recreation or development can flush birds from their roosts or nests. During breeding this can leave eggs or chicks vulnerable to predation, the elements and the footsteps of humans and their pets. Coastal development is on the rise in almost all areas where colonial nesting waterbirds occur, thus increasing disturbance as well as decreasing available suitable habitat. Colonial nesting waterbird numbers are showing a decline, and U.S. coastal studies attribute the decrease to increased disturbance, habitat degradation, contaminants in the water and predation.

Habitat restoration projects can help to rehabilitate damaged sites, and the proper management of existing habitat can ensure the survival of these birds. Restoration projects may include the removal of introduced predators, reduction of human disturbance and planting or removal of vegetation to improve nesting habitat.

You can help our colonial nesting waterbirds by:

  • keeping your pets on a leash when you visit areas that these birds inhabit;
  • avoiding breeding colonies during the spring and summer;
  • taking your litter with you;
  • educating yourself about where these groups occur and how to identify these birds;
  • volunteering in breeding birds surveys.

Sources:

Austen, M. J., H. Blokpoel, and G. D. Tessier. (1996). Atlas of colonial waterbirds nesting on the Canadian Great Lakes, 1989-1991. Part 4. Marsh-nesting terns on Lake Huron and the lower Great Lakes system in 1991. Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report 217.

Blokpoel, and G. D. Tessier. (1993). Atlas of colonial waterbirds nesting on the Canadian Great Lakes, 1989-1991. Part 1. Cormorants, gulls and island-nesting terns on Lake Superior in 1989. Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report 181.

Blokpoel, and G. D. Tessier. (1996). Atlas of colonial waterbirds nesting on the Canadian Great Lakes, 1989-1991. Part 3. Cormorants, gulls and island-nesting terns on the lower Great Lakes system in 1990. Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report 225.

Blokpoel, and G. D. Tessier. (1997). Atlas of colonial waterbirds nesting on the Canadian Great Lakes, 1989-1991. Part 2. Cormorants, gulls and island-nesting terns on Lake Huron in 1989. Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report 259.

Blokpoel, and G. D. Tessier. (1998). Atlas of colonial waterbirds nesting on the Canadian Great Lakes, 1989-1991. Part 5. Herons and egrets in 1991. Canadian Wildlife Service Technical Report 272.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission [Accessed 20 August 2007].

UMVGLP. (2005). Upper Mississippi Valley/Great Lakes Waterbird Conservation Plan, Draft 3, October 2005. [Accessed 24 August 2007].

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Southern New England-New York Bight [Accessed 20 August 2007].

7 thoughts on “Waterbirds nesting in Ontario, Canada

  1. Pingback: Waterbirds nesting in Ontario, Canada | Gaia Gazette

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  3. Pingback: Rose-breasted grosbeak in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  5. Pingback: Caspian tern video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Ring-billed gull video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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