We love sharing resources and tips to help YOU connect with nature, not just more often, but in different ways. Observing and learning to identify local wildlife is not only a great way to interact with nature, but it is also fun and rewarding!
Friend to both BurlingtonGreen and our local feathered friends, resident Dave Tourchin, is teaching us about local birds. Our #DavesFeatheredFriends social media feature is all about showcasing birds you can observe locally, including how to identify them, where you may find them and even what they sound like.
Print out this handy Checklist for Beginner-Intermediate Birders (PDF), so you can check out all of the amazing birds you have been learning about and spotting at home and out in nature!
Check out the growing list of #DavesFeatheredFriends features:
Who doesn’t love the super cute Chickadees? Did you know that the number of ‘dees’ they add to their namesake ‘Chickadee-dee-dee’ call can indicate their level of alarm? Did you know they also have a song? It’s 1 high note followed by 2 low notes, as if saying, “Hey, sweetie”. Listen for it the next time you’re in a wooded area.
Hear it and learn more.
This small vocal bird is full of character! Listen for a loud “tea kettle, tea kettle, tea kettle” song and other loud calls, to help you locate them. They have the typical wren shape (plump body and narrow, upright tail), but their bold, white eye-stripe and yellow belly is unique. Watch for them low to the ground and in bushes. Good places to look/listen are along the LaSalle Park and Paletta Lakefront Park wooded trails.
Listen and learn more.
This medium-sized woodpecker has a vibrant red streak on the back of its head (yes, the name is misleading!). Resist calling this one a Red-headed Woodpecker, as those have a completely red head, and are a different and rare species. Find the Red-bellied Woodpecker by listening for its unmistakable call, or a loud drumming sound as it pecks on trees. They are common at LaSalle Park and Royal Botanical Gardens trails.
Listen and learn more.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard this common warbler before, if haven’t seen it. It sings a “witchety – witchety – witchety – witchety” song, often heard while walking along edges of wetlands or brushy fields.
They are small and often hidden, but if you watch where their song is coming from, you’ll likely spot them darting out periodically. The males have an unmistakable black mask. Yellowthroats respond well to “pishing” and will often pop out to investigate the curious sound. Try it…”Pshh, pshh, pshh!”
Did you know we have a few wild birds locally, known as mimics, that imitate other birds’ songs and can produce a wide variety of sounds? A common one is the Gray Catbird, which can be seen throughout the city, often on a low perch in brushy areas. It’s all grey, with a black cap and a dark red patch under the tail. Listen for its ‘mew’ call sounding like a sick cat, or rambling songs and sounds resembling other birds or R2-D2! The Gray Catbird sings each song/sound once, without repetition, unlike other mimics. Listen & view more.
- Bird Friendly City: BurlingtonGreen is proud to be a part of this Nature Canada initiative. Check out some of their handy resources to help make your home and lifestyle more bird-friendly here.
- Bird Friendly City Hamilton-Burlington: Check out this local initiative working to make Burlington a Bird Friendly City by 2022.
- All About Birds Guide: a virtual guide for more information about identifying local birds.
- Hamilton Naturalists Club: Bird Study Group
- Tourism Burlington’s Birding page: Find out about local birding destinations.