Birds of High Park

Toronto’s High Park is a year-round birding hotspot, with well over 150 species seen regularly over the year. In the Spring and Fall, High Park is an important stop-over for migrating birds. More than 50 species breed in the park. Christmas bird counts typically turn up 40 to 50 species. The "all-time" list for High Park totals over 260 species, including many rarities and exotic transients.

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Dark-eyed Junco. Photo: Iain Fleming
Dark-eyed Junco. Photo: Iain Fleming

Birding through the seasons in High Park

A wide variety of bird-life can be found in High Park through the seasons. Besides the omnipresent Ring-billed Gulls, Mallards, Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Starlings, House Sparrows, Rock Pigeons, Mourning Doves and Crows, there is a wide variety of birdlife in High Park. The Park is active year round. The ‘all time’ list for the park is extensive at over 260 species but that includes many rarities and exotic transients.

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Young Birds in High Park – Feeding Time

What to do if you find a baby bird in distress?

Before acting, observe carefully and then follow these step by step guidelines from Toronto Wildlife Centre: How to help orphaned baby birds.

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High Park Christmas Bird Count

by Bob Yukich

The annual High Park Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023. This year the High Park sector recorded a total 1158 individuals of 45 species, the second lowest number of individuals recorded on our count since 1990.

This year's best bird was a Black-and-white Warbler at Sunnyside - a first for the High Park sector - bringing the cumulative total for this sector's count since 1990 to 108 species. Other notable sightings were 4 Great Blue Heron, a male Mallard/Northern Pintail hybrid a the north end of Grenadier Pond, and a Great Horned Owl (the only one recorded on the entire Toronto count according to preliminary results). All ponds were ice-free.

See High Park Christmas Bird Count 2023 and previous years’ results  (Excel, 50 Kb).

The High Park count area includes High Park and vicinity. The boundaries are Parkside Drive-Keele St. on the east, Eglinton Ave. on the north, South Kingsway-Jane St. on the west, and Lake Ontario on the south. The count is coordinated through the Toronto Ornithological Club and Birds Canada.

Find a Christmas Count group near you:

Northern Cardinal female. Photo: Iain Fleming
Northern Cardinal female. Photo: Iain Fleming
Downy Woodpecker. Photo: Mila Ark
Downy Woodpecker. Photo: Mila Ark

Web Resources about Birds and for Birding

Biodiversity Booklet Series

Includes: Birds, Butterflies, Spiders, Fishes, Mammals, Bees, Reptiles and Amphibians, Mushrooms, and Trees, Shrubs and Vines of Toronto. Free copies may be available at your local Toronto Public Library branch. To find out more about these free guidebooks or to download a pdf version, visit the City of Toronto's Biodiversity website.

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