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.

More Bird Galleries

High Park Christmas Bird Count

by Bob Yukich

The annual High Park Christmas Bird Count was held on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020 (a mild cloudy day with no snow-cover). Our route ended up with 51 species including some great finds, making it one of our more exceptional counts ever:

  • 2 Orange-crowned Warblers on the Tablelands,
  • a Brown-headed Cowbird near the Children's Garden,
  • 3 Common Grackles and a Hermit Thrush in the marsh at the north end of Grenadier Pond (plus one more Hermit Thrush in the neighbourhood), and
  • a Belted Kingfisher, a Common Loon and - the best bird of the Toronto CBC - a Slaty-backed Gull, all at Sunnyside.

The Common Loon, Brown-headed Cowbird and Slaty-backed Gull were all firsts for this route since at least 1990, bringing our running total to 106 species.

See High Park Christmas Bird Count 2020 and previous years' results (Excel, 54 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 Bird Studies 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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