Whether you’re a beginner birder or a life-long bird lover, when you start exploring Peterborough & the Kawarthas through your binoculars you’ll understand why folks are flocking to our region to discover birds of all varieties from shorebirds to songbirds.
Two worlds collide
Think of our region like a gathering place for birds. Resident birding experts like local nature author Drew Monkman, points out that the diversity of habitats in Peterborough & the Kawarthas from wetlands and highlands to open fields and coniferous forests, bring dozens of species together “you could travel pretty far just to see the species that you can here in a day”.
You’ll take to birding in Peterborough & the Kawarthas like a duck to water.
In the Meadows
Meander through our meadows and you’ll be sure to spot some beauties. Some great spaces to check out? Trent University’s Wildlife Sanctuary has open meadows with habitats being used by conservation researchers to better understand birds. Millbrook Valley Trails also includes some great spots where local birders come for a moment of stillness. Another great tip: the region’s now quiet rail lines (some of which are being converted to trails) are a great spot to spy some feathered friends.
On the Shores
Loons. Blue herons. Families of geese and ducks. All common sights along the river, by the lakes and in the abundant wetlands of Peterborough & the Kawarthas. Within the city limits, the waters of Jackson Park or along the river on the Rotary Trail are some great spaces for bird watchers.
Exploring in the county? Get out in the backcountry. Best experienced by canoe, Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park is the largest Ontario Park south of Algonquin and boasts a stunning backdrop for wildlife watching. Canadian Shield. Mature forests. Wetlands all made for wandering.
Close to downtown Lakefield, Lake Katchewanooka is an ideal spot with great viewing at the Imagine the Marsh Conservation Area (a provincially-significant wetland), and some wonderful waterfront trails.
Into the Woods
Looking to escape for an afternoon (or early morning) of birding and forest bathing? On the doorsteps of the City bring your binoculars and enjoy some tranquil bird songs as you have a jaunt through Mark S. Burnham Provincial Park (fun fact: this spot also happens to be home to the world’s oldest sugar maple tree). Or head out of town to Robert Johnson Ecoforest Trail (185 Douro 5th Line, Douro-Dummer) where they have many wooded trails including one that is called the Bird Watching Trail (which might just be a great place to start).
A must-see species? A visit to Peterborough & the Kawarthas isn’t complete until you spy an osprey. Like many locals and visitors, these magnificent birds of prey love fishing along our waterways, and with osprey nesting sites in the City and the County, they are fairly easy to spy.