taking photo of bird

21 Common Backyard Birds In Ontario Canada (Explained)

Bird watching in Ontario, Canada is a perfect hobby for people who love the wonders of nature and love being outdoors and doing what they enjoy best. There are various organizations in this region that specialize in birding and will take people bird watching trips to different parts of the province.

Some of the most popular bird watching spots are Kitchener, Woodstock, Niagara Falls, North York, and Burlington. These parks are full of many species of birds.

Bird watching is one of the most popular outdoor sports in Canada and it is certainly a favorite amongst the people. People who love birds often go bird watching trips to Canada to get the true feeling of seeing wild animals up close.

Bird watching is truly an incredible experience because you get to see so much with just one trip. The sight of a baby bird or the sight of a nestling bird can be breathtaking and at the same time it is quite relaxing to watch these creatures in their natural habitat.

When you go on a bird watching trip, you do not only see birds but you also get to see the beauty of the wilderness. It really is like watching two sides of the same coin because while you are on your bird-watching trip you will also be able to see the wildlife as well.

You can even sit on a rock and look at the wildlife from below. Whatever you want to do whether you just want to sit and view the birds or even photograph them, the place has it all.

Most Common Backyard Birds In Ontario

Black-capped Chickadee

One of North America’s most recognizable birds, the black-capped chickadee can be found in a variety of places throughout the continent. A popular winter visitor to backyards is the chickadee. During this time of year these birds are usually singing, but they also appear in other seasons, as well.

In southern Ontario, Canada, black-capped chickadees are a familiar sight on the margins of rolling hills and small meadows, often foraging for grass and other food sources before winter. The bird’s song is especially enjoyable during this time of year. One of the most popular places to find the bird is in a birch tree.

  • Frequency: 45.04%
  • Color: Black-cap, white on face, white/reddish-brown flanks
  • Habitat: Deciduous and mixed forests, backyards, parks
  • Range: USA and Canada
  • Size: 11.5 -16 cm length
  • Weight: 8 – 15 grams
  • Diet:  Insects, seeds, berries
  • Family: Paridae
  • Genus: Poecile

Related Post: How Do I Attract Chickadees To My Yard?

American Robin

The American Robin is a small songbird which is of the family of the common thrush, the family of Turdidae and the thrush genus. They are generally shy and inhabit wooded areas. In their natural habitat, they are herbivores and eat berries, leaves, and insects.

They are migratory species, moving from southern States to the colder parts of Canada and Mexico during the winter months and returning north during the summer. You can find the American Robin foraging for food along roads, droughts and flooded fields looking for earthworms and other small insects.

  • Frequency: 40.63%
  • Color: Mostly brown on the back with an orange colored breast
  • Habitat: Wooded areas, backyards, parks, fields
  • Range: USA, Canada, Mexico
  • Size: 12 – 16″ inches
  • Weight: 72 – 95 grams
  • Diet: Fruits, berries and insects (earthworms, beetles, caterpillars
  • Family: Turdidae
  • Genus: Turdus

Related Post: Interesting American Robin Fun Facts

American Crow

The American Crow is a very colorful and vibrant bird. This is one of the more common birds in the area, which can be seen throughout much of the province. It is quite common for birders to find these birds nesting in trees along the sides of roads or even in backyards.

They are not uncommon to find them feeding on the roots of trees and bushes, although they rarely nectar from flowers. They are one of the more active species of these birds, which means they are constantly on the lookout for new kinds of food.

  • Frequency: 39.15%
  • Color: Black
  • Habitat: Open country, farms, parks, woodlands, towns, cities
  • Range: Canada, USA, Mexico
  • Size: 16 – 21″ inches
  • Weight: 315 -620 grams
  • Diet: invertebrates, carrion, seeds, eggs fish, grains, mice, frogs, and other small animals. 
  • Family: Corvidae
  • Genus: Corvis

Blue Jay

The blue jay is a beautiful passerine bird which often occurs in large numbers in parks, near water, and near human habitation. The species is common to mountainous areas with rocky cliffs and exposed soil. It is a popular visitor’s bird and has long been the favored companion of photographers for its bright, colorful plumage. 

In addition to its beauty, many consider blue jays to be the best bird for bird watchers or walkers because they are shy and can hide in tall grass and oak trees. They feed on various types of seeds but prefer sunflower seeds. Other foods that they eat include berries, suet, insects, worms, and carrion.

  • Frequency: 37.25%
  • Color: Blue crest on the head, wings, back, and tail, and has a white face and belly
  • Habitat: Deciduous and mixed forests, mixed woodlands, backyards, parks
  • Range: Southern Canada,  Eastern and Central United States, Florida and Texas
  • Size: 8 – 12″ inches
  • Weight: 70 – 100 grams
  • Diet:  Nuts, seeds, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles
  • Family: Corvidae
  • Genus: Cyanocitta

Related Posts:

American Goldfinch

american goldfinch
Image by Monika Baechler from Pixabay

The American goldfinches are a beautiful little North American bird often referred to as the black-throated goldfinches or simply goldfinches. They are known to migrate long distances each year, some as far north as southern Mexico and all the way down to the eastern edge of the Canadian border.

They prefer a variety of habitats, including marshes, backyards, meadows, forests, brushlands, fields, hedgerows, tall grasses, and oaks, to name a few. However, they are particularly fond of spruces and oaks and are often found in groves along creeks, rivers, and streams. 

  • Frequency: 36.06%
  • Color: Face, neck, and underside are yellow, black wings with white bars
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests and thickets, roadside, grasslands, backyards, meadows
  • Range:  Canada, USA and Mexico
  • Size: 4.3 – 5.5″ inches length
  • Weight: 12 -18 grams
  • Diet:  Grass, dandelions, chickweed, sunflowers and ragweed, thistle, red alder, birch, spruce seeds
  • Family: Carduelinae
  • Genus: Spinus

Related Post: American Goldfinch Interesting Facts

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird
Photo by Skyler Ewing from Pexels

The beautiful red-winged blackbird,  medium-sized passerine bird of the genus Icteridae found in all North America and well of central Mexico. It is only of medium size, with a length of about 9.5 inches. The red-winged blackbird,  is a common winter visitor to homes and gardens because of its constant flights and short flight times throughout the year.

This highly adaptable bird can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, but its preferred habitat is the coastal plain near saltwater marshes and bays. The best time to view these birds in their natural habitat is in the morning when they are out feeding on carrion. The male does not fly at dusk as the female does. 

  • Frequency: 32.05%
  • Color: All black with red patches on shoulder and a yellow wing bar
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, conifers, roadside, rivers, backyards, parks
  • Range: North America, Central America
  • Size: 6.7 – 7.1″ inches length
  • Weight: 41.5 – 65 grams
  • Diet:  Seeds and insects (butterflies, dragonflies, moths, frogs, worms, spider, snails, carrion, flies.)
  •  Family: Icteridae
  • Genus: Agelaius

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove
Photo by John Duncan on Unsplash

The mourning Dove is an indigenous member of the dove family, Columbidae. The species is known by various names, such as the mourning dove, rain dove, wetland dove, turtle Dove, and usually more recently as simply the mourning dove.

It’s now known mostly in the southeastern United States, and in the central states of Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, and Ontario, Canada. And it’s a frequent visitor to urban areas: it frequents busy cities, fields, farm fields, parks, resorts, even some residential neighborhoods.

  • Frequency: 31.58%
  • Color: Light gray-brown and lighter and pinkish below. The wings have black spots.
  • Habitat: Open habitats, urban areas, farms, prairie, grassland, wooded area
  • Range:  USA, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Greater Antilles
  • Size: 12″ inches length
  • Weight: 112 – 170 grams
  • Diet:  Rapeseed, corn, millet, safflower, sunflower seeds, pokeberry, sesame, and wheat.
  • Family: Columbidae
  • Genus: Zenaida

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal
Image by Naturelady from Pixabay

The Northern Cardinal is a common bird in the family called Cardinalidae, it is also called common redneck, red-necked cardinal, or simply cardinal. It is most often found in central Canada, from Ontario to Quebec to New York to southern Texas to southern Louisiana to Oklahoma, and west through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.  

In the wild these birds are found in the thick forest in the upper reaches of rocky cliffs or near lakes and rivers, where they forage for aquatic insects and larva.

  • Frequency: 31.27%
  • Color: Mostly red with a black mask on the face, short pink bill
  • Habitat:  woodlands, gardens, parks, backyards, and wetlands
  • Range: USA, Canada, Mexico
  • Size: 8.2 – 9.3″ inches
  • Weight: 33 – 65 grams
  • Diet: Fruits, berries, and insects (grasshoppers, beetles, snails, cicadas)
  • Family: Cardinalidae
  • Genus: Cardinalis

Related Posts: 

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The song Sparrow is a medium-sized New World finch. In North America, the song Sparrow is probably one of the least known and least favorite of all North American birds. Even among the local native birds in North America, it’s easily one of the more abundant, versatile, and adaptable species.

And it’s great to know that when this magnificent bird decided to make a move into our backyard we could be among the lucky birds to see this great addition. They have a variety of habitat to choose from including tree bark, rocks, logs, and even the rocky outcrops of cliffs.

  • Frequency: 30.60%
  • Color: Gray head, white cheek, a black bib, rufous neck
  • Habitat: Urban centers, farms, backyards, edges, yards, and parks
  • Range:  Europe, Mediterranean, Asia, Australasia, Africa, and the Americas
  • Size: 5.5 – 7.0″ inches
  • Weight: 25 – 40 grams
  • Diet:  Grains, seeds, and insects
  • Family: Passeridea
  • Genus: Passer

Related Post: How to Attract Sparrows to your Backyard

European Starling

European Starling
Photo by Flickr from Pexels

The European starling or , also called simply the common starling in the British Isles, is a medium-sized passerine bird that belongs to the starling family, Sturnidae, of the avian order songbirds. It is roughly 20 centimeters in length and has metallic green plumage with a slight yellowish sheen, that is speckled occasionally with white at other times of the year. Like many other songbirds,

it sings in a rather high-pitched, tinny tone. They are frequently seen together in crowded spaces such as backyards. In July and August.

  • Color:  Black with glossy iridescence plumage
  • Habitat: Forests, woodlands, backyards, edges, yards, and parks
  • Range: North America, Europe, Africa, India, Middle East, China
  • Size: 7 – 9″ inches long
  • Weight: 60 – 100 grams
  • Diet:  Insects (ants, beetles, invertebrates), fruits, seeds, berries
  • Family: Sturnidae
  • Genus: Sturnus

Common Grackle

The common grackle is a large icteridae found in many numbers throughout North America. First identified in 1758 by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus.  

Common grackles are typically found throughout much of the northern part of the country, especially in the northern plains, along the central west and south eastern states, and in the northeastern part of the continent.

  • Frequency: 26.93%
  • Color: Black overall with a blue,  and purple iridescence. Its body plumage is a shimmering copper color.
  • Habitat: Woodlands, marshes, meadows, parks, backyards, and fields
  • Range: East of the Canadian Rockies, Canada and the United States
  • Size: 11 – 13″ inches length
  • Weight: 75 – 143 grams
  • Diet: minnows, eggs, berries, seeds, grain, insects, frogs, mice
  • Family:  Icteridae
  • Genus:  Quiscalus

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Image by Irene K-s from Pixabay

The downy woodpecker is a common species of woodpecker, the smallest in North America. They are mostly found on the coastal parts of the eastern states and, in Ontario, Canada.

They can often be seen screeching or making a chirping noise usually in a high, hard to reach tree. They tend to be found in sagebrush thickets and forests. 

  • Frequency: 25.09%
  • Color: Black with a white throat, belly, and back. White spots on wings
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests and thickets, roadside, grasslands, backyards, parks
  • Range:  Canada, USA, and Mexico
  • Size: 5.5 – 7.1″ inches in length
  • Weight: 20 – 33 grams
  • Diet:  Mostly insects and beetles and ants, also gall wasps, caterpillars
  • Family: Picadae
  • Genus: Dryobates

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch
Image by GeorgiaLens from Pixabay

The white-breasted nuthatch is a beautiful little songbird of the nuthatch family common across most of the mid-latitudes of North America. The white-breasted nuthatch prefers early spring to late summer forays into open forests.

It feeds on a variety of insects such as moths, aphids, and spiders. In the winter, these nuthatches, like many other birds, they become especially quiet and elusive.

  • Frequency: 19.15%
  • Color: Has a white face, flanks, and chest. It has a black cap on its head a bluish-gray upper and a brown belly
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests, conifers, roadside, rivers, backyards, parks
  • Range: Southern Canada, USA
  • Size: 5.9″ inches
  • Weight: 20 grams
  • Diet:  Acorn nuts, hickory nuts, ants, caterpillars, scale insects, pine weevils
  • Family: Sittidae
  • Genus: Sitta

Related Post: How to Attract Nuthatches to your Backyard

House Sparrow

House Sparrow
Image by David Reed from Pixabay

The house sparrow is an excellent bird of the sparrow family, found in all parts of North America.  There are many populations found in Canada, northern Germany, and in Russia. Like most members of their genus, the house sparrow has a narrow incisor beak that is used to break open fruits and to pick at small seeds.

Unlike most other birds, the house sparrow has a relatively high intelligence. They are social and pair for life, rather than mate. In the spring, they nest near trees, but in the fall they return to their natal holes.

  • Frequency: 18.75%
  • Color:  Gray head marking, a reddish-brown back, and gray underparts
  • Habitat: Urban centers, suburban areas, backyards, edges, yards, and parks
  • Range: North America, Central America, South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand
  • Size: 5.5 – 7.1″ inches in length
  • Weight: 25 – 39 grams
  • Diet:  Insects, beetles, caterpillars, aphids,, grasshoppers, crustaceans, earthworms, vertebrates
  • Family: Passeridea
  • Genus: Passer

Related Post: How to Attract Sparrows to your Backyard

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco
Image by Natasha G from Pixabay

The dark-eyed junco is extremely successful species of New World sparrows, a delicate and elegant bird with a narrow distribution across central to southern Canada and the northern United States. .

The small dark-eyed birds seem to prefer gardens with small open areas such as meadows, where they can forage on a variety of plant species. The most common food for these birds is seed, particularly sunflower seeds, but nectar and even caraway also seem to be successful favorites. 

  • Frequency: 17.87%
  • Color:  Gray head, neck, breast, gray/brown backs and wings, white underside
  • Habitat: Wooded areas, forest edges, roadsides, gardens, parks.
  • Range: USA and Canada
  • Size: 5.1 – 6.9″ inches
  • Weight: 18 – 30 grams
  • Diet:  Seeds, insects, and arthropods
  • Family: Passeriformes
  • Genus: Junco

Northern Flicker

The northern flicker is a medium-sized bird of the woodpecker family. It is extremely common throughout the whole of North America – it’s even native to some parts of Central America, Parts of Mexico, Cuba, and even the Cayman Islands. They are great bird feeders because of their ability to forage virtually everywhere, which means you’ll get to see them in deciduous forests, evergreen forests, coniferous forests, and grasslands.

Flickers are particularly active at night, but during the day they are quite sedate, spending most of their time either on the wing or perching on branches. You’ll sometimes see them eating just seeds or insects, which makes them an excellent choice for bird watchers.

  • Frequency: 15.25%
  • Color: Light brown with black bars across back, chest, wings, belly
  • Habitat: Forests, woodlands, backyards, edges, yards, and parks
  • Range: North America, Central America, Cuba, Cayman Islands
  • Size: 10 – 14″ inches
  • Weight: 85 – 165 grams
  • Diet:  Insects (ants, beetles, invertebrates), fruits, seeds, berries
  • Family: Picadae
  • Genus: Colaptes

Related Post: How to Attract Northern Flickers to your Backyard

White-throated Sparrow

The white-throated Sparrow is a common passerine found throughout the nautical regions of North America and southern Europe. Unlike most other types of birds, the white-throated sparrows are not usually seen in the winter months. This is because they migrate southward in the spring when the weather is warm and they can survive the harsh winter conditions.

In the fall or in the winter, when they are least likely to be seen, they are often seen in deciduous forests or in wooded areas along the beach or river banks. They feed on insects, small fish, and berries, along with the leaves of trees and bushes.

  • Frequency: 13.51%
  • Color: Brown and gray head pattern. Black-and-white-striped head, white throat, and some yellow near both eyes.
  • Habitat: Deciduous forests and thickets, roadside, grasslands, backyards
  • Range:  Eastern North America, Atlantic Canada
  • Size: 5.9″ – 7.5″ inches long
  • Weight: 22 – 32 grams
  • Diet: Seeds, insects, and berries
  • Family: Passerellidae
  • Genus: Zonotrichia 

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker
Image by Jennifer Beebe from Pixabay

The common name for the common woodpecker is Hairy Woodpecker. It is actually a medium-sized woodpecker that is commonly found throughout a vast area of North America. It is around 250mm in length with an average wingspan of about 380mm.

With an expected population of around nine million, the common woodpecker is classified by the IUCN as least concern. Hairy woodpecker has a red patch on their face, which is actually a bright red marking on their head which is called the iris. 

  • Frequency: 13.49%
  • Color:  Black and white checkered throughout, all white underside, has a mask
  • Habitat: Wooded areas, forest edges, roadsides, gardens, parks.
  • Range: USA and Canada
  • Size: 7.0 – 10″ inches in length
  • Weight: 40 – 95 grams
  • Diet: Berries, seeds, nuts beetles, ants, caterpillars, and others. 
  • Family: Tyrannidae
  • Genus: Tyrannus

Rock Pigeon

The rock pigeon, or wild pigeon is part of the bird family Columbidae, a group of passerine bird that are found all over the world.  It is considered by most birders and ornithologists to be one of our last true wild pigeons.

It has been with us through all the changes in human habitat, being adaptive and surviving in both human communities and abandoned fields and farm lands across much of its range in the western part of North America.

  • Frequency: 13.02%
  • Color: Dark blue-gray head, neck, and chest with  a yellow, green and red iridescence on its neck and wings.
  • Habitat: Woodlands, marshes, meadows, parks, backyards, and fields
  • Range: Europe, North Africa, South Asia, Canada and USA
  • Size: 11 – 15″ inches long
  • Weight: 235 – 380 grams
  • Diet: They areomnivorous, but also like seeds, plant matter, sugary fruits and grains.
  • Family:  Columbidae 
  • Genus:  Columba

Chipping Sparrow

The chipping sparrow is exceptionally common species of New World bird, a tiny passerine (or ground-feeding) bird in the genus Spizella, in the Family Passerelidae. It is common, fairly widespread, and fairly local across most of its North American distribution.

It is known from southern Canada south to central Mexico and west Texas, from the southern U.S. states up into the northern portions of Nicaragua. It has also recently been discovered in parts of Guatemala and Belize.

  • Frequency: 12.91%
  • Color: Rust-colored upperparts, gray head, and underparts with a reddish cap on the head
  • Habitat: Coniferous forests,  woodland, farmland, parks, and gardens
  • Range: Southern USA and Mexico
  • Size: 4.7 – 5.9″ inches
  • Weight: 11 – 16 grams
  • Diet:  Mostly seeds, spiders
  • Family: Passerellidae
  • Genus: Spizella 

Related Post: How to Attract Sparrows to your Backyard

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch
Image by cam hudson from Pixabay

The red-breasted nuthatch is a rather tiny songbird. Its song, which is usually a high-pitched chirping, is loud and high-pitched. It is a frequent visitor to bird feeders. It does not eat or drink during the winter. The red-breasted nuthatch has a rather large demand among bird watchers.

While the birds prefer open areas for feeding, they will nest in forests, woodlands and open fields. The birds are popular bird feeder visitors because of their appetite for eating and their ability to forage on the ground in search of insects, especially ants.

  • Frequency: 12.35%
  • Color:  Bluish gray upperparts with reddish brown underparts, a white face and throat with a black stripe runs through the eyes.
  • Habitat: Coniferous trees but can also be found in mixed woods, backyards, and parks.
  • Range:  Canada and USA
  • Size: 4.5″ inches long
  • Weight: 9.9 grams
  • Diet:  Berries, suet, small seeds, carrion, grasshoppers, and various insect larvae, and crustaceans.
  • Family: Sittidae
  • Genus: Sitta

These common backyard birds all have a frequency of less than 12% year-round

  • Tree Swallow 12.04% Frequency
  • Killdeer 11.18%
  • Red-eyed Vireo 10.83%
  • Yellow Warbler 10.83%
  • Cedar Waxwing 10.58%
  • Barn Swallow 10.18%
  • Brown-headed Cowbird 10.17%
  • Gray Catbird 10.09%
  • House Finch 9.85%
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler 9.72%
  • Common Yellow-throat 9.64%
  • Common Raven 9.61%
  • Baltimore Oriole 8.81%
  • Eastern Phoebe 8.17%
  • American Tree Sparrow 7.91%
  • Belted Kingfisher 7.68%
  • Eastern Kingbird 7.32%
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker 7.29%
  • House Wren 7.29%
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet 7.09%
  • American Redstart 6.97%
  • Swamp Sparrow 6.56%
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak 6.50%
  • Warbling Vireo 6.12%
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet 5.87%
  • Great Crested Flycatcher 5.55%
  • Ovenbird 5.40%
  • Nashville Warbler 5.32%
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird 5.25%
  • Black-and-white Warbler 5.11%
  • Savannah Sparrow 5.09%
  • Pileated Woodpecker 5.08%