This Saturday, a nature group bird walk will begin at Navy Hall, one of three walks organized by the Niagara Parks Commission.
The event partners with the Canadian Raptor Conservancy and local field naturalist clubs.
The Niagara Glen Nature Centre is opening its doors for its first ever birding day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., for the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with a red-tailed hawk, a great horned owl and a bald eagle. Representatives from the Canadian Raptor Conservancy, Birds Canada and local birding groups will lead talks about the native bird species found in the Niagara region.
The Navy Hall walk along the mouth of the Niagara River toward the Old Town, will be led by Kayo Roy of the Niagara Falls Nature Club.
He says it’s a two-hour tour, with a good chance of seeing some land birds, such as snow buntings, “a beautiful, beautiful bird of the north,” says Roy.
There are bald eagles in the area all year round, he says, still nesting. “I hope we’ll get to see one of the two pairs in the area.”
He’s confident the group will see a red-throated loon on the lake — there were several seen earlier in the week.
There have been two bird counts recently, the first one in December covering Ontario and showing a 20 per cent decrease, says Roy.
The other was in January on both sides of the border, and the report is not in yet, he says.
At 11 a.m., meet at Dufferin Islands, for a tour led by Marcie Jacklin of the Bert Miller Nature Club. The walk begins at the main entrance by the Niagara Parkway, 6345 Dufferin Isle Road.
At 1 p.m., meet at Brown’s Point, for a walk led by Bob Highcock and Jean Hampson of the Peninsula Field Naturalists. Begin at the parkette just north of Brown’s Point Court, on the Niagara River Parkway in NOTL.
The Niagara Glen has become a renowned outdoor destination for hikers, cyclists, conservationists, boulderers and anyone seeking an opportunity to connect with nature. In recognition of its growing popularity as a destination for nature enthusiasts, the new Niagara Glen Nature Centre re-opened in 2017, enhanced with new programming options, with a focus on school programs, outdoor programming and guided tours of the glen.
The Canadian Raptor Conservancy is one of the largest captive breeding projects in the world. They have more than 200 captive-bred birds at their facility, regularly breeding over 15 different species each year. Many are endangered species and some of their offspring are sent back into the wild through organized release projects around the world. All of the birds used for demonstrations are captive-bred.