Presqu'ile is one of Ontario's finest birdwatching hotspots. To discover more about birding at Presqu'ile including when and where to find the birds, click here.
There have been 339 bird species recorded at the park and over 120 species have been known to breed here. Of those 339 many are vagrant species which are not seen every year, and some will likely never be seen again. With some concentrated effort birdwatchers normally record around 200 species every year in the park.
Presqu'ile's impressive bird numbers are due to its location, shape, and diversity of habitats. A great number of birds migrate annually across eastern North America. The Great Lakes are a significant barrier to migrating birds, which are reluctant to fly over open water with no place to land in an emergency. Birds therefore routinely congregate along the shore of these lakes, waiting for favourable winds to cross, if going, or resting after crossing, if coming.
Presqu'ile, being situated on the shore of Lake Ontario, is already nicely situated to take advantage of this phenomenon, but it has two other things going for it as a bird and birding destination. Being a peninsula that sticks out into the lake, it is even more attractive to birds. If they are coming across the lake and they are tired it offers the first refuge they see. If going they can get an extra few kilometres start across the lake.
Presqu'ile's diversity of habitats is also important. Good bird habitat means that birds can afford to land and stick around a bit as they can find food to eat and sheltered places to hide and sleep. With many different habitats the park attracts more birds, as different birds like different habitats. They can find it all at Presqu'ile.
This habitat diversity is also why the number of breeding birds at Presqu'ile tops 100 species of birds annually. This combination of location, shape, and habitat diversity is also the reason why the weird birds show up here so often.
Bird species that have been reported around Presqu'ile Provincial Park using iNaturalist.ca