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Birdwatching

Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve
Common Murres

With over 350 species of birds, there's no question Newfoundland and Labrador is a major destination for birdwatching. Whether it's by land or sea, you can get up close and personal to millions of seabirds, rare birds, and birds of prey. Between the boat tours and kayaking tours, the ecological reserves and the many hiking trails, there's a bird around every turn.

Seabird Capital of North America

Over 29,000 kilometres of coastline - no wonder our 35 million seabirds love this place. Witness the chaotic gatherings of 25,000 gannets, 500,000 puffins, and 7 million storm-petrels, just to name a few. Or try standing a mere 20 metres from Bird Rock at the Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve. May we suggest you bring an umbrella.

Birds of Prey

Smart. Quick. And plentiful. Hawks, falcons, ospreys, and owls patrol these parts. And share their nesting grounds with over 800 American bald eagles - making this place one of the largest populations on the continent.

Rare Birds

Many non-native birds find themselves here, so sightings in this climate zone are not uncommon. Every year, we welcome a few European travellers like the European golden plover and the Northern wheatear. And endangered species like the harlequin duck or the piping plover have also been known to make the odd appearance too.

Best Ways to Watch Birds

Boat tours are one of the best ways to watch seabirds around places such as the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. In addition, there are a number of top bird gathering spots across Newfoundland and Labrador that are 'must-sees', and also very accessible by land. Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve and Cape Bonavista Lighthouse Provincial Historic Site are two great examples.

Birding Hot Spots

Location data provided by the operator. Please confirm location before departure.

Icebergs, Whales and Birds – the Triple Play!

Triple Play Map

For tourists keen on viewing whales and seabirds, it should be noted that they migrate north in the late spring and early summer - and can often be plentiful through to early fall. The opposing southerly iceberg migration allows for brief intervals where all three may happily coexist. This spectacle is not entirely uncommon but should not necessarily be expected by sightseers even when travelling at the optimal time of year. Many factors affecting timing, location, and populations naturally vary from year to year, so it's hard to be accurate.

Helpful Links

Birding Newfoundland with Dave Brown

Google Groups - Bird lovers in Newfoundland & Labrador

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