40 Most Common Backyard Birds in Ontario Canada
Few things in nature stir the imagination like backyard birds in Ontario. From American Robin to Black-capped Chickadee, many species visit our bird feeders in Ontario every season.
While there are hundreds of different types or species of backyard birds in Ontario, we will only discuss forty common Ontario birds.
Everyone has a favorite bird, but some birds are our neighbors almost every day. How many have visited your backyard?
Even if you only live in your neighborhood, chances are you’ll find most of these forty backyard birds near your home in Ontario.
This guide includes everything from hot-colored cardinals and blue jays to fashionable finches, rare hummingbirds, and stealthy owls.
40 Most Common Backyard Birds in Ontario Canada
- Blue Jay
- Black-capped Chickadee
- American Robin
- American Goldfinch
- American Crow
- Downy Woodpecker
- European starling
- Northern Cardinal
- Mourning Dove
- Red-winged Blackbird
- Song Sparrow
- Common Grackle
- Chipping sparrow
- Common Yellowthroat
- White-breasted Nuthatch
- House sparrow
- Dark-eyed Junco
- Wild Peacocks
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Red-breasted Nuthatch
- Barn swallow
- Northern Flicker
- Tree Swallow
- Grey Catbird
- Eastern Kingbird
- Baltimore Oriole
- White-throated Sparrow
- House Finch
- Red-bellied woodpecker
- Brown-headed Cowbird
- Common Redpoll
- Pine siskin
- Rock Pigeon
- Evening Grosbeak
- Pileated Woodpecker
- Cooper’s Hawk
- Carolina Wren
- Purple Finch
- Cedar Waxwing
- Yellow Warbler
1. Blue Jay
The blue jay is one of the most common backyard birds in Ontario and is commonly referred to as a “jaybird.”
Blue jays can be identified by their blue and white feathers, black cap, and loud call. It frequently chirps whenever a hawk or other predator is nearby.
This bird species is common in areas with exposed soil and rocky cliffs. Its beauty makes it a favored companion of photographers. The bird is also shy, making it the best bird for bird watchers.
Blue jay feeds on seeds but loves sunflower seeds more. It also eats berries, carrion, worms, insects, and suet.
2. Black-capped Chickadee
Known for its cuteness, tiny body and big round head, Black-capped Chickadee is a bird that will cheerfully feed in your backyard and investigate everything around your home, including you.
This species of bird can be found in parks, open woods, and forests. They feed on suet, spiders, insects, seeds, and berries.
Want to attract Black-capped Chickadees to your backyard? Try sunflower seeds, suet, peanuts, or peanut butter.
3. American Robin
When you hear Robin, your mind will probably go straight to Robin Hood, well that’s not it! The American Robin is a little bird that is naturally shy and loves wooded areas.
They are migratory birds, migrating from southern states to the colder parts of Mexico and Canada in winter and always returning to the north in the summer.
American Robin can be found foraging for food along roads and on the flooded fields searching for earthworms and small insects. They are herbivores that eat insects, leaves and berries.
4. American Goldfinch
The American goldfinch is one of the smallest backyard birds in Ontario Canada. They are commonly found in large flocks throughout southern Canada, the US and central Mexico.
They can be found in weedy and overgrown environments looking for thistle, sunflower, and aster plants. You can also find them in the parks, backyards, and suburbs.
If you want to attract American Goldfinches to your backyard, try planting milkweed and thistles.
5. American Crow
Very vibrant and colorful bird, American Crow is one of the most common Ontario birds. They are commonly found nesting in trees in the backyards or even along the roadsides.
American Crows are active birds and constantly on the lookout for new types of food. They feed on seeds, scraps, and suet. In fact, they are entertaining to watch and bird watchers always love them as they creatively attack feeders for food they love.
6. Downy Woodpecker
Known for its stripped face, spotted wings and white back, Downy woodpecker is the smallest North American woodpecker. The male’s bold red patch is easily recognizable, and the small, stubby bill is easily seen in both males and females.
Downey woodpeckers love to visit yards with mature trees and wooded habitats. If you want them in your backyard, you can attract them with suet feeders.
7. European starling
Known as gregarious birds with a short tail, European starlings are first introduced to America in 1890 and are now one of the most populous birds in America.
For their large numbers and appetites for seeds, many backyard birders consider them to be bully birds. However, European Starlings will easily visit ground feeders and platforms, and may often be seen along the ground looking for spilled grains, seeds, and insects.
8. Northern Cardinal
Commonly called, cardinal or redneck, Northern Cardinal can be found in places like Ontario, New York, Quebec, Oklahoma, etc.
Not only can these birds visit your backyard and make your environment entertaining but can also be found in the forest on top of rocky cliffs or near rivers and lakes, where they look for aquatic insects and larva.
Northern Cardinals are commonly found in gardens, backyards, parks, wetlands, and woodlands. They love eating berries, fruits, and insects such as cicadas, snails, beetles, and grasshoppers.
9. Mourning Dove
The name might sound somehow but Mourning Dove is a beautiful bird. The species is known for many names including rain dove, turtle dove, wetland and of course, mourning dove.
This bird is now popular in Ontario, Canada, Florida, etc. It is a frequent visitor to urban areas, fields, parks, farm fields, resorts, and residential neighborhoods.
Mourning Dove feeds on sunflower seeds, sesame, wheat, pokeberry, safflower, rapeseed, millet, and corns.
10. Red-Winged Blackbird
The gorgeous Red-winged Blackbird is a medium-sized passerine bird with red wings. It commonly visits homes and gardens in the winter because of its short flight time and constant flights throughout the year.
These birds are highly adaptable and can be found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. They love eating and playing in the coastal plain near bays and saltwater marshes.
Red-Winged Blackbird feeds on seeds and insects such as moths, dragonflies, and butterflies. They also eat worms, frogs, carrions, snails, flies, and spiders.
11. Song Sparrow
Known for attracting their mates with their songs in the spring and summer, Song sparrows are remarkable backyard birds predominantly brown-streaked. You can find them in open places, wet areas, and shrubby areas.
Song Sparrow can also be found in your backyard singing melodious songs. They eat plants and insects including spiders, midges, caterpillars, and earthworms. These beautiful birds will also eat wild cherries, wheat, rice, blackberries, buckwheat, raspberries, and sunflower.
To attract song sparrows to your backyard and enjoy their songs, use cracked corn, black oil sunflower seeds and Nyjer.
12. Common Grackle
If you love to hear the songs from Common Grackle, they will always give them to you for free. Common Grackles are one of the most common backyard birds in Ontario, Canada and always gather in noisy groups high up the trees.
Their habitat includes open woodlands, fields, parks, marshes, and backyards. Unfortunately, if you invite them to9 your backyard and they come in millions, their noise can be ridiculous.
You can invite them to your backyard with mixed grain and seed.
13. Chipping Sparrow
Slender and long-tailed, Chipping Sparrows have brown and black-streaked back, grayish belly, black eye line and rusty crown. These colors are more subdued in winter.
Chipping Sparrow can be found in small flocks on open ground and may come to your backyard to eat various kinds of birdseed.
14. Common Yellowthroat
Bright yellow underneath and brownish backside, Common Yellowthroat are small songbirds with long tails. The male has a black mask across its face and the brightness of the yellow in their color vary geographically.
Common Yellowthroat can be found in the north Canada during the spring and summer. They eat insects and love to stay in a large backyard with dense vegetation.
15. White-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch gets its name from its white breast and its ability to wedge food items in a crevice and open them with its strong bills. These bird species is mostly found flocking with other birds’ species during winter. They are also found in monogamous pair.
White-breasted Nuthatch can be found in woodland, parks, and backyard. If you love to attract them to your backyard, you can use sunflower seeds, suet, mealworms, and peanuts.
16. House Sparrow
The house sparrow is a good bird found in all parts of North America. They are also found in many parts of Canada, Russia, and even northern Germany. These birds have a narrow incisor beak they use to break open fruits and pick small seeds.
House sparrow has a high intelligence and are social. They live in urban centers, edges, yards, suburban areas, parks, and backyards.
To attract them to your backyard, they love seeds, insects, earthworms, vertebrates, crustaceans, aphids, caterpillars, and grasshoppers.
17. Dark-eyed Junco
An elegant and delicate bird found in central to southern Canada, Dark-eyed Junco seems to prefer gardens with small open areas like meadows.
The most common food they eat is seed (sunflower seeds) and nectar, as well as caraway. So, you can attract them to your backyard with sunflower seeds.
18. Wild Peacocks
Wild Peacocks have been sighted in Ontario many times and they are a remarkable sight. Their diet includes grains, berries, reptiles, small rodents and even snakes.
Their loud annoying call is unmistakable and once you hear their calls, you will know it immediately.
19. Hairy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker looks like Downy Woodpecker, but they have a long bill and are slightly larger. They can be found in large trees and in the backyards. If you care to listen carefully, you can hear them tapping.
These birds mostly eat insects, spiders, caterpillars, beetles, bees, wasps, peanut, etc.
You can attract them to your backyard with suet feeders, peanut, and black oil sunflower seeds.
20. Red-breasted Nuthatch
You will find Red-breasted Nuthatch all year round in Ontario Canada but most of them usually move to North America in winter if cone crops are poor. These birds have black and white strips on their heads and a rusty underside.
To attract them to your backyard and watch them, you can use black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, mealworms, and suet feeders.
21. Barn Swallow
Barn swallows are beautiful birds with a deep-blue black, tail and wings, and they have reddish-brown across their face and underneath. They can be seen flying over meadows, fields and farms searching for insects.
To attract these backyard birds in Ontario to your backyard, put up nest boxes or cups with some seeds inside.
22. Northern Flicker
Northern Flickers are between the size of a crow and a robin. They have brownish coloring, black spots, bars and red and crescent on their nape. They have a bright yellow color underside of their wing feathers and tails.
You can find them looking for beetles and ants in forest edges or woods. You can attract them to your place with suet and black oil sunflower seeds.
23. Tree Swallow
Tree Swallows are little birds with blue-green color on the back and white underside. The females are browner in color while their males have gray wings. When they are migrating, they can form huge flock in thousands.
They can be found near water, marshes, fields and in wooded swamps. To attract them to your backyard, use nest boxes because they like to take to them.
24. Grey Catbird
Gray Catbirds are known for their catty mew song which can last for 10 minutes. Because of that, they are named Catbirds. They are medium-sized birds with black cap and tail, slate grey coloring, and a reddish patch under the tails.
These birds are common in Ontario, and you can spot them in dense shrubs, along forest edges, in small trees or hedgerows.
To attract Gray Catbirds to your backyard, try fruit trees, fruits or shrubs like serviceberry, winterberry, and dogwood.
25. Eastern Kingbird
Known for their blackish backside, Eastern kingbirds are medium-sized birds with white coloring underside them. They have a white tip on their tail and their heads are darker black. The king in their name is a result of their aggression when defending their nest and to each other.
Eastern Kingbirds usually breed in orchards, fields and along forest edges. They catch insects in the midair and eat. They also eat fruits, such as cherries, elderberries, blackberries, and serviceberries.
26. Baltimore Oriole
Beautiful and friendly, Baltimore Oriole adult males are bright orange in color and have a mix of black and white color on their wings. The females are yellowish on head and underneath and grayish brown on their wings. Their size is almost that of Robin but are slenderer.
Baltimore Oriole can be found on forest edges, woodland and riverbanks foraging for fruit and insects. The also like to go to parks and backyards. They eat different kinds of fruits including raspberries, cherries, oranges, bananas, and mulberries.
Baltimore Oriole can be attracted to your backyard using oranges cut in half hanging from trees or on a platform feeder. They also love sugar water. They love raspberries, trumpet vines and crab apples too.
27. White-throated Sparrow
With a distinctive white and black striped head, White-throated Sparrows are birds with brown back and gray underneath. They breed mostly in Canada and can be found on the ground in the woods and forests, often in large flocks.
White-throated Sparrows mainly eat seeds of grasses and weeds. They also eat fruits including blueberry, dogwood, blackberry, grape, mountain ash and sumac. They also eat insects.
White-throated Sparrows can be attracted with black oil sunflower seeds and millet.
28. House Finch
House Finch is a bold bird with heavily streaked abdomen. They have a tan body with red eyebrows, throat, and forehead. They love to visit backyards of feeders and will eat scraps and seeds.
They can be attracted with black oil sunflower seeds, cherries, mustard seeds, and millet.
29. Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker that is common in Canada. Like all woodpeckers, these birds can be spotted in tree trunks. Despite its name, there is no crimson red on their feathers. The male has a bright red cap that stretches from the forehead to the back of the neck, while the females have red on the back of their necks and base of the bill.
They eat insects, fruits, and nuts. To attract them to your backyard, try suet cage, nectar feeder, black oil sunflower seeds, safflower, crush peanuts. Whole peanuts or hulled sunflower seeds.
30. Brown-headed Cowbird
Brown-headed Cowbird is a small bird popularly called cowbird because of its habit of following cows to eat insects they stir up as they graze. They have a dark brown head and black body with a short, sparrowlike bill.
To attract Brown-headed Cowbirds, use feeders made for small birds. You can use sunflower seeds, millet, and cracked corn to attract them.
31. Common Redpoll
Common Redpolls are white and brown birds that are heavily streaked on the sides. They have black feathering around their yellow bills, small red forehead patch and two white wingbars. Common Redpolls travel in flocks of hundreds or thousands.
Their typical habitat is boreal forests of pines, larches, and spruces. They feed mainly on seeds. To attract common redpolls, you can use fresh niger seed, hang up multiple finch feeders, etc.
32. Pine Siskin
Pine siskins are songbirds from the family of finches. They are brown in color and have subtle yellow streak ending on their tails and wings. When they take off, you can see flashes of yellow erupt, showing their beauty.
They are found in Canada, Mexico, and United States. They live in mixed and coniferous forests, woody pastures, meadows, grasslands, and backyards. These birds eat weed seeds, sunflower seeds, grass, birch, spruce, and pines.
If you want to attract them to your backyard, use fresh Nyjer seed (thistle), millet, sunflower chips, and black oil sunflower seeds.
33. Rock Pigeon
Also known as feral pigeon, Rock Pigeons are birds that live on the cliff and rock ledges. They usually crowd public squares and streets, living on discarded foods and birdseed. They also live on farmland, gardens, parks, and suburbs.
They mostly feed on seeds of many grasses, berries or corns, earthworms, and insects. If you like to attract Rock Pigeon to your backyard. To attract them, use seeds and grains such as millet, dried peas, sunflower seeds, and sorghum.
34. Evening Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak has yellow and black color with a prominent white patch on the wings. They are social birds often found in flocks, especially in winter. They eat insect larvae during the summer, berries, seeds and small fruits in winter and buds in spring.
Evening Grosbeak breeds in coniferous and mixed forest and is always associated with fir and spruce in northern forest and pines in western mountains. These beautiful birds can be attracted with black oil sunflower seeds on a platform feeder.
35. Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker looks as big as a crow, making it the largest woodpecker found in Ontario and north America at large. Their bill, which is as long as their head acts as a chisel to peck wood and make a home in trunks of large trees.
They present a memorable sight with zebra-striped necks and heads, distinctive red crest, and long bill. They mostly eat insects. If you love to attract them to your yard, plant fruit-bearing trees and shrubs, leave dead woods around, offer suet and hang a nesting box.
36. Cooper’s Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk is one of the most skillful birds in the world. They are a common woodland hawk that pursuit other birds in high speed. They are mostly seen prowling above a forest edge or field. Although they look small, they are powerful.
Not many of us will love to have Cooper’s Hawk around the yard but if you love to attract them to your yard, put seeds for birds in your backyard and you will see Cooper’s Hawk hunt down the birds in your backyard. But I doubt you want to share the responsibility of death.
37. Carolina Wren
This small chunky bird is a bird with round body and a long tail that is often cock upward. The head of Carolina Wren is large with a very little neck. Its distinctive bill is long, downcurved and slender. They are found in open woodlands and love eating insects such as beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, true bugs, and crickets.
To attract Carolina wren to your yard, use pishing and other attractive sounds to capitalize on their curiosity. You can also use shelled peanuts, peanut butter, and suet to attract them to you.
38. Purple Finch
Purple Finch is a medium-sized finch with conical and pointed bill that is well-adapted to cracking open seeds. Purple Finch male has red color on its head, breast, rump, flank, throat and back. Tory Peterson described them as a “sparrow dipped in raspberry juice.”
They feed on seeds, buds of many trees, small fruits, and berries. They also eat insects such as beetles and caterpillars mainly in the summer.
To attract them, use safflower seed or black oi8l sunflower as well as niger seed.
39. Cedar Waxwing
Cedar waxwings are beautiful social birds known for their pale brown colored head, crest, and chest. They have gray color on the wings, tail and back with a pale-yellow belly. They breed in Canada and head to the southern US in winter.
To attract Cedar Waxwing to your yard, try plant native trees and shrubs with small fruits such as winterberry, hawthorn, juniper, dogwood, and serviceberry. Putting fruits on platform feeders can also work wonder.
40. Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warblers are bright yellow birds. They have a yellow-green color on their back and the males have chestnut streaks on their breast. These birds breed over most of Canada, Northern and Central US and Alaska before migrating to Central and southern America in winter.
They can be found along streams, edges of fields and wetland foraging for insects such as bugs, beetles, midges, wasps, and caterpillars.
Attracting Warblers to your backyard is a bit difficult because they mainly eat insects. However, you can attract them with peanut butter, suet, and oranges as well as plant berries and other native plants that attract insects.
Watch More Beautiful Backyard Birds In Ontario Video
Backyard Birds in Ontario FAQ
Here are the common questions being asked about backyard birds in Ontario:
How Do I Identify Backyard Birds in Ontario?
The easiest way to identify backyard birds in Ontario Canada is to use a balanced observation approach. A field guide may also be a great way to identify them. Identifying them with behavior, color, voice, and field marking also makes sense.
What Is the Most Aggressive Backyard Bird?
Aggressive birds may look sweet and if you have not seen them in action, you may never know they are aggressive. Blues Jays and Cooper’s Hawk are among the most aggressive backyard birds. Blue Jays particularly love dive-bombing other birds to prevent them from attacking nests and stealing food.
What are The Common Backyard Birds in Ontario?
Most birds have the time they migrate from one place to another, so here are the common birds based on each season:
Common birds in Ontario all year
- European Starling 29%
- Song Sparrow 30%
- Red-winged Blackbird 31%
- Northern Cardinal 31%
- Mourning Dove 32%
- American Goldfinch 36%
- Black-capped Chickadee 45%
- Blue Jay 37%
- American Crow 39%
- American Robin 40%
Summer birds Ontario
- European Starling 30%
- Blue Jay 30%
- Black-capped Chickadee 30%
- Mourning Dove 32%
- American Crow 38%
- Common Grackle 39%
- American Goldfinch 42%
- Red-winged Blackbird 45%
- Song Sparrow 48%
- American Robin 58%
Winter birds Ontario
- European Starling 21%
- Mourning Dove 26%
- American Goldfinch 27%
- White-breasted Nuthatch 27%
- Northern Cardinal 29%
- Downy Woodpecker 31%
- Dark-eyed Junco 31%
- American Crow 32%
- Blue Jay 32%
- Black-capped Chickadee 53%
What are The Best Feeders To attract Birds in Ontario?
Different many bird feeders will attract most of the bird species. The following feeders should attract them:
- Ground feeders with black oil sunflowers
- Tube feeders with black oil sunflower seeds
- Peanut feeders
- Platform feeders with millet or corn
- Hummingbird feeders
- Suet feeders
How To Protect Backyard Birds from Hawks?
There are several ways to protect backyard birds in Ontario from hawks. Some of them include:
- Providing natural cover for small birds
- Use of shield feeds. Put your bird feeder in covered areas, including umbrella, canopy gazebo and awning
- Get rid of hawk vantage points
- Avoid ground feeding
- Use cage feeders
- Get rid of hawk food source
Why Have My Backyard Birds Disappeared?
One week your backyard is filled with happy birds, and you feel like a feeding expert, but why would they disappear suddenly?
Here are a few reasons why your birds have disappeared:
- You are possibly not using the right food
- Your food is not fresh
- You use dirty feeders
- Your feeders are not in a safe place
- You don’t have water
Bird watching is a great hobby for those who love to be amazed by wonders of nature and love doing what the love doing best. If you love birds, and looking for backyard birds in Ontario, choosing one or two of the birds on this list will surely entertain you.
Birds are amazing and watching them play and sing is a great source of joy.