The Thousand Islands region is a popular destination for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers. This cluster of islands, lakes and rivers in the St. Lawrence River, located between the Canadian province of Ontario and the US state of New York, is home to a diverse array of bird species.
With its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystem, the Thousand Islands provides birds with an optimal environment for breeding, feeding and migration. From bald eagles to warblers, the region boasts a wide variety of avian life in a stunning natural setting.
This article explores the fascinating world of birds in the Thousand Islands, highlighting the most notable species, migration patterns, and conservation efforts in the area.
1. Common loon
The Common Loon is a beautiful bird found in North America. It has a large black head and neck, with a greenish to purple sheen that stands out against its dark grey upperparts.
The underparts are pure white except for some black on the undertail coverts and vent.
During non-breeding season adults have brown plumage instead of the bright shades they show during breeding season.
They also exhibit unique behaviors such as diving underwater to catch fish or swimming along lakeshores while calling loudly, which is how they got their name "great northern diver".
With their stunning colors and interesting behavior, it's no wonder why these birds make up an iconic part of many landscapes across North America.Scientific classification:
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2. Bald eagle
The majestic Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America and recognized as the national symbol of the United States.
With its distinctive white head, brown body and striking yellow beak, this sea eagle has two known subspecies that form a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle.
It inhabits much of Canada, Alaska all states in the US contiguous area and Northern Mexico near large bodies of water where they feed mainly on fish.
These birds have an impressive wingspan ranging from 1.8 to 2 meters depending on their size making them one of nature’s most magnificent creatures.Scientific classification:
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3. House sparrow
The house sparrow is a small bird of the Passeridae family. It has an average length of 16 cm and weighs 24-39.5 gm.
Females have dull brown and grey plumage, whereas males are brighter, with black, white and brown markings on their wings and back feathers.
This species is one among 25 different kinds in its genus Passer .These birds are found all around the world mainly near human dwellings where they feed off food scraps from garbage bins or gardens etc..
They also make nests close to houses which makes them even more visible to people living nearby.
House sparrows can be seen hopping around yards looking for food during daytime hours but usually hide in colonies at night time.Scientific classification:
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Hummingbirds are tiny birds found throughout the Americas, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Most species measure between 3-5 inches in length and weigh less than an ounce.
The smallest hummingbird is only 2 inches long. Hummingbirds have a unique ability of hovering by rapidly flapping their wings up to 80 times per second.
They feed on nectar and insects, with some species even able to drink sap or eat pollen directly off flowers.
Their vibrant colors make them instantly recognizable as they dart through gardens in search of food and mates.
Hummingbirds truly bring joy into our lives as they remind us that nature’s beauty can be seen around every corner if we take the time to look for it.Scientific classification:
|Family||Trochilidae Vigors, 1825|
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5. American avocet
The American avocet is a stunningly beautiful bird found in North America. With its striking black and white plumage, long blue legs, and upturned bill it is an unmistakable sight.
It spends much of its time foraging around shallow water or mud flats searching for crustaceans and insects to feed on by sweeping its beak from side-to-side through the water.
The German naturalist Johann Friedr formally described this species back in 1789 as Recurvirostra americana - aptly named due to their habit of recurving their bills when feeding.
These graceful wading birds are truly a marvel of nature that deserve our admiration.Scientific classification:
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The Mallard is a species of dabbling duck that can be found living in temperate and subtropical regions across the Americas, Eurasia and North Africa.
It has been introduced to other areas such as New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil and South Africa by humans.
This beautiful bird belongs to the Anatinae subfamily of waterfowl family Anatidae. The adult mallards have a glossy green head with white neck ring surrounding.
It along with brownish grey body feathers making them look stunning when they fly away or just sitting in their natural habitat around lakes or ponds.
They are excellent swimmers too due to webbed feet which helps them swim fast underwater while looking for food like aquatic insects etc.. Their loud quacking sound makes them quite popular among nature lovers.Scientific classification:
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7. Canada goose
The Canada goose is a majestic bird with a black head and neck, white cheeks, chin and brown body. It’s native to North America but occasionally migrates to northern Europe across the Atlantic.
The species has been introduced in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Finland as well. Canada geese are strong flyers that travel in flocks for protection from predators; they also form monogamous pairs for life.
They feed on grasses or grains near ponds or wetlands where they make their nests of down which incubate eggs during summertime before hatching them out into goslings later on.Scientific classification:
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The Killdeer bird is a large plover found in the Americas. It has an unmistakable call which gives it its name, and boasts striking upperparts of brown with rufous fringes.
Its head features patches of white and black, while two distinctive bands adorn its neck - one black above, and one chestnut below.
The undersides are mostly white or pale buff-brown; their wings feature bright orange stripes when they take flight.
During breeding season males perform elaborate courtship rituals to attract females into establishing a pair bond; they also defend territories fiercely against other birds that encroach on them during this time.
In winter months some killdeers migrate southwards but many stay put throughout the cold weather too.
All in all these beautiful creatures provide us with quite a sight indeed.Scientific classification:
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9. Black-necked stilt
The Black-necked Stilt is an elegant shorebird that can be found from the coastal areas of California to Florida, then south through Central America and Brazil.
It has black upperparts contrasted by long white wings with a glossy sheen. Its striking red eyes are set against its white facial mask while its legs are bright pinkish in coloration.
The Haematopus mexicanus species inhabits marshy wetlands and brackish lagoons where it feeds on insects, crustaceans, small amphibians and fish which they catch using their slender bill or chase after them as they run across the surface of water or mudflats.
This bird typically nests near shallow waters but will use any habitat type if food resources are available nearby making it a highly adaptable species well suited for human altered habitats such as rice fields and sewage ponds.Scientific classification:
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10. Pied-billed grebe
The Pied-billed Grebe is a water bird found in ponds throughout the Americas. It has earned many nicknames, including American dabchick, rail, and Carolina grebe.
This species of grebe can be recognized by its distinctive bill which is pied or mottled with black and white markings.
Its brownish body is also covered in dark spots as well as having long legs for swimming underwater to catch food such as aquatic insects and crustaceans.
The Pied-billed Grebes are monogamous birds that pair up during breeding season from spring to summer where they build their nests together on vegetation near the shoreline of lakes or slow moving rivers.
These birds are solitary outside of mating season but will form small flocks when migrating south for winter months.Scientific classification:
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11. Great egret
The Great Egret is a large, white bird found in many regions of the world. It has four subspecies that reside across Asia, Africa, Americas and southern Europe.
This species usually lives near bodies of water such as lakes and marshes. They are also now starting to spread into more northern areas of Europe due to climate change.
These birds have long yellow legs with an impressive wingspan for their size which allows them to soar majestically through the sky hunting for fish or amphibians in shallow waters below.
Their feathers have been used historically by Native Americans as part of traditional garments or ceremonies but this practice should be avoided today so these amazing creatures can thrive without harm from humans.Scientific classification:
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12. Common goldeneye
The Common Goldeneye is a medium-sized sea duck from the genus Bucephala. It has an iconic golden eye and bulbous head, which gave it its scientific name - Boukephalos (bullheaded).
This species can be found in many areas of North America, Europe and Asia. They are usually seen swimming alone or in pairs near large bodies of open water such as lakes and rivers.
In addition to their distinctive eyes, they have white wing patches on either side with black spots along the edges – helping them stand out among other ducks.
The diet of these birds includes aquatic insects, mollusks and crustaceans.
During mating season males often perform elaborate courtship displays including head bobbing while producing loud calls that can travel quite far distances across the landscape.Scientific classification:
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13. Great blue heron
The Great Blue Heron is a majestic wading bird found in many parts of North America, Central America, the Caribbean and even as far away as the Galapagos Islands.
It has an impressive wingspan which can reach up to six feet wide. Its feathers are mainly bluish-gray with brownish streaks on both its neck and chest while its head displays white plumes.
The adult herons can also be identified by their yellow bill and legs.
They live near bodies of water such as lakes, marshes or rivers where they feed on fish using a spear like motion with their sharp bills.
An all-white population exists only in south Florida and the Florida Keys making it quite unique.Scientific classification:
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14. Common tern
The Common Tern is a seabird in the Laridae family, found all over Europe, Asia and North America. It has a migratory nature, spending its winters in coastal tropical and subtropical regions.
Breeding adults have light grey upperparts with white to very light grey underparts featuring an orange-red beak and black cap.
They are known for their graceful flight as they hunt small fish or insects by diving into water from great heights.
During breeding season they build nests together on islands or sandbars using grasses and other materials to create them.
The female will lay two eggs which she incubates while her mate stands guard nearby; both parents take turns feeding the chicks until it's time for them fly away.Scientific classification:
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15. Purple sandpiper
The Purple Sandpiper is a small shorebird of the Scolopacidae family, found in arctic and subarctic regions of Eurasia and North America. In winter it migrates south to the Atlantic coast for warmer temperatures.
It was formally described by Danish zoologist Morten Thrane Brünnich back in 1764 as Tringa maratina.
Generally grayish-brown with purple highlights on its head, neck and wings when seen from afar, this bird has white underparts that contrast beautifully against its darker feathers while standing out prominently against snow or ice covered landscapes during winters.
Its diet consists mainly of insects but also includes seeds, worms and other invertebrates which they search for along rocky shores or mudflats near ocean coasts throughout their range.Scientific classification:
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16. Black-crowned night heron
The Black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) is a medium-sized bird found in various parts of the world, including Europe, Asia and North and South America.
It has black crowns on its head with white feathers underneath. Its wings are greyish brown while its underparts are mostly white.
This species can be seen foraging near shallow water or along coastlines during dusk or dawn as it hunts small fish, amphibians and crustaceans.
They also feed on insects such as grasshoppers and beetles which they find in meadows close to freshwater bodies like lakes or ponds where they breed during springtime making nests using twigs lined with reeds and leaves near these waterside habitats.
In Australasia, this species hybridizes with the nankeen night heron that inhabits those areas instead; however both populations remain distinct from each other despite their overlap range regions.Scientific classification:
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17. Ruby-throated hummingbird
The ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is a species of hummingbird that has an impressive migration pattern, spending the winter in Central America, Mexico and Florida before flying to Canada and other parts of Eastern North America for breeding season.
It's by far the most common type seen east of the Mississippi River in North America.
Formally described by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758, this tiny bird has bright metallic green upperparts with white underparts, a small black bill and a red throat patch which gives it its name; they measure around 3 inches long on average.
They feed primarily on nectar from flowers but also eat insects such as flies or mosquitoes for extra protein during their migrations or when raising young chicks.Scientific classification:
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18. Spotted sandpiper
The Spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularius) is a small shorebird that can be found across North America and parts of South America.
It has an appealing spotted plumage, predominately brown in colour with white spots on the wings, tail feathers, head and neck.
The Common Sandpiper (A. hypoleucos) is its sister species which takes over geographically when the other moves away; they have been known to hybridize as well when strays settle down among breeders.
This bird was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1766 in his twelfth edition of Systema Naturae as a migratory summer visitor to Europe but it now also occupies many habitats too like beaches, riversides and even grasslands during migration periods or for breeding season itself.
Its diet consists mainly of insects such as air-borne flies plus molluscs from shallow water areas - this makes them quite unique amongst waders.Scientific classification:
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19. American bittern
The American Bittern is a solitary, brown wading bird from the heron family. It lives in North America and Central America, breeding in Canada and northern parts of the United States before migrating south to winter on the states surrounding the Gulf Coast as well as Florida's Everglades.
Not only does it blend into its surroundings thanks to its muted coloring but it also has a unique call that helps keep it hidden - an "un-ducklike" booming sound that can travel long distances due to low frequency vibrations.
The bittern spends most of their time alone but during mating season they become more social while gathering together at wetlands for courtship activities such as displaying with feathers erect or head bobbing.Scientific classification:
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20. Double-crested cormorant
The double-crested cormorant is a majestic bird with an impressive wingspan, found across North America from the Aleutian Islands all the way down to Mexico.
Its black plumage stands out against its bright orange-yellow facial skin and some extended patches of white feathers on each side of its throat.
It measures between 28 - 35 inches in length and has webbed feet that enable it to swim gracefully through rivers and lakes, as well as coastal areas.
These birds are known for their voracious appetite for fish, sometimes diving over 100 ft deep into water looking for food.
Despite this reputation they also feed on crustaceans, amphibians and insects when available.
Cormorants have been part of many cultures throughout history due to their remarkable ability to fly long distances making them valued messengers or companions during fishing expeditions at sea.Scientific classification:
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The Willet is a large and robust bird of the Scolopacidae family. It belongs to genus Tringa and it is much larger than its closest relative - lesser yellowlegs, which can be easily distinguished by its fine neck pattern.
The willet has brown upperparts with white patches on wings along with grey underparts. Its bill is thick, long and straight in shape having black coloration at tip while legs are also long but greenish-grey in colour.
They feed mainly on insects, worms or crustaceans that they find near coastal waters or wetlands as well as grains or seeds when available during winters.Scientific classification:
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Sandpiper is a type of wading bird that belongs to the family Scolopacidae. It is a diverse family that includes various species such as curlew and snipe.
Sandpipers have different bill lengths that allow them to feed on small invertebrates and creatures found in mud or soil.
Due to this diversity, different species can coexist in the same habitat without competing for food.
Sandpipers are commonly found near the coast but are also found in other wetland environments.
They are known for their slender legs, long beak, and streamlined body that enables them to move easily in and out of water.
Sandpipers are a unique and fascinating bird species that are interesting to observe in their natural habitat.Scientific classification:
|Family||Scolopacidae Rafinesque, 1815|
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23. Brown pelican
The majestic brown pelican is a dive-feeding bird that belongs to the pelican family. It is one of the three pelican species found in the Americas and is known to dive into water to catch its prey.
From the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey to the mouth of the Amazon River, and along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to northern Chile, including the Galapagos Islands, this bird can be found.
Its scientific name is Pelecanus occidentalis, and it has a colored brown plumage, which is its distinct characteristic.
The brown pelican belongs to the largest bird species that exist today, with a wingspan that can stretch up to seven feet long.
This bird helps maintain a balance in the ecosystem by eating smaller fish, crustaceans, and other aquatic prey.Scientific classification:
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24. Least sandpiper
The Least Sandpiper is a shorebird that holds the title for being the smallest of its kind. Its Ancient Greek genus name, kalidris or skalidris, referred to grey-colored waterside birds.
The breed's brown feathers with dark brown streaks, white underside, greenish legs, and short, thin, dark bill characterize adult Least Sandpipers.
The Medieval Latin name of the species, minutilla, further describes the breed's tiny size.
These birds are known to inhabit shallow water marshes and mudflats during the summertime, and they migrate to coasts during the winters.
Least Sandpipers mainly feed on insects and small crustaceans, often by running and pecking in shallow water or mud.
Despite their small size, these birds travel great distances during migration, making impressive journeys from their breeding and wintering grounds.Scientific classification:
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