Birding – Birding Tour – Birding Vacations – Ontario Bird Watching – Ontario Birds – Ontario Birding

Birding Ontario is also renowned is this specific area because of the novelty of having many migratory routes that pass over, plus a diversity of Ontario Birds and birds of North America from the northern, southern, western and eastern regions. We are located in this unique area which is the center of North America.  Bird watchers come from far away on birding vacations to enjoy the diversity and magnitude of bird species in this area.

This is an Ontario bird watching paradise with many Bald eagles plus 301 other known speciesof birds in this area alone.

Guided Birding Tours sometimes available
In & around Harris Hill Resort & surrounding Rainy River District
possible tour in the Baudette MN Area also
Accommodations, Meals by request
 Limited transportation driver + 6 people – you can follow in your own vehicle if need be
Boat Ride to view the Piping Plovers, Pelicans & other Water Birds
 Checklist, Birding Guide of the Area & Area Maps supplied
 Bring your Binoculars, Cameras ,Field Guides & appropriate clothing including boots
Agenda may change based on number of people attending
Please bookmark this page for further information may be added

nearly extinct Piping Plover nests across the bay from Harris Hill  Resort: one of 302 species of birds in just our area alone

This is a picture of the “nearly extinct” Piping Plover. Rent a boat or ask for a ride across the Bay for viewing. If you see the Plovers, give them lots of room and do not disturb them. Be very very careful not to step on their eggs that blend in with the sand.

Across the Bay from us may be one of the last areas in Ontario where the Piping Plovers nest. They are an endangered species and are cared for by our Natural Resources Department. They often have to “cage” their nests to help protect the eggs, as the parents do not guard or sit on their nests after they lay their eggs.

Orchard Orioles have been seen here at for a few years now.

Bullock’s Orioles (probably) have been seen here in 2006 & 2008. (We were not able to take Pictures.)

Watch the Bald Eagles fly overhead from their nearby nest as they soar effortlessly through the air.

The Black-billed Magpie is at the most eastern extent of it’s range/territory here. They’re always in our yard.

There are many species of Ducks, including Ruddy Ducks, Blue Bills and Mallards.

Check out the Yellow Rail in the nearby marsh, or the Sandhill Cranes as they strut through the meadows and fields.

The Loons can be heard calling in the distance, or swimming and diving around your boat.

Pelicans, Gulls and Terns are waiting to show off their skills as they dip into the rippling water around you and catch the minnows jumping up out of the surface of the water.

Watch the many Hummingbirds flit to and fro in the flowers and to the nectar feeding stations.

There are at least 5-8 pair of Baltimore Orioles here in the spring and throughout the summer.

The Evening Grosbeaks have been around all year round now. There are also many Pine Grosbeaks and Rose Breasted Grosbeaks in this area.

We had a nesting pair of Pileated Woodpeckers right in the yard by the lake.

The lawn at the lodge is always alive with the presence of many species of birds that come to our many bird houses and bird feeders.

Bookmark us for further development of this site and of our upcoming “birding packages” including a docent, accommodations, birding tour etc.




some restrictions apply

The Birds of Harris Hill Resort

Our Resort is an ideal location from which to explore the birding opportunities of the Rainy River area in Northwestern Ontario. We are easily accessible and only 1 mile off paved Highway 600. Our Resort is located 26 km. or 17 miles north of the Town of Rainy River in the southeast corner of Lake of the Woods. We are surrounded by oak and aspen woodlands with extensive farmlands and wet meadows close by to the south. From the Resort dock a marvellous view of Windy Bay with its shoreline marshes, the long sandy spit of Windy Point and the waters of the Lake of the Woods introduces bird watchers to the rich bird life of the area. This combination of habitats supports a very large variety and number of birds including many of the special bird species of the Rainy River area.

The Seasons

Spring birding begins in April when the forests and fields are snow free. The ice begins to break up by late April and often the bay is open before the main part of the lake. The open water attracts large numbers of migrating Loons, Grebes, Ducks, Gulls and Geese. By early May the first Sparrows, Thrushes, Warblers, Flycatchers and Blackbirds (Red Winged & Yellow-Headed) are moving north through the shoreline woods often in impressive numbers. Shorebirds are also arriving and the sandy beaches and small islets of Windy Point are a magnet to the migrants.

By early June, the spring migrant rush is over and the woodlands and meadows around the Resort ring with the songs of breeding birds that blend with the voices of the bird residents of the marshes. Large feeding flocks of American White Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Gulls and Terns often visit the bay, a most impressive sight.

Fall migration starts in late July with the first south-bound shorebirds appearing. Warblers and Flycatchers move south through the woodlands in late August followed by Sparrows and Thrushes into mid-October.

Winter is a quieter time. The well stocked bird feeders at the Resort nonetheless attract a large number of winter visitors including Finches, Grosbeaks, Nuthatches, Chickadees and Woodpeckers. An occasional Great Gray Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Black-billed Magpie and the ever-present Common Raven can be found in and around the open farmlands south of the Resort.

Key Bird Areas

Windy Bay and Windy Point – Just by standing on the Resort dock, the birder can see a large number of birds. American White Pelicans float on the bay or soar overhead. Yellow-Headed Blackbirds and Sandhill Cranes frequent the shoreline marshes. Franklin’s Gulls fly by or loaf on the islets and beaches. Bald Eagles nest nearby and on Snake Island.  They also often perch in trees along the point. Common Terns nest on the point as has the rare and nearly extinct Piping Plover. Exploring the bay and the point by boat or canoe can be even more rewarding when watching for bird species. Boat Rides can be arranged, or rent a boat or canoe.

The Resort Grounds – The oak and aspen woodlands of the Resort area are easily explored simply by walking the roads. The woodlands host a large number and variety of migrant and breeding birds, such as Finches, Sparrows, Orioles, Warblers and Flycatchers. Check out the busy Resort bird houses and bird feeders. Since 2005, an Orchard Oriole was a regular visitor at the hummingbird feeders. In 2006 & 2008 a Bullock’s Oriole may have been seen, but we could not get a picture of it. The Red-Bellied Woodpecker has made his home here since fall of 2006.

Farmlands and Meadows – Driving the roads through the farmlands south of the Resort one will be rewarded by seeing and hearing Sandhill Cranes, Black-Billed Magpies, LeConte’s Sparrows, Western Meadowlarks, Brewer’s Blackbirds, Sharp-Tailed Grouse and other grassland bird species. In wet years, Yellow Rails can often be heard from the roadsides. Evening drives often turn up Short-Eared and Long-Eared Owls.

Cheryl and Gary Gauthier, your hosts at Harris Hill Resort, are familiar with the birds of the Resort area and can assist you by providing bird checklists, maps,directions, weather details and other helpful information. We also have a supply of books on Birds, Native Plants, Butterflies etc.

Boat rides can be arranged or you can rent a boat and explore Windy Bay, Sable Islands and Lake of the Woods at your leisure.

You may also rent one of our cabins at a reduced rate for bird wartchers; Meals can also be arranged.

We hope that your birding stay will be rewarding, enjoyable and most of all, memorable.

Special Birds of the Harris Hill Resort Area

Orchard Oriole – Resort grounds

American White Pelican – Windy Bay, overhead

Bald Eagle – Windy Bay, Lake of the Woods, overhead

Sharp-tailed Grouse – fields, meadows, roadsides, south of the Resort

Sandhill Crane – fields, meadows south of the Resort, Windy Bay marshes

Yellow Rail – wet meadows, the Big Marsh off Fred’s Road

Piping Plover – Windy Point, Sable Islands

Marbled Godwit – fields near Rainy River

Wilson’s Phalarope – Windy Point, Rainy River sewage ponds

Franklin’s Gull – Windy Bay and Point, overhead.

Red-headed Woodpecker – Resort grounds, aspen stands to the south

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Resort grounds, aspen stands to the south

Western Kingbird – throughout area but irregular in occurrence

Black-billed Magpie – throughout area; always in resort grounds

Sedge Wren – wet and brushy meadows to the south

Yellow-Throated Vireo – aspen and oak woodlands

Connecticut Warbler – aspen groves south of the Resort

Brewer’s Blackbird – fields and roadsides to the south

Yellow-headed Blackbird – Windy Bay marshes, Resort feeders in spring

Western Meadowlark – fields to the south

Clay-coloured Sparrow – brushy fields to the south

LeConte’s Sparrow – wet meadows and hayfields south of the Resort.

Click to view & print PDF version of theBIRD GUIDE to the RAINY RIVER DISTRICT

Click to view & print PDF version of the “MAPS for the BIRD GUIDE to the RAINY RIVER DISTRICT

302+ Species  of  Birds

Rainy River District

Birder’s Guide

Harris Hill Resort

* or B = confirmed breeding species  (* = Ontario Nest Records Scheme)

 (red color denotes bird 

 specialties in the Harris Hill Resort Area)

 R = Rare, Uncommon or only Locally Common W = Winter Resident only V = Vagrant Blank = common & seen annually in suitable habitat
Common Loon *B Common Goldeneye *B Solitary Sandpiper Black-billed Cuckoo *B
  Barrow’s Goldeneye V Spotted Sandpiper *B Yellow-billed Cuckoo R
Pied-Billed Grebe *B Bufflehead Willet V  
Horned Grebe B Hooded Merganser *B Upland Sandpiper B Eastern Screech-Owl R

Red-necked Grebe *BR

Common Merganser *B Whimbrel Great Horned Owl *B
Eared Grebe V Red-breasted Merganser B Hudsonian Godwit Snowy Owl
Western Grebe V   Marbled Godwit * Northern Hawk Owl B
  Ruddy Duck R Ruddy Turnstone Barred Owl B
American White Pelican B   Red Knot Great Grey Owl B
Double-crested Cormorant B Turkey Vulture B Sanderling Long-eared Owl B
Little Blue Heron V?   NEW BIRD 2008 Osprey *B Semipalmated Sandpiper Short-eared Owl
American Bittern *B Bald Eagle *B Western Sandpiper Boreal Owl *B
Least Bittern BR Northern Harrier B Least Sandpiper Northern Saw-whet Owl * B
Great Blue Heron *B Sharp-shinned Hawk B White-rumped Sandpiper  
Great Egret V Cooper’s Hawk B Baird’s Sandpiper Common Nighthawk *B
Snowy Egret Northern Goshawk *B Pectoral Sandpiper Whip-poor-will B
Cattle Egret V Red-shouldered Hawk V Dunlin  
Green Heron Broad-winged Hawk *B Stilt Sandpiper Chimney Swift B
Black-crowned Night-Heron Swainson’s Hawk V Buff-breasted Sandpiper R  
Trumpeter Swan Red-tailed Hawk *B Short-billed Sandpiper Ruby-throated Hummingbird *B
Tundra Swan Rough-legged Hawk Long-billed Dowitcher Rufous Hummingbird V
Greater White-fronted Goose Golden Eagle R Common Snipe *B  
Snow Goose American Kestrel *B American Woodcock *B Belted Kingfisher *B
Canada Goose *B Merlin*B Wilson’s Phalarope B  
Wood Duck B Peregrine Falcon R Red-necked Phalarope Lewis Woodpecker V
Green-winged Teal *B Gyrfalcon Short-billed Dowitcher Red-headed Woodpecker *B
American Black Duck *B Spruce Grouse *B Parasitic Jaeger V Red-bellied Woodpecker
Mallard *B Ruffed Grouse *B Franklin’s Gull Yellow-bellied Sapsucker *B
Northern Pintail B Sharp-tailed Grouse *B Bonaparte’s Gull Downy Woodpecker *B
Blue-winged Teal *B Wild Turkey Ring-billed Gull B Hairy Woodpecker *B
Cinnamon Teal V Yellow Rail B Herring Gull *B American Three-toed Woodpecker
Northern Shoveler B Virginia Rail *B Iceland Gull Black-billed Woodpecker *B
Gadwall R Sora*B Glaucous Gull V Northern Flicker *B
American Wigeon B American Coot *B Sabine’s Gull Pileated Woodpecker *B
Canvasback Sandhill Crane B California Gull  
Redhead Black-bellied Plover Thayer’s Gull Olive-sided Flycatcher B
Ring-necked Duck *B American Golden-Plover Caspian Tern Eastern Wooded-Pewee *B
Greater Scaup Semipalmated Plover Common Tern *B Yellow-bellied Flycatcher *B
Lesser Scaup Piping Plover *BR Forster’s Tern Alder Flycatcher B
Harlequin Duck V Killdeer *B Black Tern B Willow Flycatcher R
Oldsquaw Black-necked Stilt V   Least Flycatcher *B
Black Scoter R American Yellowlegs Rock Pigeon (Rock Dove) b Eastern Phoebe *B
White-winged Scoter R Lesser Yellowlegs Mourning Dove B Say’s Phoebe V
Long-tailed Duck American Avocet -BR Passenger Pigeon – Extinct Great Crested Flycatcher *B
Surf Scoter R  Atikokan Greater Yellowlegs Inca Dove Acadian Flycatcher V  Kenora
    Summer Tanager V  
Western Kingbird *BR Sage Thrasher V Scarlet Tanager *B Brambling V
Eastern Kingbird *B Brown Thrasher B   Common Chaffinch
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher   Western Tanager V Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch V
  American Pipit Northern Cardinal V Pine Grosbeak W
Horned Lark B Sprague’s Pipit BR Indigo Bunting *B Purple Finch *B
Purple Martin *B Bohemian Waxwing W Dickcissel House Finch
Tree Swallow *B Cedar Waxwing *B Field Sparrow  R  Kenora Red Crossbill
Northern Rough-winged Swallow B Northern Shrike W Eastern Towhee White-winged Crossbill
Bank Swallow *B Loggerhead Shrike *R Spotted Towhee Common Redpoll W
Cliff Swallow *B European Starling *B American Tree Sparrow Hoary Redpoll W
Barn Swallow *B   Chipping Sparrow *B Pine Siskin B
  Solitary Vireo *B Clay-colored Sparrow *B American Goldfinch B
Gray Jay B Yellow-throated Vireo *B Vesper Sparrow *B European Goldfinch
Blue Jay B Warbling Vireo B Lark Sparrow v Evening Grosbeak B
Black-billed Magpie *B Philadelphia Vireo *B Lark Bunting Rose-breasted Grosbeak B
American Crow *B Red-eyed Vireo *B Savannah Sparrow *B House Sparrow *B
Common Raven *B  Prairie Warbler Grasshopper Sparrow  
Clark’s Nutcracker V  Dryden Golden-winged Warbler B Le Conte’s Sparrow B  
Black-capped Chickadee *B Tennessee Warbler B Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow  
Boreal Chickadee *B Orange-crowned Warbler Fox Sparrow  
Red-breasted Nuthatch *B Nashville Warbler *B Song Sparrow *B  
White-breasted Nuthatch B Northern Parula B Lincoln’s Sparrow B  
Brown Creeper *B Yellow Warbler *B Swamp Sparrow *B  
  Chestnut-sided Warbler *B White-throated Sparrow *B  
Carolina Wren Magnolia Warbler *B White-crowned Sparrow  
House Wren *B Cape May Warbler *B Harris’s Sparrow  
Winter Wren B Black-throated Blue Warbler B Baird’s Sparrow  
Sedge Wren *B Yellow-rumped Warbler *B Dark-eyed Junco B  
Marsh Wren *B Black-throated Green Warbler B Lapland Longspur  
  Blackburnian Warbler B Smith’s Longspur  
Golden-crowned Kinglet B Pine Warbler *B Snow Bunting  
Ruby-crowned Kinglet *B Palm Warbler B Bobolink *B  
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher V Bay-breasted Warbler B Red-winged Blackbird *B  
Eastern Bluebird *B Blackpoll Warbler Eastern Meadowlark B  
Mountain Bluebird V Black-and-white Warbler B Western Meadowlark *B  
Veery *B American Redstart *B Yellow-headed Blackbird *B  
Gray-cheeked Thrush Prothonotary Warbler B Rusty Blackbird B  
Swainson’s Thrush *B Ovenbird *B Brewer’s Blackbird *B  
Hermit Thrush *B Northern Waterthrush *B Great-tailed Grackle  
Wood Thrush B Connecticut Warbler B Common Grackle *B  
American Robin *B Mourning Warbler *B Brown-headed Cowbird *B  
Varied Thrush V Common Yellowthroat *B Orchard Oriole  
Gray Catbird *B Wilson’s Warbler B  Northern Oriole *B  
Northern Mockingbird V Canada Warbler B    
  Prairie Warbler    

Coming from somewhere with a distance from Toronto for example … for Bird Watching, Fishing or Hunting, or Family Vacation ? … Great if you have time to drive and have a leisurely vacation.  If not, consider flying to International Falls, MN (1.5 hours away), Thunder Bay, ON (5 hour drive) or Winnipeg, MB ( 3 or 5 hour drive depending on route).  There you can rent a car and take a scenic drive here.   It’s worth the Trip!

To request more information or to book your bird watching vacation  

 please phone us at 1 – 807- 488-1116

 or click on “Contact Us to e-mail us from our web site  

We offer quality service, great hospitality, affordable rates, comfortable accommodations and a relaxing atmosphere

 Please Contact us Now and Come Birding with us Soon

Enjoy the Birds of Ontario plus the many species of vagrants that have become known as Birds in Ontario.