American Robin. Photo © Anna Buske

NWO Winter Bird Count List

Since the winter of 2014-2015 Brian Ratcliff has been compiling a Winter Bird Count List for Northwestern Ontario. He has always been interested in knowing what species of birds stick around all winter in our area, and also what other species stay late in the fall.

Since its inception there have been a total of 137 species recorded. The highest number of species (100) was in 2016/17, and the lowest was 2019/20 when 80 species were recorded. The winter average is 88 species. There have been 57 species recorded in each of the past 9 winters.

Birds are recorded from December 1 to February 28. Brian will create a list of bird species based on sightings reported on NWObirds, the Christmas Bird Counts, eBird, iNaturalist, and from personal emails that he receives.

At the start of each week starting the first week in December, he sends out an update of what birds have been reported over the past week. When the list comes out, please check it and at any time you see that a species that you have seen is not on the list, please email him directly and he will update the list. Feel free to pass along this email to anyone else you know who may not be contributing to NWObirds.  

The boundaries for Northwestern Ontario are from the Manitoba border east to the eastern boundary of Thunder Bay District which is just to the west of the town of White River, and north to the Hudson Bay coast.

Brian can be reached at: