Birds and birders are invited to the May 1 to May 22 annual Festival of Birds at Point Pelee National Park. Admission to all of Canada’s National Parks is free this year in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.
Point Pelee National Park sits just south of the 42nd parallel which means it shares latitude with Northern California and the wine regions of Europe. It provides a rare habitat for plants and animals that exist nowhere else in the world.
Point Pelee is one of the first points of land for birds migrating north in the spring. Crossing Lake Erie in the middle of the night, these avian warriors arrive in southwestern Ontario’s early dawn.
Point Pelee National Park is located at the crossroads of two major migratory pathways.
Celine and Marcel Cloutier have traveled from Windsor, Quebec, four times, for the Festival of Birds.
Rob Armstrong, from Meaford, Ontario, visited for the first time this year.
The park trails are wide and well-kept but organizers recommend that you wear sturdy walking shoes, dress in layers for the changing weather and bring binoculars.
Seasoned bird watchers take their wardrobe one step further in order to be protected from ticks.
As birdwatchers and hikers report in to the Visitors Centre, bird and flower sightings are posted so new arrivals can determine a direction.
In Point Pelee National Park, in the early morning mist we hiked to the southernmost tip of Canada’s mainland.
As novice birders we quickly learned that birdwatchers are a special species of people. They speak quietly and sparingly. Bird chirping holds priority over human conversation.
Whenever we came across a cluster of binoculars or cameras pointed in the same direction, we knew we were about to enjoy a rare sighting.
Just a few minutes outside the park we stopped at Birdie’s Perch and Trading Post for Lake Erie Yellow Perch and fresh cut fries.
Happy 150, Canada!
Thank you Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island for a great day!