Birds, bison & beyond

Plan a day trip that animal lovers will adore. Can't decide on just one? Supersize your day trip and stay a little longer with our Make Some Furry New Friends itinerary. Be sure to take advantage of these great hotel offers.

Spot bald eagles at Canada’s largest botanical garden

Royal Botanical Gardens’ Cootes Paradise is a nationally designated Important Bird Area (IBA) that is home to hundreds of species of birds during their spring and autumn migrations, including the least bittern, hooded warbler, white pelican, Caspian tern, black-crowned night-heron, osprey, pileated woodpecker, and the prothonotary warbler. A pair of nesting bald eagles has stolen the show in recent years, however, with the claim of being the first on Lake Ontario in more than 40 years.

Read a blogger’s account of her afternoon of blooms at Royal Botanical Gardens.

Meet birds and bison

Truly a birdwatcher’s paradise, Mountsberg Conservation Area’s Douglas G. Cockburn Raptor Centre is home to two-dozen different birds of prey, each with their own unique story. During spring and fall migration, thousands of birds, particularly waterfowl, flock to the lake while hundreds of songbirds flit through the forest and meadows.

Mountsberg is also home to its very own herd of bison, which you can watch from the Wildlife Walkway.

Watch the great gliders

Mount Nemo Conservation Area is a favourite hangout for turkey vultures. The thermal updrafts and air currents off the Niagara Escarpment create a perfect playground for these winged wonders. Watch them glide on their six-foot wingspan for up to six hours without flapping a wing. The Brock Harris Lookout and North Loop Lookout are great locations for watching the show, and on a clear day, you can see all the way to the CN Tower!

Ride the river

Canoe, kayak or raft the Grand River with an area outfitter and they’ll help you spot wildlife along the way including snapping turtles, great blue herons, bald eagles, egrets and more. Grand Experiences, Grand River Rafting and Heritage River Canoe and Kayak Co. are all great local outfitters that will provide your group with the expert guidance and gear you need for a great trip.

Find farm animal fun

Younger children will love meeting barnyard animals at Bronte Creek Provincial Park's Children’s Playbarn in Oakville, Springridge Farm in Milton and Puddicombe Farms in Stoney Creek.

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