Thursday 13 September 2018

A first for Ontario and Canada: Great Kiskadee + a surprise!

I had work down in the Rondeau area on Wednesday and made the wise decision to swing by the park to see the celebrity bird that was found there on the weekend, the Great Kiskadee!

This is a bird that anyone who has spent some time in the tropics would be very familiar with, but is virtually unheard of in the northern latitudes, and this is the first time one has been found in Canada!

As I was pulling up to the park I got word that it was being seen again, and I hurried toward the marsh boardwalk.  I was able to get some great views of the bird as it foraged for frogs and other food along the edge of the water.

A bird I didn't expect to see on the way to find the kiskadee was this poor loon marooned on the side of the highway!  As I was flying by I spotted it sitting on the side of the road and pulled over to help it out.  Loons have legs that are so far back on their body that they can't take off without running along the water - great for swimming, useless on land.  A nice lady also stopped to help and gave me gloves which were very helpful as he enjoyed stabbing me with his long beak.  I wrapped him in a towel and put him in the trunk after seeing he was unharmed and drove to the lake to release him.  He seemed in good health and immediately disappeared under the water!  I was glad to help this bird, which is a special species to me, as I have spent a lot of time up in Algonquin where the loon is synonymous to me with wilderness and great times with family and friends.


  1. Glad you were able to catch up to this beauty, Nate. It would have been a bonus, for me at least, to have seen you that day but that day I didn't make it to the park. Maybe at the next mega rarity....

    1. Yes! I am very surprised we haven't bumped into each other at a birding location! Possinly because I don't bird a ton in chatham kent! One of these days!