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Ontario Raptors:
Hawks, Falcons, Bald Eagle, Owls

Ontario Raptors is a page of photos of some of the hawks, falcons and the bald eagle and barn owl, that you may see on a vacation here.

Ontario has many species of raptors and they're particularly noticeable in the spring and autumn when they migrate north and south to and from their winter homes down in the US.

Some large raptors, such as the red-tail and the marsh harrier stay in southern Ontario throughout the winter, if the weather stays mild.

Most, however, don't stay because their food, such as small birds, mice and voles, hibernate or migrate.

Ontario Raptors -- Hawks

Ontario Raptors, red-tailed hawk

I'm starting with the red-tailed hawk as it is the raptor you are most likely to see, either circling in the sky or perched on a roadside pole.

In the spring, you'll often see red-tails being chased by small blackbirds because, like many hawks, they take hatchlings from nests if given the opportunity.

Ontario Raptors - Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk is a small crow sized hawk seen throughout southern Ontario in summer and even in winter in the most southerly part of the province.

Whenever you're around wooded areas, you're likely to see at least one of them.

Remember to click on any of the photos to see the larger size in the Gallery.


Ontario Raptors, kestrel

Another common raptor is the kestrel and it's also one of the hardest to see.

They are fast and nervous, rarely sitting still long enough to be spotted. Where you will see them is hovering over fields looking for mice or voles.

Kestrels are probably the most brightly marked and coloured of Ontario's falcons. The others, like the merlin, are less showy.


Ontario Raptors, bald eagle

The national bird of the US, the bald-headed eagle, is found around lakes or rivers throughout Ontario, where they catch fish -- or steal fish from otters and ospreys.

Eagles keep well away from people; however, so you need to be up north or canoeing a lonely lake to see these large raptors.

In the spring and autumn, they can be seen migrating north and south. Good places to see them in these seasons are the narrow places along the Great lakes system, like Pelee Point and Island in Lake Erie or Gananoque near the Thousand Islands.

Northern Ontario is also home to golden eagles and, of course, more commonly, ospreys.


Ontario Raptors, barn owl

Barn owls are found throughout Ontario, wherever there's a meadow for them to hunt in.

Unfortunately, there are a lot fewer meadows and barn owls than there used to be. Add to that they come out at dusk and are roosting by early morning and they aren't a raptor you're likely to see very often.

If owls interest you, you may also want to visit our page of owl pictures.

If birds interest you, you may also want to visit our page of Birds Photos.

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