Spring Bird Festival Activities and Schedule

* Activities and schedule is subject to change.
** Please confirm your registration before attending the festival.

TTP Bird Walk

Spend a couple hours exploring the best birding spots TTP has to offer. Participants will learn about the basics of birding, including proper binocular use, species identification techniques and birding ethics. This walk will also include a visit to the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station to see a bird banding demonstration, weather permitting.

Duration: 2 – 2.5 hours
Distance: 3 km
Difficulty: moderate – terrain is relatively flat but most of the walk will be along the un-graded nature trail.
Meeting Location: Front Entrance

* Participants should bring binoculars and a field guide.
* It is strongly recommended to wear rubber boots (some of the best places to see birds are quite wet during the spring) and to dress for the weather (birding can be great on rainy days!).
* There are opportunities to leave the walk early if necessary.
* This walk is not recommended for children under the age of 8.
* This walk is not recommended for young children or strollers.

Baselands Bird Walk

The Baselands is a magical place during spring migration. Everywhere you look are magnificent colours – bright oranges, reds, blues, yellows and greens, and your ears are filled with the many tunes of these brightly coloured birds. Join us on this guided tour through the ‘Warbler Woods’ to experience these delights. This hike is suitable for birders of all levels, from those just beginning to those who are seasoned.

Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Distance: less than 1 km
Difficulty: moderate – terrain is relatively flat, but the walk will be along the un-graded nature trail.
Meeting Location: Front Entrance

* Participants should bring binoculars and a field guide.
* It is strongly recommended to wear rubber boots (Warbler Woods attract so many birds because it is quite wet) and to dress for the weather (birding can be spectacular on rainy days!).
* This walk is not recommended for children under the age of 8.
* This walk is not recommended for young children or strollers.

Beginner Bird Walk

Newly discovering the joys and fascinating world of our feathered friends? This may be the perfect walk for you! Learn about the basics of birding: how to begin identifying a bird; where to find birds; the ethics of birding and what tools and resources can be used to assist your birding hobby. This walk will take place through the Baselands (Warbler Woods), a particularly excellent spot to view some of the most vibrant bird species in TTP!

Duration: 1.5 hours
Distance: less than 1 km
Difficulty: moderate – terrain is relatively flat, but the walk will be along the un-graded nature trail.
Meeting Location: Front Entrance

* Participants should bring binoculars and a field guide if they own them.
* It is strongly recommended to wear rubber boots (Warbler Woods attract so many birds because it is quite wet) and to dress for the weather (birding can be spectacular on rainy days!).
* This walk is not recommended for children under the age of 8.
* This walk is not recommended for young children or strollers.

Colonial Waterbird Walk

Like people who live in urban areas, some birds prefer to nest in large groups, very close to their neighbours. TTP is home to 6 species of colonial waterbirds that nest in very large numbers. Explore the various colonies including Common Tern, Black-crowned Night-Heron and Double-crested Cormorant and learn about these magnificent species and the management programs run by TRCA.

Duration: 2 hours
Distance: 2 km
Difficulty: moderate – most of this walk is along the paved Multi-Use Trail, however a short portion will follow the graded Primary Pedestrian Trail.
Meeting Location: Outdoor Classroom at Cell One

* Participants should arrive at TTP early to allow time to walk or take the shuttle to the Outdoor Classroom, approximately 1.5 kilometres from the Front Entrance.
* It is strongly recommended to wear rubber boots (some of the best places to see birds are quite wet during the spring) and to dress for the weather (birding can be great on rainy days!).
* Participants should bring binoculars and a field guide. It is strongly recommended to dress for the weather.
* This tour is suitable for children.

Cell 1 Bird Walk 

Marshes are critical components of our landscapes. They filter our water, recharge our water tables and provide habitat for a variety of wildlife, including many species of birds. Learn about the Cell 1 wetland and the birds that live around it on the Cell 1 Bird Walk.

Duration: 1 hour
Distance: 1 km
Difficulty: easy – follows the Secondary Pedestrian Trail.
Meeting Location: Outdoor Classroom at Cell One

* Participants should arrive at TTP early to allow time to walk or take the shuttle to the Outdoor Classroom at Cell One, approximately 1.5 kilometres from the Front Entrance.
* Participants should bring binoculars and a field guide. It is strongly recommended to dress for the weather.
* It is strongly recommended to wear rubber boots (some of the best places to see birds are quite wet during the spring) and to dress for the weather (birding can be great on rainy days!).
* This tour is suitable for children accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Family Bird Walk

This walk is for the whole family, so bring everyone from toddlers to grandparents to learn not only about the birds at TTP, but also other wildlife and their habitats.

Duration: 1.5 hours
Distance: 1 km
Difficulty: easy – follows the Primary Pedestrian Trail
Meeting Location: Entrance

* It is strongly recommended that participants dress for the weather.
* This walk is suitable for strollers.
* There are opportunities to leave the walk early if necessary.
* Suitable for children accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Birding by Bike

A bike tour of Tommy Thompson Park highlighting the various habitats and the birds they support. Stops will include Cell One wetland and Embayment D, the Pedestrian Bridge to view Peninsula C waterbird colonies, the Shorebird Wetland and Embayment A.

Duration: 2 – 2.5 hours
Distance: 10 km
Difficulty: easy – the Multi-Use trail is a flat, paved surface
Meeting Location: Front Entrance

* Participants must bring their own bike.
* Participants should bring binoculars and plenty of water.
* It is strongly recommended to dress for the weather.
* This tour may not be suitable for young children or beginner bikers. Please consider the distance and fast pace before registering children under the age of 12.

CONSERVATION ACTIVITIES

Tommy Thompson Park Litter Pick Up

Join the Aquatic Park Sailing Club (APSC) as they clean up the trails throughout Tommy Thompson Park to make it a better place for you, me and all the wildlife that make the park home. Visit the APSC booth at the Front Entrance to grab a garbage bag and some gloves before heading into the park. Pick up any garbage you find as you walk and fill your bag. Once you’ve finished your clean up, tie the bag shut and leave it along the side of the paved Multi-Use Trail for pick up at the end of the event.

CHILDREN’S GAMES AND EXPLORATION

Join us by the Nature Centre for bird games, exploration and crafts! Part of what makes Tommy Thompson Park so appealing for migratory birds are the wetlands which provide much needed habitat on migratory stopovers. Become a migrating bird and find out what happens if wetlands disappear, discover how birds eat the buffet of food they find in and around wetlands. After that create and take home a fun bird craft!

TALKS

Birding by Ear: Bringing birdsong out of the background! 

If birdsong has always seemed more like background noise than a who’s who of the avian landscape, you could benefit from learning the basics of birding by ear! Hearing birds is often far easier than spotting them, and knowing the bird songs of your region will prime you to identify far more species, especially shy ones that are often heard but seldom seen. We will walk you through the basic bird song types, structures and functions. We will also teach you some tips and tricks to help you differentiate between similar bird songs. A walk through nature will be a totally different experience when you can identify what birds are singing around you!

Duration: 2 hours
Location: Nature Centre

BIRD BANDING DEMONSTRATIONS

Visit the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (TTPBRS) on Peninsula D to meet our banding coordinator, Nigel Shaw, and see him in action as he bands migratory birds as part of the migration monitoring program. Learn about migration monitoring, standard protocols and the importance of the research. Bring your camera as you’ll also have the rare opportunity to see migratory birds up close and personal in Nigel’s hand! Banding demonstrations are weather dependent.

Time: 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

* It is strongly recommended to wear rubber boots as the trail to the TTPBRS is currently very wet, and flooded in places.

Schedule

7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Displays, Activities and Litter Pick Up

8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
TTPBRS Bird Banding Demonstrations

Entrance Tours

7:00 a.m.  Beginner Bird Walk  (1.5 hrs)
7:30 a.m.  TTP Bird Walk  (2.5 hrs)
7:45 a.m.  Baselands Bird Walk  (2 hrs)
8:00 a.m.  TTP Bird Walk  (2.5 hrs)
8:30 a.m. TTP Bird Walk  (2 hrs)
9:00 a.m.  Baselands Bird Walk  (1.5 hrs)
9:30 a.m.  Birding by Bike  (2.5 hrs)
10:30 a.m.  Family Bird Walk  (1.5 hrs)
11:30 a.m.  TTP Bird Walk  (2 hrs)
12:00 p.m.  Birding by Bike  (2 hrs)
1:00 p.m.  Family Bird Walk  (1.5 hr)

Cell 1 Tours

9:00 a.m.  Colonial Waterbird Walk  (2 hrs)
11:00 a.m.  Cell 1 Bird Walk  (1 hr)
12:00 p.m.  Colonial Waterbird Walk  (2 hrs)

Staff Booth Talks

11:30 a.m.  Birding by Ear (2 hrs)