Wolfe Island Birdwatching
Living or visiting Wolfe Island offers many opportunities for birdwatching. There are field birds, shore birds, birds on the water, raptors, and more -- well over 200 species of bird make their home here or pass through during their migrations. Wolfe Island's importance for many species of birds has been recognized by IBA Canada (Important Bird Areas of Canada). Canada's Important Bird Areas program is a science-based initiative to identify, conserve and monitor a network of sites that provide essential habitat for Canada's bird populations.
Binoculars and a good bird book or field guide are all that's needed to start enjoying birdwatching on Wolfe Island (or any where else for that matter). Joining with other birders will speed up the accuracy of bird identification. There's a small and dedicated group of birdwatchers on the island. Many of its members are new to the past time and the group welcomes newcomers whether experienced birdwatchers or complete novices.
Variety of Habitats
Wolfe Island offers a variety of habitats to birds including open fields, woodlands, wetlands, and many bays and coves as well as open water. During the winter Wolfe Island, especially the western part is home to numerous hawks and owls (especially snowy owls, harriers and rough-legged hawks). The combination of open fields and a large population of voles and field-mice bring these predators to the island. Summer-time sees songbirds, field birds and the return of the Great Blue Heron to the island. Spring and fall see large flocks of geese and ducks making their way north or south: it's common to see thousands of geese take flight over Reed's Bay during the late fall and early winter.
We've prepared several reference resources for birdwatchers visiting or living on the island:
- Wolfe Island bird list;
- Topographical map of Wolfe Island (prepared to print out as two pages using Adobe Acrobat).