Birds in Toronto

Cardinal flying
Northern Cardinal in flight

While Toronto is mainly a large urban centre, it is home for an array of birds that are normally found in rural areas. There are a wide variety of birds in Toronto, ranging from small Chickadees to Great Blue Herons.

Photographing birds requires a telephoto lens and a very fast shutter speed since they are so fast! I use a 600 mm lens and typically set the ISO a bit high with a lower aperture. The camera settings change based on the type of day it is. Obviously you will have better results when it is sunny.

Some tricks to photographing birds in Toronto also include food! The birds found in our local parks (and backyards) are accustomed to people and bringing them food will help you get closer to them. Make sure you supply them with edibles that they can digest such as sunflower seeds, peanuts and for water foul, the preferred diet would be peas and corn. Whatever you do, don’t feed them bread or any salted nuts/seeds!

I regularly go to several parks in Toronto. I have written some articles about this in the past including this one:

It’s best to go early in the morning as that is when they are the hungriest. if possible, you can also bring them fresh water as they often like to bath or drink! I use a Frisbee!

Here is a gallery of different birds I have photographed in Toronto over the last few years. The parks I mainly frequent are situated along the Don Valley. Other areas include High Park along the Humber River and, of course, down by the lake. Some of these photos have been used for cards and calendars by the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation. Please support them here:

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