Once the leaves have dropped off the trees and the landscape turns brownish, many nature photographers fall into a slump of low photo motivation. The good news is that there is a cure and it’s flying towards you…. birds. In fact, late fall and early winter is one of the best times to photograph some families of birds as they stream through Ontario, or settle in here for the winter. Pull on your toque and get your zoom lens ready!
The finch family tops my list of fall favourite birds to photograph in Ontario. There are a whole bunch of different finch species that can be found here during late fall and winter including goldfinches, siskins, redpolls, crossbills and grosbeaks. They all share an appetite for seeds and will travel widely in search of the best wild crops, especially the seed cones of conifer trees. Finches are also fairly easy to attract to bird feeders. Hey, why pass up an easy meal?!
Finches can be found all over Ontario at this time of year, although I hone in on central Ontario to get the best mix of species. Algonquin Provincial Park, in particular, ranks as one of the premier finch locations in the province. In addition to cruising along the park’s Highway 60 watching for finch flocks, I always check out the Spruce Bog Trail, along Opeongo Lake Road and the feeders located at the park Visitor Centre.