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Amherst Island


Amherst Island is a globally significant Important Bird Area, home to some of the largest concentrations of breeding grassland birds in Canada, and a world-renowned site for observing concentrations of wintering hawks and owls. Being along the north shore of Lake Ontario, it is also part of a natural flyway of millions of birds each year.

The Kingston Field Naturalists have had a long history of interest in the island’s natural history and owns the Martin Edwards Reserve at the east end of the Island.

Birdwatching on Amherst Island

Birding on Amherst Island has something exciting all year round. In Spring and Fall migration, the Island hosts many migrants of all types. During the summer, the Island supports many grassland birds, possibly the highest concentrations in Ontario and Canada of Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks. Other breeding species of interest are Wilson’s Phalaropes and Upland Sandpipers. The winter season is also exciting and what Amherst is known most for by out of town birders – the wintering owls and hawks. It is not unusual to find five or more species of owls in a single day and lucky observers have been known to find eight or nine species! Check out the bird-finding guide for more details.