Newfoundland is the world's sixteenth largest island at a latitude south of Paris, France. The arctic waters of the Labrador Current that flows along its northern shore dominate the climate. In the southern areas the warmer water of the Gulf Stream have more influence and winters can be surprisingly mild. At the confluence of the two currents over the Grand Banks of Newfoundland fog is common. The mineral rich waters support abundant marine life and a large varied population of marine birds.
Around 40 million seabirds visit the plankton rich waters of Newfoundland every year. During the winter months the ice-free waters of the Newfoundland South Coast provide over-wintering habitat for millions of arctic birds. In spring these populations migrate north to their breeding sites and are replaced by millions of birds that have over-wintered offshore on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. They are soon joined by migrants from southern latitudes and, in the case of the Arctic Terns, from the southern hemisphere. By May these millions of birds are busily engaged in breeding and nesting in hundreds of sites along the coast.
Just about every small island and cliff face has a colony of nesting birds. The most important have been given Ecological Reserve status.
Newfoundland is also home to the largest population of Bald Eagles in Eastern North America.
Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve
Cape St. Mary is another Ecological Reserve on the southern Avalon Peninsula; it has a spectacular population of nesting Gannets plus a variety of other species.
Witless Bay Ecological Reserve
The Witless Bay Ecological Reserve near St. John's comprises three islands: Great, Gull and Green. This reserve contains the largest Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) colony in North America. Green Island contains North America's second largest colony of common murres.
Number of Species
Number of bird species: 404
Provincial Bird - Atlantic Puffin Fraterculus arctica
Number of bird species: Checklist
Birds of Newfoundland
By Ian Warkentin, Sandy Newton, Roger Tory Peterson, John A Crosby & Ralph Jarvis | Boulder Publications | 2009 | Paperback | 237 pages, 32 plates with colour illustrations; colour illustrations, 1 colour map |
ISBN: 9780980914429Buy this book from NHBS.com
Newfoundland Birds: Exploitation, Study, Conservation
by William A Montevecchi & Leslie M. Tuck | Nuttall Ornithological Club | 1987 | Hardback | 273 pages, 40 b/w illustrations and b/w maps, 23 tables |
ISBN: 9997639995Buy this book from NHBS.com
Natural History Society
The Natural History Society is a province-wide organization with a primary interest in promoting the enjoyment and protection of all wildlife and natural history resources in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and surrounding waters. At the moment, the Society has chapters, centered at Comer Brook and St. John's and we are affiliated with the Canadian Nature Federation.
Abbreviations Key: See the appropriate Continent Page (or Country Page of those used on country sub-divisions)
Avalon Wilderness Reserve
The Reserve is located in the centre of the eastern section of the Avalon Peninsula. Its northern boundary is approximately 50 kilometres south of St. John's…
Baccalieu Island Seabird Ecological Reserve
Baccalieu Island Seabird Ecological Reserve contains Baccalieu Island located off the tip of the north west Avalon Peninsula near the town of Bay de Verde…
Cape St Mary's Seabird Sanctuary
Cape St. Mary's is a seabird sanctuary with the largest nesting colony of gannets in Newfoundland and the third largest in North America. Also, there are Black-legged Kittiwakes, Atlantic Murres, and Northern Razorbills. There are interpreters on duty to assist any of your needs. The vantage point overlooks magnificent sea stacks and offers an opportunity to photograph the seabirds…
This park, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, is an area of great natural beauty with a rich variety of scenery, widlife, and recreational activities. Visitors can hike through wild, uninhabited mountains and camp by the sea. Boat tours bring visitors under the towering cliffs of a freshwater fjord carved out by glaciers. Waterfalls, marine inlets, sea stacks, sandy beaches, and colourful nearby fishing villages complete the phenomenal natural and cultural surroundings of Gros Morne National Park of Canada.
Forums & Mailing Lists
Guides & Tour Operators
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
Newfoundland & Nova Scotia - Boreal specialties, seabird colonies & numerous breeding landbirds in the beautiful Canadian Maritimes…
Guide - Dave Brown
I'm 32 and recently spend nearly all of my time, birding, photographing birds or reading about and studying birds online. I'm currently working as a professional bird guide, based out of St. John's. Contact me via email to organize a private or group day trip. I offer a selection of day trips around St .John's and the Avalon Peninsula. My primary focus in the winter months are gulls and seabirds, although, my trips are customizable to suit your needs…
Newfoundland and Labrador offers some of the best seabird watching on the Atlantic ocean. Our province is home to dozens of seabirds and 95% of the worlds breeding pairs of Atlantic Puffin. Other common species include gannets, shearwaters, and murres…
Of all the wonderful places to go bird-watching in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Codroy Valley tops the list for the number of different species and for rarities and unusual birds. The diverse lush and fertile habitats of the Codroy River Valley provide shelter, feeding, staging and nesting grounds for a wealth of waterfowl, waders and warblers as well as many other species. Breeding, migrant, vagrant and wintering surprises await your discovery during every day and season of the year…
The Cape Shore Tours
Cape St Mary's, Baccalieu Island, and Witless Bay Seabird Ecological Reserves Nature and History Tour…
Newfoundland & Nova Scotia with Kim Eckert & Marshall Iliff July 7 - July 17, 2004
Travel with Wildland Tours, and let our experienced local hosts introduce you to England’s oldest colony and Canada’s youngest province. Share the history, open spaces, warmth of our people, and special spirituality of our landscapes Here we still have eagles and osprey soaring in a clear sky. We have places where the land appears to move, but it’s really the backs of the world’s largest caribou herd…
Our primary goal will be to sample the varied birdlife of the island. Our trip list will be relatively small but the number of individuals of many seabirds will be impressive. We'll visit seabird colonies with vast arrays of gannets, kittiwakes and alcids, and search for the landbirds of the province's boreal forests, bogs and barrens…
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2009 [12 December] - Dave Brown - Southern Avalon Peninsula
I ran a mini tour on the southern Avalon Peninsula. The weather was truly exceptional with temperatures above zero and sunny conditions all day…
2009 [12 December] - Dave Brown - Winter Birding
In the darkness of night and a steady, thick, snow, I rolled into the Dominion Parking lot at 6:00 am this morning to meet my 5 guests for my Winter on the Avalon Birding Tour…
2009 [12 December] - Dave Brown - Winter Birds of St Johns
I met with a Dan Kaspar from Texas today to search for the NL specialties. At first, one might wonder why someone would travel from bird rich Texas to bird in NL in December. Why they get more species on a good Xmas count than we do in a big year…
2012 [07 July] - Chris Benesh - Newfoundland & Nova Scotia
…The stretch of the Glen Elg-Waternish road we covered was also quite enjoyable, complete with some stunning Evening Grosbeaks. Finally, on our way to Halifax, we made a final stop to pick up the Acadian subspecies of Nelson's Sparrow. A great way to wrap up our visit to northeastern Canada…
2013 [07 July] - Chris Benesh & Lena Senko - Newfoundland & Nova Scotia
…Newfoundland’s plankton-rich waters attract around 40 million seabirds each year, and in the summer, almost every small island and cliff face is populated by a colony of ocean-loving nesters. Our first taste of seabird spectacles came on a boat tour in Witless Bay. The swarms of Atlantic Puffins, Common Murres, Razorbills, and Black-legged Kittiwakes flying to and from their island nests by the thousands sent our heads spinning. We were able to pick out a few Thick-billed Murres and Northern Fulmars on their nests, while enjoying close looks at several Humpback and Minke Whales. Later, at Cape St. Mary’s, we gawked at the spectacular sight of 50,000+ nesting Northern Gannets…
2013 [07 July] - Robert Tuveson - Newfoundland & Nova Scotia
…Being keen ABA-twitchers we wanted to go there in the summertime for a load of speciality birds, i.e. breeding species like Roseate Tern, Black-headed Gull and Bicknell’s Thrush, alcids like Razorbill, Black Guillemot and Atlantic Puffin and seabirds like Great- and Manx Shearwater and Wilson’s- and Leach’s Storm- Petrel…
2015 [07 July] - Chris Benesh - Newfoundland & Nova Scotia
The 2015 Newfoundland & Nova Scotia got off to a bit of rocky start with summer showers making us keep rain jackets and umbrellas close at hand. Yet, despite that, we had a terrific boat trip out into Witless Bay where we witnessed one of nature's greatest spectacles. The many thousands of murres, puffins, razorbills, and kittiwakes swarming around Gull Island comprise a sight that leaves one speechless. And it was a terrific start to our adventure.
2016 [07 July] - Chris Benesh & Doug Gochfeld - Newfoundland & Nova Scotia
...We started out by birding around picturesque St. John’s for the first morning, going to the top of Signal Hill for a bird's eye view of the harbor and a taste of the landscape we would enjoy for the next 10 days. We made a couple of productive birding stops as we made our way down to Cape Spear (the easternmost point in Canada), seeing our first Pine Grosbeaks and the endemic Type 8 Red Crossbill. From Cape Spear, we headed south towards Bay Bulls, and one of the main highlights of the trip, the boat trip to the Witless Bay Ecological Preserve. As we got out to offshore waters, we encountered fog, though the growing numbers of alcids, a Sooty Shearwater, and views of at least one Humpback Whale buoyed everyone’s mood as we approached the breeding islands through the mist....
2017 [07 July] - Chris Benesh - Newfoundland & Nova Scotia
Summer in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia: seafood, puffins, gorgeous vistas, breeding warblers, and, of course, lots of gannets… this tour had it all! Chris and I were happy to share the above perks with a fun bunch of birders for another successful tour of a few of Canada’s finest Atlantic provinces.
2017 [07 July] - Peg Abbot - Newfoundland & Labrador Cruise
... Peg met with those that wanted to for breakfast, and a walk by the seawall close to the hotel. We saw our few first birds: Song Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow, Yellow Warbler, and a couple of Red-eyed Vireos...
Places to Stay
Burgeo Haven B&B
Burgeo Haven is a Historic home of former Fish Merchants, situated on the waterfront in a quiet fishing community of Burgeo…
White Sails Inn & Cottages
The Eastport Peninsula is a haven for birdwatchers. Of the 378 Species that have been recorded in Newfoundland, many are found locally. Owls, Bald Eagles and a wide variety of Boreal Forest Birds. Occasionally, rare birds such as the Eurasian Oystercatcher, and the Common Redshank have been sighted on the Peninsula…
Bird The Rock
This site is the beginning of something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. It’s much more than a blog – it’s an information center about birds and birding in Newfoundland (Canada), geared towards both local birders and those planning/wishing to visit from abroad. For now, I’ve added a few features that you might find helpful, but I’m hoping to add more…
Birding Newfoundland with Dave Brown
An account of birding in Newfoundland. Updated daily with sightings, trip reports and various other topics related to birds and birding in Newfoundland…
Birding With Alvan
Following the passage of migration in the far Northeast - Alvan Buckley has been birding in the provinces of Newfoundland, Ontario and Quebec in Canada since 2008…
Newfoundland Nature Projects
Brendan Kelly is a 17 year old aspiring wildlife photographer located in Paradise Newfoundland. His love for birds and conservation has led him on several adventures across Canada and the Arctic to learn and photograph wildlife. Brendan holds the title of a Newalta Wetland Hero for his extensive nest box project for birds such as Tree Swallows and Boreal Owls. Brendan has been recognized for his work many times by local newspapers, The Conservator magazine and his photos have been used by organizations such as Ducks Unlimited…
Retiring With Lisa De Leon
Articles, images and gateway to information about birding in Newfoundland….
The Bruce Mactavish Newfoundland Birding Blog
Bruce Mactavish has been an avid birdwatcher in Newfoundland since 1976…
Birds of Newfoundland and Labrador
The province of Newfoundland and Labrador consists of the island of Newfoundland, mainland Labrador and over seven thousand small islands. The province’s total area is 405,720 square kilometres…
Newfoundland and Labrador Birdwatching
With over 350 species of birds, there's no question Newfoundland and Labrador is a major destination for birdwatching. Whether it's by land or sea, you can get up close and personal to millions of seabirds, rare birds, and birds of prey. Between the boat tours and kayaking tours, the ecological reserves and the many hiking trails, there's a bird around every turn…