In today’s tech-heavy environment, it can oftentimes be difficult to interest your children in anything that isn’t taking place on a screen. Even if you’re one of the few families able to keep strict boundaries in place regarding screen time, the appeal of video games and social media apps are hard to compete against. That being said, the natural world is still a stunning and fascinating place, and when given the opportunity, most children and adolescents will be happy to be engaged by it.
If you’re planning a Niagara family vacation, let the beauty of the place pull your kids’ faces away from their screens and back into reality. Here are a handful of places to take your kids bird watching that are truly invigorating and truly flush with fun-to-spot birds — just make sure you pack enough pairs of binoculars to keep the bickering to a minimum.
Beamer Memorial Conservation Area
Beamer Memorial Conservation Area is part of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve, and it offers amazing views of cliffs and terraces, the shoreline of Lake Ontario, the 40 Mile Creek Valley, as well as some lovely waterfalls if you venture in far enough. It boasts a wide variety of old growth forest, and the wildlife and bird watching is always worth the trip.
Especially during spring and early summer, the area becomes one of the best places to spot birds of prey in the region. A wide variety of hawks, falcons, vultures, and bald eagles migrate through the area during this time every year, and if you’ve never seen scores of these magnificent creatures while they soar and hunt, you and your children are in for a rare and memorable treat.
In addition to birds of prey, be sure you also keep an eye out for the many water birds that call the area home, including great blue herons, numerous types of swans, and wood ducks.
The Niagara River Corridor
The first Globally Significant Important Bird Area designated such in North America, the Niagara River Corridor can always be counted upon to offer up a wealth of bird species. Numerous types of ducks, swans, and geese routinely grace the area, and it also boasts the most varied concentration of gulls in the entire continent.
How many different species of gull can be spotted along the Niagara River Corridor? Well, depending upon the time of year, as many as 19. Head here if your children would enjoy a bit of competitive bird watching, and have them see who can find the most species of gull over the course of a morning or afternoon.
Mud Lake Conservation Area
Situated next to the Old Welland Canal in Port Colborne, Mud Lake was built and set aside to protect a wide swath of flora and fauna that now call it home. With over 54 hectares of grassland and woods and a wetland that encompasses around 60 hectares, it’s an ideal place to hike, fish, canoe, and bird watch.
From the passing of migratory birds to yellow-billed loons and yellow-rumped warblers, you and your kids will love the variety of winged creatures you’ll get to see in this peaceful preserve.
Take advantage of everything Niagara has to offer when you’re here on vacation by taking some time out to bird watch with your kids.