These forests are known for supporting a rich breeding bird community, as well as an astounding array of other species.
What species are in the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA?
With over 100 species of breeding birds, it is a fantastic place to observe and learn.
There is something magical about watching birds at work building nests, sitting on eggs, and feeding and protecting their young.
This forest complex offers opportunities to observe Louisiana Waterthrush, Prothonotary Warbler, and Acadian Flycatcher – all species at risk – at the northern limit of their breeding range.
On average there are nine pairs of Acadian Flycatchers nesting in the Norfolk Forest IBA, 36% of the Canadian population!
Biodiversity in Turkey Point
The biodiversity in this area is also something to mention, as this IBA and provincial park contain an astonishing number of insects, plants, and other species.
The Norfolk Forest Complex IBA has some of the most significant blocks of deciduous forest that remain in Canada.
The network of forest tracts and natural corridors are protected in part by Long Point Region Conservation Authority, various nature clubs, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and — of course — Ontario Parks.
Each parcel of protected land contributes to the most expansive forest in southwestern Ontario.
Bioblitz in Norfolk
A recent and inspiring BioBlitz in the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA confirms just how diverse the area is.
A BioBlitz is a 24-hour period where as many species are identified as possible; this was the first science-intense BioBlitz to focus entirely on an IBA.
Thanks to the hard work of around 50 experts and volunteers, over 1,460 species were identified in the Norfolk Forest Complex IBA (including 600+ plant species, 388 moth species, and 300 other insect species).
Some fascinating finds at Turkey Point Provincial Park that day (and night), were the Hooded Warbler, the Eastern Whip-poor-will, a beautiful Io Moth, and the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle.
This event captured some amazing biodiversity data for the area, and wouldn’t have been possible without our enthusiastic experts, generous funding from the Government of Canada, and support from the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Check out the project page here.
So if you’re in the mood for some camping amid a magnificent forest with amazing biodiversity at your fingertips, I’m sure Turkey Point Provincial Park’s staff and their mascot Tom the Turkey will welcome you with open wings, er, arms!
Bird Studies Canada thanks the Ontario Trillium Foundation for generously supporting the Ontario IBA Program. To be in the loop with these monthly blogs, sign up for the Ontario IBA Newsletter.