Winter Birdwatching

Join us for a guided tour to see some of Newfoundland’s most famous winter birds!

Tufted Ducks are a regular part of winter in St. John’s, with more than two dozen hanging around in recent years.

Many birders visit Newfoundland in winter, when many other tourists steer clear. That’s because our island is known for its winter bird specialties – most of which can be found in and around St. John’s. Seabirds such as Dovekie, Thick-billed Murre, and Great Cormorant can often be found at coastal locations. European waterfowl such as Tufted Duck, Eurasian Wigeon and Eurasian Green-winged (“Common”) Teal routinely winter along with local North American species and provide point-blank looks. Some years, northern finches (including Crossbills, Redpolls, and  Pine Grosbeaks) are present in large numbers. Purple Sandpipers, one of the hardiest shorebirds on earth, spend their winter on rocky outcrops in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. Occasionally, Snowy Owls show up to hunt along our bountiful coasts. And sometimes a European rarity such as a Northern Lapwing or Redwing can show up!

St. John’s has been the only reliable place in North America to see Yellow-legged Gull, with at least one present each of the past 10+ winters.

St. John’s is also famous for its large concentration of northern, arctic and even rare gulls. At least one Yellow-legged Gull has overwintered in St. John’s for the past decade, making this the only place in North America where this species can be seen on a regular basis. Thousands of Iceland Gulls, Glaucous Gulls, more than a hundred Black-headed Gulls, and usually a handful of European Common Gulls are found among the other usual suspects. All in all, up to a dozen species of gulls can sometimes be seen in the run of a day.

–       This tour would typically begin at Cape Spear (the easternmost point in North America), followed by visits to some smaller fishing villages, and then most of the day would be spent looking for special target species in one of the oldest cities in Canada.

** Custom and/or multi-day tours are also available **


Contact Bird⋅The⋅Rock for more information or to book your winter tour now.

Snowy Owls often show up in late fall and winter to hunt along our coasts.

Snowy Owls often show up in late fall and winter to hunt along our coasts.

Dovekie (known locally as “bullbirds”) are often found along our coast during winter.

Boreal Chickadee

Boreal Chickadees are year-long residents in our forests, keeping a cheery demeanour regardless of the weather!