One of the staging areas for large groups of Tundra Swans is located at the Aylmer Wildlife Management Area in Ontario, Canada. They refuel on their migration to the high Arctic Region around this time of year. Thousands of them congregate here and are fed corn twice a day.
The management area reduces the amount of corn dropped for the swans to encourage them to move on.
Southwestern Ontario is situated en route where these birds are often observed flying overhead, or on the ground feeding on the grassy berm adjacent to the ponds. Aylmer Wildlife Management Area is the best place in Southwestern Ontario to view thousands of Tundra Swans. We saw about one thousand on our trip.
We had around a thousand Tundra Swan on the Niagara River this winter. Likely, they moved on to Western Ontario. The daily feedings provide the birds with nourishment for their long journey north, as well as keep them near to bird watchers by and on the elevated viewing stands. They fatten up on corn which helps them beef up for the long journey. We also saw a few blue morph Snow Geese and two Ross’s Geese. A pair of Sandhill Cranes were spotted at Long Point.
I cannot recommend Aylmer Wildlife Management Area more. Whether a birder or not, seeing so many birds in one place is truly spectacular. Each spring, thousands of Tundra Swans make their way from their wintering grounds on the Atlantic coast to their breeding grounds in the Arctic, crossing the Western NY and Western Ontario regions. If you get a chance to visit, don’t miss this beautiful sight.