Ontario Provincial and Regional Rare Bird Alerts and Birding News

Below is a list of provincial and regional sources of information about birds in Ontario. It includes email groups, instant messaging services, and social media groups. Please note that many of these have no affiliation with OFO. To report an error or omission, email ofo@ofo.ca.

Provincial Rare Bird Alerts (RBAs)

  • Ontbirds
    • Provincial email-based Listserv run by OFO.
  • Ontario Rare Bird Alert (eBird)
    • Automatic eBird-based alerts for the province. Note this includes all records in Ontario “flagged” as rare at the local level from the previous seven days. Can be viewed online or subscribed to for email alerts (hourly or daily).
  • OFO Discord Server
    • Run by OFO, see the Ontario-wide eBird alerts channel that are alerts from eBird submissions of the rarest Ontario birds with updates at a maximum of every three hours.
  • Ontario Bird Alert Discord server (private Discord server, requires membership)
    • Discord server (best used with the Discord app but can be used online with a web browser) with separate “channels”; for regional alerts/discussion but also features an Ontario-wide rare bird alert channel.
    • To join, you need a valid invitation link: this one was updated on 7th April 2022.
    • If the link does not work, please contact the Ontario Bird Alert Discord team.
  • Ontario Rare Bird Alert (Google group)
    • Email-based group (can be viewed online only) with custom hourly and daily feed from eBird of provincial-level rarities.

Provincial Birding News and Discussion

  • OFO on Facebook
  • Birdnews
    • Provincial email-based Listserv run by OFO for announcements, CBC results, FOY sightings, hawk watch reports, bird festival sightings, etc.
  • Ontario Birds (Facebook group)
    • Group for anything related to birds/birding in Ontario.
  • Advanced Birding in Ontario (Facebook group)
    • Group for discussing advanced bird/birding ideas (e.g. difficult ID, hybrids, etc.).
  • Learning About Ontario Birds (Facebook group)
    • Group for anything related to birds/birding in Ontario

Regional Birding News and Discussion (including local Rare Bird Alerts)

WhatsApp Regional Groups

There are several regional WhatsApp groups for sharing local sightings of interest. To join these you will need to have WhatsApp installed on your mobile device and contact one of the admins with your request to join. Some groups are limited to people who actually live in the area. Note that there is a limit of 256 people in a WhatsApp group and administrators use their discretion to limit the number of members.

WhatsApp GroupAdminAdmin Contact
Algonquin Rare Bird AlertJeff Skevington, Rick Stronksjhskevington@gmail.com
Long Point BirdsStu Mackenze and Adam Timpfstu.a.mackenzie@gmail.com
Ottawa RBAMike Tate, Michelle Martinmichaeltate@rogers.com or raquettail@gmail.com
P.E.C. Bird AlertSam Shepherdsamshepherd@gmail.com
Presqu’ile BirdsBill Gilmourtbki2012@gmail.com


Blackburnian Warbler
Photo: Carol Horner

American Wigeon
Female in front
Photo: Jean Iron

Pectoral Sandpiper
Photo: Sam Barone

Photo: Frank and Sandra Horvath

White-throated Sparrow
Photo: Richard Dubiel

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Photo: Sandra and Frank Horvath

Common Grackle
Photo: John Millman

Spruce Grouse
Photo: Jean Iron

Bonaparte's Gull
Photo: Barry Cherriere

Canada Jay
Gray Jays from Dan Strickland's study, known as GORLBOSR and KOOLOOSR
Photo: Saul Bocian

Yellow Warbler
Photo: Mark Peck