Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Welcome to the September installment of “IBA in Provincial Parks,” presented by Ontario IBA Coordinator Amanda Bichel of Bird Studies Canada.

Get out the champagne! We don’t often add new IBAs to the Canadian family of sites, so when we do, it’s a special occasion.

The new Frontenac Forest Important Bird and Biodiversity Area encompasses Frontenac Provincial Park and the Queens University Biological Station (QUBS), and is designated for one of the most beautiful warblers in existence: the Cerulean Warbler.

Close-up of the cerulean warbler.  Blue head, white chest.Cerulean warbler. Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Services

A blue beauty, the cerulean warbler breeds and forages in mature deciduous forests that have gaps in the canopy.

These conditions are exactly what you can find in the IBA Frontenac Forests, including Frontenac Provincial Park and its surrounding areas.

Where is the IBA Frontenac Forests?

The region is known as the Frontenac Arc and is the connection between the Canadian Shield and the Adirondack Mountains. Frontenac Provincial Park is located 45 minutes north of Kingston.

map showing the boundaries of Frontenac IBA

Cerulean warbler

Unfortunately, due to habitat loss on its wintering and breeding grounds, the cerulean warbler population has been declining dramatically since the 1960s. This species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and is endangered in Canada.

Only 500 pairs breed in Canada, and it is estimated that an incredible 250 of those pairs breed in the new IBA – that’s half the Canadian population!

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Conservationists are working on the issue in the United States and Canada by monitoring populations, creating habitat and recruiting landowners to be wildlife habitat managers on their lands.

rocky lake walk

Queens University has already conducted significant ecological and conservation research on the species in this region. We hope that the IBA Program will be a catalyst to promote this type of action in and around the new IBA.

Do you want to help protect this endangered species?

Report your sightings!

If you see a Warbler (or any other bird), submit checklists to

blue songbird (cerulean warbler)Photo: US Department of Agriculture

If you own land in the area, learn the best management practices for Cerulean Warblers (we can help). Otherwise, keep telling your friends and family how crucial protecting Ontario’s biodiversity is to our at-risk species.

Do you visit the IBA Bosques de Frontenac?

Mark Conboy, program coordinator for the Long Point Bird Observatory, knows the Frontenac area and says:

“To paddle and hike through Frontenac Provincial Park is to immerse yourself in a mosaic of forests, wetlands and deep lakes, populated by an incredible diversity of organisms and a rich cultural heritage, all located in the geological paradise of the Frontenac Arch.”

Leaf covered trail through a rocky section

We could not agree more. Frontenac is one of the natural gems of southeastern Ontario and fall is the perfect time to experience its beauty.

Don’t forget to load eBird on your phone before you hit the road!

DIFFERENT logosBird Studies Canada thanks the Ontario Trillium Foundation for generously supporting the Ontario IBA Program. To stay up to date with these monthly messages blogs, register for the Ontario OTHER Bulletin.