By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: My son belongs to an intermediate level soccer team. Some of the fathers were interested in organizing a nature trip to see the spring bird migration. I've heard Point Pelee is good for this. What do you think?

A: Situated on the most southerly tip of mainland Canada, Point Pelee National Park has been the hallmark location for birding enthusiasts for many years.

The best time to visit is May when 25 species of wood warblers and hundreds of other bird species are expected to rest in this area with its Carolinian forests.

Interestingly, these animals make their pilgrimage every year, some venturing from as far away as Central and South America. Like clockwork, the birds arrive at the same time en route to their summer nesting grounds in the great Canadian north.

There is much to do for children and dads alike. When you arrive at the Visitor Information Centre, be sure to pick up a brochure outlining the park's events which includes daily bird hikes with a bird expert. This two-hour hike is scheduled daily. The price is $4 per person, with a maximum of 20 persons in a group.

The park recommends pre-registration. In addition the Visitor Centre offers daily workshops where the boys can get some free birding tips from the experts.

If it's your first trip here, the Visitor Centre serves up a great 20-minute slide presentation entitled, "Where Canada Begins" which introduces visitors to the park.

Point Pelee National Park's web site,, provides a detailed list of birds that are expected to make their way to this tiny green oasis that encompasses a mere 15 square kilometres.

Piping plovers and acadian flycatchers, both on the endangered species list are awaited as are laughing gulls, willets and ruby throated hummingbirds. It's best to arm yourself with binoculars and a good zoom lens camera to shoot those prized close-ups.

If you have any questions, contact Point Pelee National Park at 519.322.2365.


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