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2024 Kawartha Lakes Bird of the Year: final poll results

Osprey landing in nest

Osprey landing in nestKawartha Lakes – The 2024 Kawartha Lakes Bird of the Year contest has come to a close. In celebration of receiving Bird Friendly City Certification on March 22, 2024, the municipality, in partnership with Bird Friendly Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes, launched an online poll to determine which favorite species of bird should be declared the official 2024 Kawartha Lakes Bird of the Year.

Over 500 participants took part in two rounds of online voting. The Osprey soared ahead and took the lead, winning the contest and being declared the official winner.

"We are thrilled that the osprey has been chosen as the official city bird of the City of Kawartha Lakes. The osprey is a magnificent raptor that symbolizes the natural beauty and rich biodiversity of our region. Its presence near our lakes and rivers highlights the importance of healthy, clean waterways and thriving ecosystems. As a bird that depends on both land and water habitats, the osprey perfectly represents the interconnectedness of our environment and the vital role we all play in preserving it." -Thom Luloff, Professor Conservation Biology, Fleming College on behalf of the Bird Friendly Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes Coalition.

The Osprey is a fitting choice for the Bird of the Year designation; not only is it central to the Kawartha Lakes logo, but it is also a common sight to see throughout the municipality. It is not unusual to look up and see large Osprey nests perched atop many trees or hydro poles, a sign of efforts made by the community decades ago to ensure the Ospreys made a comeback from dangerously low numbers. Dubbed “Ontario’s fishing hawk," the Osprey is always near water, such as the shorelines of large lakes, rivers, and ponds. Much like many of our ‘snowbird’ residents, osprey also migrate, spending the winter months in the warmer south.

The runners-up in the contest were the Black-capped Chickadee, placing second, and the Northern Cardinal, securing third place.

2024 Kawartha Lakes Bird of the Year bar chart showing Osprey in first place, Black-capped Chickadee in second place, Northern Cardinal in third place, Barred Owl in forth place and the Eastern Loggerhead shrike in fifth place.

To view the final results of the poll, visit the Bird Friendly Kawartha Lakes Bird of the Year 2024 project page. To learn more about bird-friendly initiatives, visit our Bird-Friendly City page.

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