What do a Bald Eagle, a Great Horned Owl and a Red-tailed Hawk have in common? They’re all considered birds of prey (also known as Raptors) who hunt and eat rodents and small animals. Believe it or not, some of these feathered friends may be found in our own backyards. Some of these Raptors are endangered and if you head over to Mountsberg, you can see various species up close.
No doubt, these Raptors at Mountsberg are thriving today because of the care received. Since our toddler is a natural-born explorer (and bird lover), we’ve been upping our hiking game as of late. More time outdoors means we get to do what we love the most, hiking! For this reason, we explored Mountsberg and boy, did it impress!
Did you know?
- Ontario has over 27 diverse species of raptors
- Some raptors like the Osprey and Peregrine Falcon are found in Ontario as well as worldwide
- Furthermore, Mountsberg is home to 15 different species of native birds who can no longer survive in the wild
Mountsberg is not your typical Conservation area
First, our top 3 reasons that make Mountsberg outstanding:
- Family fun farm. This is a BIG one of course for us animal lovers. Meet and greet several farm animals such as horses, chickens, rabbits, sheep and even chickadees! If you love the barn atmosphere, you will absolutely love the super cool playground in one of the barns which has multiple levels, and even a pulley to swing across. Best way to burn off all that toddler energy!
- Beautiful Bison. Look no further as Mountsberg has a free roaming herd living in the paddocks. Unfortunately, we missed the Bison but, the grounds keeper informed us Bison spend most of the day at the water hole to cool down. The nature walk to view the Bison goes through a forest is and is just under 2kms. Peaceful way to spend the afternoon.
- Go fishing. The reservoir at Mountsberg is home to many frogs, ducks and fish. Depending on what season you visit, it is easy to spot these little creatures. By all means, if you enjoy fishing, it possible to do this at one of the docks on site.
Let’s go Raptors, let’s go
In addition, Mountsburg has a Raptor centre which serves as a sanctuary to over 15 various species of birds of prey injured, abandoned and can no longer live on their own. Remarkably, there is a public viewing of several birds in the Raptor show which takes place at noon and 2pm daily. Yet, this special show is about 20 mins in length. However, during the winter time, there are no shows offered.
Protect endangered birds before it is too late
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) about one fifth of the bird species worldwide are either threatened or endangered.
Many birds that we have encountered at the conservation area were hurt by humans (for example, hit by cars or have flown into structures). Moreover, hundreds of birds that belong to endangered species are killed each year such as the Peregrine Falcons. In many cases, bird hunting regulations either do not exist or are not enforced which caused native population to plummet.
Come to Mountsberg to learn about these birds of prey and what you can do to help protect them.
Below are just a few profiles of our avian friends residing at Mountsberg.
Easy hiking trails for all ages
In fact, we were at Mountsberg while our son was asleep in the stroller, so we hiked two trails about 1.3 km each long.
- Wildlife Walkway. This hike was very easy and was an accessible trail past the bison enclosure with vistas of the reservoir. To start off, if you’re lucky you may even spot resident eagles! Don’t forget to bring bug repellent as there is still water in the area that attracts mosquitoes even in the late summer.
- Sugar Bush Trail. This trail leads to Maple Town. In the summer, the cabins seemed abandoned as there is not much to see except the structures themselves. However, in the Spring is when all the magic happens. Maple trees mature and start to produce sap, collected and boiled into syrup. This is the best time to taste fresh maple syrup. Also, there are wagon rides available. This was a scenic trail that we recommend.
Overall, we enjoyed our time hiking in Mountsberg. Next time, we’ll hike the Lakeshore lookout trail (which is 5.6km long) which has some scenic views. As a result, this trail gives us another reason to come back!
For a copy of the Mountsberg brochure, click here.
You’ll want to come back to Mountsberg
Generally speaking, Mountsberg is an excellent destination for the entire family. With ample hiking trails, a large reservoir, a sanctuary of Native birds, farm animals, a herd of bison, barn playground, and a Maple syrup village, it’s hard not to come back as there is always something new and exciting happening here.
We loved all the birds of prey and the Raptor centre. Thus, it is an excellent way to educate others to take care and protect our avian friends.
Don’t miss out on all the fun
Most noteworthy, there are two special events coming up at Mountsberg Conservation area that you don’t want to miss!
- Raptors in Focus. Sept. 16, 2017. Have your photo taken with a Raptor. $35 per person.
- Pajama Starry Nights. Sept. 23, 2017. 7:00pm-9:00pm. Go star-gazing with friends and learn from astronomers about the night sky. Storytelling around the fire. Adults $17 +HST Children $12 +HST Seniors $12 +HST
Location: 2259 Millborough Line,Campbellville, Ontario.
For more information, please visit Conservation Halton.
Nevertheless, if would like to visit another Conservation area, Halton region has 7 amazing parks to choose from. A few weeks ago, we explored Crawford Lake (another Halton park) and loved it! Read Why are children so obsessed with Crawford Lake? 5 reasons to go right now.
What are some of your favourite parks, conservation areas and green spaces? Please share in the comments section below. Thanks!
Darlynne founded Live Love Backpack to inspire others to make a positive difference in the world through traveling, volunteering, and self-awareness. Darlynne has traveled to over 76 countries. Family adventures include backpacking off the beaten path, hiking in Ontario and creating happy memories.