Summer birdwatching bliss
in Muskoka 

As the sun rises over the serene waters of Lake Muskoka, can you imagine the sweet serenade of birdsong greeting you? Picture yourself, a vintage mug in hand, surrounded by towering pines, where every chirp and flutter brings a sense of calm and connection to the natural world. 

Have you ever wondered how the crisp morning air, filled with the alluring melody of a bird like the Eastern Meadowlark, can evoke such a profound sense of relaxation and wonder? Summer at Duff’s Cottages invites you to rediscover these simple pleasures and immerse yourself in the enchanting symphony of Muskoka’s avian life.

Nestled in the heart of Port Carling, our cottages provide an ideal setting for immersing yourself in the region’s rich avian life. 

Sandy Haven Cottage

Here’s why summer birdwatching at Duff’s Cottages is an experience you won’t want to miss.

The Symphony of Lake Muskoka

From dawn to dusk, the sounds of Muskoka create a mesmerizing backdrop for birdwatching. Mornings start with the sweet “Oh-sweet-Canada-Canada” song of the White-throated Sparrow, the distinctive “fee-bee” call of the Eastern Phoebe, and the “wicka-wicka-wicka” of the Northern Flicker Woodpecker (pictured) pecking at the soil. As the sun rises higher, the soft rustle of leaves, the whisper of pines, and the gentle splash of waves add layers to the natural symphony. The day concludes with the iconic, haunting call of the loon as night falls over the lake.

Sandy Haven Cottage

Birdwatching Highlights

Eastern Phoebe (pictured): Around the dock and other waterside structures, look for the Eastern Phoebe. This bird, easily identified by its tail-wagging behaviour and distinctive “fee-bee” call, often nests under eaves and overhangs. By summer, you can observe the phoebes feeding their fledglings and possibly starting a second brood.

Killdeer: In open areas with grass or gravel, you might hear the distinctive cry of the killdeer. These birds are particularly entertaining with their dramatic distraction displays to protect their young. Spotting the young killdeer, miniature versions of their parents, is a delightful sight.

Veery and Wood Thrush: Near forest edges, the melodious song of the veery can be heard, while more profound in the woods, the rich, flute-like notes of the wood thrush resonate. These birds are busy raising their young during the summer months, adding to the forest’s lively soundtrack.

Prime Birdwatching Locations Near Port Carling

While Duff’s hosts a diverse range of bird species on our cottage grounds, Muskoka also offers numerous prime birdwatching spots close by:

Huckleberry Rock Lookout: Just a short drive from Port Carling, this lookout offers stunning views and excellent birdwatching opportunities. The rocky outcrops and surrounding forests are home to various songbirds and raptors.

Windermere: Located nearby, Windermere provides excellent birdwatching along the shores of Lake Rosseau. As you explore this beautiful area, look for waterfowl, herons, and other water birds.

Muskoka Lakes Farm & Winery: A bit further afield, this location offers more than cranberry products. The surrounding wetlands and forest edges provide ideal habitats for observing various bird species, including warblers and thrushes.

Hardy Lake Provincial Park: A short drive east, Hardy Lake offers trails through diverse habitats, from hardwood forests to wetlands. It’s an excellent spot for observing woodpeckers, chickadees, and nuthatches.

Minett: Situated along the shores of Lake Joseph, Minett is another fantastic birdwatching location. The mix of forest and water habitats attracts a variety of species, including loons, ducks, and songbirds.

Tips for a Successful Birdwatching Trip

  1. Essential Gear: Bring binoculars, a camera, and a bird field guide to enhance your experience.
  2. Early Mornings: The best time for birdwatching is early morning when birds are most active.
  3. Stay Quiet and Patient: Birds are sensitive to noise and movement. Patience and stillness are essential to successful birdwatching.
  4. Respect Nature: Always follow local guidelines and respect wildlife habitats to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for you and the birds.

Plan Your Birdwatching Escape

Duff’s provides the perfect retreat for birdwatchers. Our cozy, untamed and beautiful natural surroundings offer a relaxing base to explore Muskoka’s rich birdlife. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a newcomer, a summer stay at Duff’s Cottages promises an unforgettable experience.

At Duff’s Cottages, the wonders of nature are just outside your door, ready to be discovered. For more information and to book your stay, contact us today. 


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Reach out today to check availability and make your reservation. 

Visit US

1371 Foreman Road,
Port Carling, Ontario P0B 1J0

Call Us

Toronto: (416) 214-3833 (DUFF)
Port Carling: (705) 765-5279