Shorebird Celebration

Come join us at this upcoming event

Shorebird Celebration

The annual Hillman Marsh Shorebird Celebration takes place at the Hillman Marsh Conservation Area in Leamington Ontario from May 1 to May 21 2023.

Over one hundred species of birds use Hillman as a migration stopover which draws sandpipers, ducks, warblers and frequently spotted annual rarities such as the Yellow-headed Blackbird, Willet, Marbled Godwit, Eurasian Wigeon, Glossy Ibis and Eastern Kingbird.The diverse habitats of Hillman Marsh attract and support marsh, shore and field birds such as herons, egrets, terns, songbirds, waterfowl, and birds of prey.  

The shorebird habitat at Hillman Marsh is unique in North America. The managed habitat creates the perfect combination of mudflats to provide nutrition and a resting area for migrating shorebirds, offering outstanding viewing opportunities.  

The walking trails, nature centre, washrooms and viewing towers at Hillman Marsh can be accessed from the main entrance. There are also bird identification signs at the shelter highlighting distinguishing characteristics and a variety of species that frequent the area. 

Join us for specific programs, or come and go on your own. If you want to learn the basics of shorebird identification.

Hillman Marsh Conservation Area is located just minutes from Point Pelee National Park. With 5 kilometres of trails around this precious marshland habitat.  

Entry is $10 per vehicle.  

Shorebird Celebration Programs

Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) is dedicated to the study of bird life in Ontario. Join volunteers from the Ontario Field Ornithologists on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 3pm – 5pm at the Hillman Marsh Shorebird Habitat.


Jean Iron is a retired school principal with a master’s degree in education from the University of Toronto. A natural guide and gifted teacher, she is one of Ontario’s best-known birdwatchers, served as President of the Ontario Field Ornithologists for nine years and edited its newsletter for 14 years.

Jean travels to many parts of the world studying and enjoying wildlife, human history and digital photography. Her photos are featured in many nature publications. She is also a much-sought speaker for nature clubs and festivals. She is particularly interested in shorebirds and gulls, and authored Shorebirds of Southern Ontario, an informative and user-friendly field guide. Jean was also the key contributor to creating the shorebird identification signage at Hillman Marsh Conservation Area.

Annually since 2002, Jean has traveled north to Hudson Bay and James Bay  to survey shorebirds and geese for Canadian Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. She presents shorebird identification workshops at Point Pelees’s Festival of Birds in May. Join Jean on May 7 2023, 3pm to 5pm for a shorebird identification hike. Registration is required, as only 15 tickets are available. Please bring binoculars, and if you have one, a scope. Register here. Meet Jean at the Shorebird Viewing Shelter.


Nicole Shangi is a recent graduate from the University of Windsor with a Master’s degree in Biology, and Undergrad in Environmental Science. She has been birding for many years, and is also interested in everything nature; plants, animals, fungi, you name it. Most recently she was the Official Hawk Counter at Holiday Beach Conservation Area, where she realized just how much she loves experiencing and sharing nature, especially birds! Currently she offers guided birding walks in natural areas around Windsor/Essex, teaching folks about the natural wonders our area has to offer! Join Nicole at the Shorebird Viewing Shelter on Friday May 12, Saturday May 13 and Saturday May 20 from 3pm to 5pm. Head out for a hike to see who might be visiting the shorebird cell! Bring your scope/binoculars. Registration is required, please register here.

Birding and Seasonal Passes!

Get your Spring Birding Pass for Hillman Marsh Conservation Area! Use this pass to experience spring birding at Hillman Marsh, April 15 through May 31.

Get your Seasonal Pass! It provides unlimited access to Holiday Beach, John R. Park Homestead, and Hillman Marsh Conservation Areas, as well as special events all season long!