Going To The Birds

For the past several months I’ve been busy chasing other interests and haven’t been a regular contributor here at Thursday Doors.

The problem of course is that the longer I’m away, the harder it’s becoming to get my head back into blogging in general and doors in particular.  I may be a bit generous with myself when I suggest that I’m back because I’m not really featuring any traditional doors today.

More like doorways.

Ok – they’re really just holes … or as I prefer to think of them – doorways for birds.

In previous posts I’ve written about places that have been featured in a book called Top 150 Unusual Places To Visit in Ontario by Ron Brown.  One of those places is Birdhouse City located in Picton, about 2 hours east of Toronto.

Birdhouse City

The numbers labelled on the individual birdhouses suggests there are over a hundred of them in the large grassy field.  Most of the birdhouses are replicates of an existing building in area.

Birdhouse City 9
This was #1 – Massassauga Park Hotel

Birdhouse City was started in 1978 by the Prince Edward Region Conservation Authority, but before long local businesses and schools got involved in the development of the unique structures.

Birdhouse City 8

You should know by now that I like the unusual so I was prepared to make the drive to Picton even though it was a dull, gray day with a numbing Arctic-like wind blowing.

Birdhouse City 10
Roblin’s Mill

On this frigid day, there wasn’t a bird in sight.  In fact, the entire neighbourhood looked a little tired and rundown.  It seems that this community hasn’t been immune to budget constraints for repairs and maintenance.

Birdhouse City 3
The Lakeshore Lodge

Birdhouse City 5

Birdhouse City - 3Many of the houses were perched at precarious angles and one church had fallen.

Birdhouse City 12

Only in hindsight after looking at my photos can I appreciate how cold I was and the lack of good planning that went into most of my shots.  It’s a lesson learned as winter approaches.

Birdhouse City 13

Thursday Doors is a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.





  1. What a neat park, and bird housing area! I loved the bloomcopter, and the church I hope it gets propped up again by Spring. It would be fun to return in the Spring when the birds tend to be active to see if they occupy any of these neat birdhouses.


  2. Well even if the birds have flown the coop the place is fascinating, albeit in need of some repairs. After our 40 cm of snow early in the month we now have summer. You never know what to wear in Calgary. I totally get what you mean about taking photos in the cold. However these look good to me Joanne. After all pretty tough to climb the poles to get a different perspective. 🙂


    • Now that would be a sight to photograph! … me trying to climb a pole 😆
      … yeah, we’ll just park that image 😏

      It seems to me that winter is trying to sneak in a bit early this year. I think we could be in for another long, cold one like last year.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. what a great set of doors! I love bird-spotting and would put this on my go-see list if I was closer.

    Hubby and I went out one day on our recent visit to Florida to a Nature Preserve and I only saw 3 birds the whole time we were there. I was told that you really need to look for birds in early morning or early evening. So… apparently to see that bird city bustling, you not only need to worry about time of year, but time of day!


    • From years of hiking … and my own backyard … I too have learned that birds are most active in the early mornings and early evenings – which is also true for any chance of catching a glimpse of wildlife.

      I really need to get into the habit of going out earlier or staying out later 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree it’s a little unorthodox 🙂
      Sadly, I’ve learned that building something is relatively easy compared with trying to maintain it over the years. Considering the park is now 40 years old, I guess it’s looking pretty good 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved the heli-bird-copter house the best, but they were all fun, Joanne. Thanks for sharing and I wouldn’t worry about being away from Thursday Doors while you’re enjoying the rest of life. I can’t remember the last time I shared doors or fully read through the posts here. I would probably give Norm a heart attack if I showed up one day out of the blue! 😉


  5. The “doorways for birds” line made me laugh more than it probably should have…. You are one very witty woman, Joanne. 🙂

    I want to say this place looks fun but I’m actually feeling slightly depressed by how abandoned it looks. I think you might need to go back and do a revisit in spring or summer. It would be good to see if it would be buzzing with little birdies. (My fave was the barn, btw.)


    • Isn’t the barn amazing?!

      There are so many places I’d like to go and visit thinking it would be perfect in the spring … or the summer … or the fall. The problem is that there is only so much time and my timing is often ‘off’. I have a choice of not going, or doing it in the ‘wrong’ season or less-than-great weather. Then I try and promise myself that I’ll go back ‘someday’. That’s how my list NEVER gets any smaller 😉
      I do have a feeling that Picton will be a do-over though. There is just so much there to explore!

      Liked by 1 person

      • So much to see, so little time. Several people have asked if I ran in the Melbourne Marathon recently. Standard response was “Why would I? I’ve done that one.” So many places to run, so few years left in my legs. It’s a problem.
        Sounds like you might have other good reasons to revisit, though, so that will make it worth the time commitment I reckon.


  6. Well that’s a novel idea. The mood though. I don’t know if it’s because you were cold or disappointed, but I feel both. Very evocative of loneliness in desolation, that last shot.

    I truly don’t think anyone should apologize for not blogging. Living is the important part 🙂


    • Agreed! Living is definitely the important part 🙂

      I wasn’t disappointed with the birdhouses – I thought they were wonderful – but I was disappointed with my photos. It seems that even when I think I’ve finally figured things out on my camera, reality gives me shake 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That’s a really cute idea, Joanne, but the place does look a little forlorn. I love birdhouses in general – especially when they are actively used by the birds. I can imagine the place would require a lot of upkeep. (I barely maintain my two birdhouses, and the bats are on their own). And yes, this qualifies as a door post! You find the most fascinating places!


    • The maintenance and upkeep of anything is often the hardest part. I still found it an amazing place. There was obviously a lot of work that went into each of the birdhouses.
      The gray gloomy weather certainly added to desolate mood.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great finds Joanne! I love interesting birdhouses and these were all so different and the work that must have went​ into creating them is phenomenal.


    • I’m actually quite fond of birds. I think they are so fascinating and I wish I could have at least a feeder in my back yard. With my cat Theo though, that would be a very bad idea.

      I love the creativity of the people who came together to make these different bird houses 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, Joanne – I am so sad that I have not been back to the Toronto area since following your blog (my last visit there was August 2015). On my next visit, I will definitely be digging out some of your posts for cool places to check out!


  10. Such cute doors and “houses” Joanne:)
    By the way, you don’t have to apologize about the way you choose to spend your time! As long as you’re enjoying it:)
    Am writing you from Los Angeles, since hubby has a job here for a few weeks – I decided to tag along to visit old friends (we’ve lived in this area for 3 decades), and who knows to have some doorscursions:)


  11. The Lakeshore Lodge is delightful. Ooh-la-la!

    I only do Thursday Doors when I feel so moved. Norm doesn’t seem to require weekly attendance to remain a part of it. I figure if being a door dilettante is ok with Norm, it’s ok by me. 😉


  12. Well these birds sure are spoiled with some awfully fancy homes.
    Looking at some of the bigger condo style houses I wonder if birds enjoy having their neighbours living so close or if they get annoyed when the chirping baby chicks next door keep them up all night 😀


  13. I think I see a bit of straw in the fallen birdhouse, that suggests at one point they were being occupied. Hopefully the spring will bring back some occupants needing a place to raise their families. Another cool find. Thanks Joanne!



    • I wish I could have lingered longer. I was snapping photos as quickly as I could and my hands were quite numb from the cold. If I’d had more time to think through the details of the shots, I would have done them differently. Too many of the photos were ‘meh’ because of the upward angle. In hindsight, I wish I had switched to the zoom lens and shot from further away at a flatter angle. Part of the learning I guess 🙂


  14. I think Birdhouse City needs a group of ‘Friends’ to help with maintenance because one can tell a lot of work went into creating these unique houses. Nice tour, and I understand about the weather. It was 28°F this morning when I made coffee. Too cold too early. 🙂


    • At least we managed to dodge the snow that fell a bit further north of us yesterday. It is much too early for my taste. I was hoping for a milder fall but it looks like that’s not going to happen 😕

      Maintenance is always a problem especially with any feature that is free for viewing. It would perhaps be a great project for local schools.


  15. It’s a shame there were no birds around! Any chance they were huddled up inside the houses? I think the whole concept is excellent. Looks like somewhere I wouldn’t mind visiting, although maybe during the spring instead…


  16. I have to say that this post captivates my attention. Love the variety of designs. It’s a cool art form, or craft, perhaps…

    In France I’ve seen pigeon housing at castles. Cool turrets filled with “ rooms” for the pigeons. Pigeons were a means for long distance message/note carrying across long distances. It was very interesting to see. In this case they all looked the same.

    Also wondering if the birds ever (hopefully) actually use them.



    • I wondered too about how or if the birdhouses were actually used. I don’t know very much about birds, except that I suspect birds nest differently from each other. Not all types would be attracted to the birdhouses, but it would be fun to watch in the spring when they’re breeding.


    • hahaha! I think Hitchcock is responsible for making a lot of people wary of birds! 😆
      I suspect birdhouses attract only certain types of birds, but I’m really not a birder.
      I have one friend who is definitely not fond of birds and would never consider this a good tourist spot 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Well I am loving the variety that seems to be unfolding with Thursday doors – just read Rosena’s college days post and now the bird houses – and the book sounds really good – I can see you just taking off to visit this place – kinda stuff that we need to do to stay fresh (dare I say wind benath our wings)
    But I wonder why there were no birds around ?


    • Like you, I love the variety too 🙂

      I’m not a birder but I think there are a few reasons why there were no birds around.

      Most of the migrating birds will have left by now for their winter homes in the south.

      I’ve also noticed from my travels hiking that birds tend to be inactive at mid-day and on blustery days. It was both mid-day and very windy when we were there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • that makes a lot of sense and I wonder if there is a food source in the area.
        any bird feeders?
        either way – the post mood here was fun because you showed us details we do not often see in a brochure – like the fallen bird house –


    • Thanks Su. In hindsight, visiting on such a cold day probably wasn’t the smartest idea. I would have liked to linger a while and get the photos right. On the other hand, if I hibernated whenever it was cold, I’d spend too much time indoors!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joe. In hindsight, I wondered if perhaps I should have used a zoom lens to get shots from a straighter angle instead of pitched from below. Of course a sunny day would have helped too.
      That’s one of the challenges of exploring on a cold day – I’m not likely to linger trying to figure out the best way to grab a shot.

      Liked by 1 person

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