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Winter Bird Feeder Project

The FOSS Winter Bird Feeder Project started in 2015, and has continued every year since then.  Its purpose is to make life a little easier for the birds in the winter, and let park visitors see the local birds more easily.  FOSS volunteers set up 5 bird feeding stations around the Colonel Sam Skating Trail in early December, and the project continues till the Skating Trail shuts down in mid March.

Each feeding station consists of a black oil sunflower feeder and a suet feeder.  Urban Nature Store very generously donates to FOSS a large bag of black oil sunflower seed for every bag we purchase from them.  This is a great help to this project- thank you Urban Nature Store!

Then we recruit 7 FOSS volunteers- one for each day of the week- to check on and fill the feeders from December to March.  Sometimes a whole family takes on a day.  Some of our volunteers have been with us for several years!

Right now we are looking for a regular volunteer for Tuesdays, since one long time volunteer has moved.  If you are interested in volunteering for FOSS in this way, please contact

Click on images for captions. 


Over the years the Friends of Sam Smith Park, with the help of  volunteers from the public,  has been involved in several plantings of native species in different areas of the park. These are always done with the help and supervision of The Parks department of the City of Toronto or the TRCA.

One of the ongoing projects is  the planting of pollinators on the east side of the park. The other is of growing  native bushes at Whimbrel Point to replace the invasive Common Burdock that had been removed.  

We are  looking forward to more plantings in order to reclaim some of the overused areas.


If you'd like to help with planting, please reach out to us! 


Whimbrel Watch

May 20th to 30th, annually


Come join us in a celebration of these rare magnificent migrants as thousands journey to their breeding grounds on Hudson’s Bay and beyond.


Whimbrels are mega-shorebirds that have been known to pass Sam Smith Park in flocks totaling 10,000 birds. They are often heard before seen and their cry is haunting and unforgettable. Whimbrel Point, at the south-east corner of the spit, is one of the best spots in Canada to view their passage and birders and photographers gather to keep count of the population and hope for an occasional group to land. Whimbrels are only part of the magic. Many other gangs of shorebirds and water birds are on record passing the Point, including rarely seen white pelicans, black terns and Pacific loons.

This eastern population of whimbrels were recorded during the Civil War to number in the millions on the Carolina seashore. The group now numbers around 40,000 birds and is at risk. Our flocks fly from feasting on crabs in Virginia, travel nine hours through the night, and arrive on Lake Ontario in the morning. Sam Smith Park is one of the only places in the East to be situated on their pathway to the north. Not to be missed, this is one of nature’s spectacles.

To participate in the Whimbrel Watch reach out to us!  

Click on images for captions.