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Special Offer For Birders staying at the Algonquin lakeside inn during the months of April and May.
complimentary receive a copy of both The Birds of Algonquin Park and the Checklist and Seasonal Status of the Birds of Algonquin Park. These books will introduce you to the main habitats of the Park and to many of the common species, 77 in all. Through colour photographs and short accounts we hope to encourage you to discover and enjoy them for yourself.by Dan Strickland..
Algonquin Park and Oxtongue Lake Bird Observation.
Algonquin Park has hundreds of species of birds inside the Park border. 275 species have been recorded here to date with 141 of those species having been known to breed.About 90 species are considered to be common summer or permanent residents. Exceptional diversity for bird watching is due to several factors. Undisturbed wilderness, abundance of lakes and the meeting of the southern deciduous forests to the northern evergreen forests.
Many birds are year round residents - like the Gray and Blue Jay, Chickadee, Ruffed and Spruce Grouse,Barred Owl, Great Horned Owl, Pileated Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Evening Grosbeak. Others are migrants - like the Bunting, Blue Heron, Brown Thrasher and Wood Thrush. To track the migration of the return of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
April and May a great time to watch the migrating birds. While many birds make Algonquin Park their destination, there are many more that stop off at the Park on their way further north. Bird watchers who stay at Algonquin Lakeside Inn resort during April and May will receive a complimentary, Birds of Algonquin Park and also the checklist and Seasonal Status of the birds of Algonquin Park.. There is nothing like bird watching and hiking followed by a warm fireplace and a wonderful dinner at Algonquin Lakeside Inn resort.
Also check-out our guided Loon watching photography boat tours click here for more info
Whilst i was driving in the park this week i noted a lot of new arrivals mainly waterfowl,
great blue heron,turkey vulture,American blck duck,hooded merganers,bald eagle,spruce grouse,killdear,American bittin,
check our two new blogs for more info
More birders in the Park for the OFO trip on April 17 resulted in increased reports this week, for which a big thanks.
Sightings of interest included:
Spruce Grouse: A displaying male and two females were on the roadway at the north end of Opeongo Road on April 19.
Wild Turkey: Six were reported at km 6 on Highway 60 on April 19. We often see them moving into the Park along the highway in April after apparently wintering outside Algonquin.
Bohemian Waxwing: One was at the Visitor Centre on April 17.
White-winged Crossbill: Heard calling at Cache Lake Marsh on April 17.
New arrivals (with the average date in brackets) included:
April 15: Fox Sparrow (April 8)
April 16: Bufflehead (April 12)
Killdeer (April 2)
Vesper Sparrow (April 22)
White-throated Sparrow (April 17)
Broad-winged Hawk (April 20)
Wilson's Snipe (April 15)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (April 10)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (April 15)
Hermit Thrush (April 16)
Chipping Sparrow (April 19)
Northern Harrier (April 5)
Brown Thrasher (May 3)
Moose are being seen regularly now at wet areas along Highway
Please report your sightings for our records.
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Major melting of snow this week resulted in rivers rising to flood level. However, there is still relatively little open water. Ice-free areas in lakes where rivers and creeks enter are only slowly expanding in size. An Owl Survey during the evening of April 12 from the West Gate to km 18 along Highway 60 produced single Barred Owls at the West Gate and km 2, but no Northern Saw-whet Owls. This was not entirely unexpected since small mammal populations are low following very poor tree seed crops last year.
Boreal species reported this week included:
Spruce Grouse: Two were seen on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on April 9.
Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was on a utility pole at km 8 on Highway 60 on April 8.
Boreal Chickadee: One was reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on April 9.
New arrivals (with the average date in brackets) are shown below.
Most are later than normal, as expected in this late spring.
April 8: Rough-legged Hawk (March 25)
April 9: Winter Wren (April 7)
April 10: Belted Kingfisher (April 9)
April 10: Northern Flicker (April 8)
April 10: Winter Wren (April 7)
April 10: Golden-crowned Kinglet (April 3)
April 11: Green-winged Teal (April 12)
April 11: Eastern Phoebe (April 6)
April 11: Purple Finch (April 4)
April 13: Common Goldeneye (April 7)
April 13: Pied-billed Grebe (April 13)
April 14: Northern Pintail (Rare)
April 14: Ring-necked Duck (April 8)
April 14: Common Loon (April 14)
April 14: Belted Kingfisher (April 9)
Moose are being seen regularly now at wet areas along Highway 60
Please report your sightings for our records.on Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
More snow melted and areas of open water in creeks and rivers increased this week. However, all lakes and ponds remain frozen
to the shore and there is deep snow everywhere except on south-facing slopes, clearings and bogs. Some migrants
were held back by colder than normal temperatures and the scarcity of bare ground and open water.
The following may interest birders planning a visit: Spruce Grouse: Two were 50 m off the trail north of the register
box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on April 5. Wild Turkey: A male was at the Visitor Centre on April 6 and 7
and others were reported along Highway 60 this week. Black-backed Woodpecker: One was between posts 6 and 7 on
Spruce Bog Boardwalk on April 2 and another was along Highway 60 at km 8 on April 3.
Boreal Chickadee: Two were between posts 6 and 7 on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on April 2.
Hoary Redpoll: One was with the smaller numbers of Common Redpolls remaining at the Visitor Centre on April 5.
Evening Grosbeak: This species was back at the Algonquin Inn feeders near the Highway 60 bridge at Oxtongue Lake west of
Algonquin Park this week.
New arrivals included:
April 1: Wood Duck
April 2: American Woodcock.
April 4: Great Blue Heron, Sharp-shinned Hawk
April 5: Herring Gull, American Tree Sparrow
April 6: Eastern Meadowlark
April 7: Turkey Vultur
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
NEW BIRDING REPORTS FOR OCT 18TH
My wife and I spent the day in Algonquin Park, birding at the old airfield and along Mizzy Lake Trail. Activity at the airfield was low, but we did see a single male EVENING GROSBEAK near the parking area. Mizzy Lake Trail had a little more to offer, with about five GRAY JAYS near the gate off of Arowhon Road. Just south of West Rose Lake we had excellent views of a male BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER, and on the return leg near Wolf Hollow Pond was a nearly tame male PURPLE FINCH which almost ate from our hands, and did actually land on my jacket for a few seconds. As we left, at the gate were two BOREAL CHICKADEES within a group of several BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES. A single full-grown bull MOOSE also crossed the Mizzy Lake Trail, sporting a large rack of antlers.
A single Bohemian Waxwing was seen at the top of a tree at the West Gate on Saturday (October 16) by Brete Griffin and his group. Two Bohemian Waxwings were observed by Doug and Ron Tozer on Sunday (October 17) between posts 14 and 15 on the Mew Lake extension of the Track and Tower Trail. These two waxwings were feeding on winterberry holly (Ilex) berries, along withseveral robins. Some of these berries are present along the Two Rivers Campground (now closed) side of the Airfield Marsh and could be a good placeto look for other Bohemian Waxwings.
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
SELECTED SITES AND SOME SPECIES REPORTED THIS WEEK:
Wolf Howl Pond area on Mizzy Lake Trail (accessible via Arowhon Road at km
15.4): Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker (three seen one day), Boreal
Old Airfield (south from km 30.6): Merlin, Horned Lark, American Pipit,
American Tree Sparrow (first of fall on October 3), Rusty Blackbird
Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.5): Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray
Visitor Centre (km 43): Horned Lark, American Pipit, Purple Finch
Opeongo Road: (km 46.3) Spruce Grouse, Gray Jay, Orange-crowned Warbler
Purple Finch: a few being seen at Visitor Centre feeders and flying over.
Pine Siskin: a flock of 25 was at Odenback on Radiant Lake (not accessible
by public road) on October 5.
Red Crossbill: Very small numbers are being heard calling in flight
occasionally, perhaps passing through to areas with a better cone crop.
American Goldfinch: a few heard calling in flight.
Evening Grosbeak: Six were reported at the feeder of the Algonquin Lakeside
Inn at Oxtongue Lake (on Highway 60 west of Algonquin Park) on October 1,
and may still be around.
Despite several searches, there have been no reports to date of Le Conte's
Sparrow from the Old Airfield or Nelson's Sparrow from favoured marsh and
beaver meadow sites, including the Lake Travers Marsh (end of Barron Canyon
Road on the East Side). This is the peak migration period in Algonquin for
both of these rarely observed species.
We would appreciate receiving your bird observations for our Visitor
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60.
Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa, take
Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers
along Highway 60 in the Park go from the West Gate (km 0) to near the East
Gate (km 56). Get your park permit and the park tabloid (with a map of
birding locations mentioned here) at the gates.
The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings, feeders, and
information. The centre is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm until October 11,
and daily from 9 am to 5 pm for the rest of the month.
Algonquin Park birding updates and information are available at:
WINTER FINCH FORECAST 2010-2011
This winter's theme is that some finch species will irrupt into southern
Canada and the northern United States, while other species will remain
in the north. As an example, Common and Hoary Redpolls will move south
whereas Pine Grosbeaks will stay in the north. See individual finch
forecasts below for details. Three irruptive non-finch passerines are
KEY FINCH TREE CROPS
Key trees in the boreal forest affecting finch abundance and movements
are white and black spruces, white birch, and mountain-ashes. South of
the boreal in the mixed coniferous/deciduous forest region, white pine
and hemlock are additional key finch trees. Other trees play a lesser
role, but often boost or buffer main seed sources. These include
tamarack (American larch), balsam fir, white cedar, yellow birch and
SPRUCE: White spruce cone crops are very good to excellent across the
northern half of the boreal forest in Canada, except Newfoundland where
crops are poor. However, spruce crops are much lower in the southern
half of the boreal forest and poor in the mixed forest region of central
Ontario such as Algonquin Park. The spruce crop is good to very good in
central and northern Quebec, but generally poor in Atlantic Canada and
northeastern United States. Spruce cone abundance is very good in the
foothills of Alberta and eastern side of the Rocky Mountains in Canada,
but poor in the southern half of British Columbia and in Washington
State. A bumper white spruce cone crop in southern Yukon attracted high
numbers of White-winged Crossbills and Pine Siskins this past summer and
they may remain there through the winter. Spruce crops are generally
poor in the Atlantic Provinces, New York State and New England States.
WHITE PINE: Cone crop is spotty with scattered good to excellent crops
across Ontario. White pine crops are low in Atlantic Canada, New York
and New England States. HEMLOCK: Cone crop is poor in Ontario and
elsewhere in the East. WHITE BIRCH: Crop is poor across the boreal
forest of Canada and in central Ontario, but birch crops are much better
in southern Ontario south of the Canadian (Precambrian) Shield.
MOUNTAIN-ASH: Berry crops are generally excellent across Canada and
Alaska, but poor in Newfoundland.
INDIVIDUAL FINCH FORECASTS
Forecasts apply mainly to Ontario, but neighboring provinces and states
may find they apply to them.
PINE GROSBEAK: The Pine Grosbeak breeds in moist open habitats across
northern Ontario. It is most common in northeastern Ontario which
receives more precipitation than northwestern Ontario (Peck and Coady in
Atlas of Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007). Most Pine Grosbeaks should
stay in the north this winter because the mountain-ash berry crop is
generally excellent across the boreal forest of Canada and Alaska,
except for a poor crop in Newfoundland. The feeders at the Visitor
Centre in Algonquin Park usually attract Pine Grosbeaks even in
non-flight winters. If Pine Grosbeaks wander into southern Ontario they
will find good crops of European mountain-ash berries and ornamental
PURPLE FINCH: This finch winters in the north when the majority of
deciduous and coniferous seed crops are abundant, which is not the case
this year. Most Purple Finches will migrate south of Ontario this fall.
A few may frequent feeders in southern Ontario. Purple Finch numbers
have declined significantly in recent decades due in part to a decrease
of spruce budworm outbreaks since the 1980s (Leckie and Cadman in Atlas
of Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007).
RED CROSSBILL: This crossbill comprises at least 10 "call types" in
North America. Each type has its particular cone preferences related to
bill size and shape. These crossbill types may be at an early stage of
evolving into full species and some may already qualify for species
status. They are exceedingly difficult to identify in the field and much
remains to be learned about their status and distribution. Types 2 and 3
and probably 4 occur regularly in Ontario (Simard in Atlas of Breeding
Birds of Ontario 2007). Most Red Crossbill types prefer pines, but the
smallest-billed Type 3 (sitkensis subspecies of AOU Check-list 1957)
prefers the small soft cones of hemlock in Ontario. It will be absent
this winter because hemlock crops are poor. Type 2 may be the most
frequently encountered Red Crossbill in the province. Some Type 2s
should be found this winter where white pine crops are very good such as
northeastern Algonquin Park and along Highway 69 north of the French
River in Sudbury District. Possible this winter are other Red Crossbill
types associated with red pine, which has some locally good crops.
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL: High numbers of White-winged Crossbills are
currently concentrated in southern Yukon where the white spruce cone
crop is bumper. These may remain there this winter. This crossbill's
highest breeding abundance in Ontario is in the spruce dominated Hudson
Bay Lowlands and adjacent northern Canadian Shield (Coady in Atlas of
Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007). Most Ontario reports this past summer
came from this area where the white spruce cone crop is heavy. Some were
singing and presumably nesting. They might remain in northern Ontario
this winter if seed supplies last. Some may disperse southward as spruce
seeds run low and could appear in southern Ontario and northern United
States. However, they will be rare or absent this winter in traditional
areas such as Algonquin Park where spruce and hemlock cone crops are
very poor. Unlike the Red Crossbill, the White-winged Crossbill has no
subspecies (monotypic) or call types in North America. Its nomadic
wanderings across the boreal forest mix the populations and allow gene
flow, which inhibits geographical variation and the formation of
COMMON REDPOLL: Redpolls should irrupt into southern Canada and the
northern United States this winter. The Common Redpoll's breeding range
in Ontario is mainly in the Hudson Bay Lowlands from the Manitoba border
southeast to southern James Bay (Leckie and Pittaway in Atlas of
Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007). Redpolls in winter are a birch seed
specialist and movements are linked in part to the size of the birch
crop. The white birch crop is poor across much of northern Canada.
Another indicator of an upcoming irruption was a good redpoll breeding
season in 2010 with double and possibly triple broods reported in
Quebec. High breeding success also was reported in Yukon. Samuel Denault
of McGill University has shown that redpoll movements at Tadoussac,
Quebec, are more related to reproductive success than to tree seed crops
in the boreal forest. Redpolls will be attracted to the good birch seed
crops on native white birch and European white birch in southern Ontario
and to weedy fields. They should be frequent this winter at feeders
offering nyger and black oil sunflower seeds. Watch for the larger,
darker and browner "Greater" Common Redpolls (rostrata subspecies) in
the flocks. It is reliably identified by its larger size and
proportionally longer thicker bill and longer tail in direct comparison
with "Southern" Common Redpolls (nominate flammea subspecies).
HOARY REDPOLL: The breeding population in northern Ontario is the most
southerly in the world (Leckie and Pittaway in Atlas of Breeding Birds
of Ontario 2007). Careful checking of redpoll flocks should produce a
few Hoary Redpolls. There are two subspecies. Most Hoaries seen in
southern Canada and northern United States are "Southern" Hoary Redpolls
(exilipes subspecies). During the last large redpoll irruption in
2007/2008, several "Hornemann's" Hoary Redpolls (nominate hornemanni
subspecies) were found and supported by photographs. Hornemann's Redpoll
was previously regarded as a great rarity south of the Arctic, but it
may be more frequent than formerly believed. Hornemann's is most
reliably identified by its much larger size in direct comparison with
flammea Common Redpolls or exilipes Hoary Redpoll. Note that white birds
loom larger than life among darker birds and size illusions are
PINE SISKIN: Similar to the White-winged Crossbill, there are currently
high numbers of siskins in southern Yukon attracted to a bumper white
spruce cone crop. They could stay in Yukon for the winter. Siskins show
a tendency for north-south migration, but are better considered an
opportunistic nomad (Pittaway in Atlas of Breeding Birds of Ontario
2007). Banding recoveries show that siskins wander from coast to coast
searching for conifer seed crops. They were uncommon this past summer in
Ontario and the Northeast. Some might winter in northern Ontario where
the white spruce crop is heavy. However, siskins are currently uncommon
in the Northeast so there are potentially only very small numbers that
could irrupt south in eastern North America.
EVENING GROSBEAK: Highest breeding densities in Ontario are found in
areas with spruce budworm outbreaks. Current breeding and wintering
populations are now much lower than a few decades ago mainly because
large spruce budworm outbreaks have subsided since the 1980s (Hoar in
Atlas of Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007). If some come south this
winter, they will find large crops of Manitoba maple (boxelder) seeds
and plenty of black oil sunflower seeds at feeders waiting for them.
THREE MORE IRRUPTIVE PASSERINES
BLUE JAY: This will be an average flight year with smaller numbers than
in 2009 along the north shorelines of Lakes Ontario and Erie. Beechnut
crops are poor to none. Acorn crops are spotty, but considerably better
than last year. More Blue Jays will winter in Ontario than last winter
due to caches of acorns and other mast crops.
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH: This nuthatch is a conifer seed specialist when
it winters in the north, thus its movements are triggered by the same
crops as the boreal winter finches. The southward movement, which began
in the summer, signaled the generally poor cone crops on spruces, balsam
fir and white pine in the mixed coniferous/deciduous forest region
across Ontario and in Atlantic Canada, New York and New England States.
Red-breasted Nuthatches will be very scarce this winter in central
Ontario such as Algonquin Park. White spruce crops are excellent in the
northern half of the boreal forest, but it is uncertain how many
Red-breasted Nuthatches will winter that far north.
BOHEMIAN WAXWING: Most Bohemians Waxwings will stay close to the boreal
forest this winter because mountain-ash berry crops are excellent across
Canada, except in Newfoundland. Some should wander south to traditional
areas of eastern and central Ontario such as Ottawa and Peterborough
where planted European mountain-ashes and ornamental crabapples are
frequent. If you get the opportunity to visit northern Ontario this
winter, you may see Bohemian Waxwings and Pine Grosbeaks feeding
together on mountain-ash berries. The grosbeaks eat the seeds and
discard the flesh whereas the waxwings swallow the entire berry and
sometimes eat the fleshy leftovers of the grosbeaks. The similar
coloration of Bohemian Waxwings and female Pine Grosbeaks may be
functional, perhaps reducing interspecific aggression when they feed
WHERE TO SEE FINCHES
A winter trip to Algonquin Park is a birding adventure. The park is a
three hour drive north of Toronto. Finch numbers will be low in
Algonquin forests this winter, but the feeders at the Visitor Centre
should attract redpolls, Evening Grosbeaks and Pine Grosbeaks. Gray Jays
frequent the suet feeder and sometimes Pine Martens and Fishers feed on
the suet and sunflower seeds. A high observation deck overlooks a
spectacular boreal wetland and black spruce/tamarack forest. Eastern
Timber Wolves (Canis lycaon), which until recently was a subspecies of
the Gray Wolf (C. lupus), are seen occasionally from the observation
deck feeding on road-killed Moose put out by park staff. The Visitor
Centre and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends in winter.
Arrangements can be made to view feeders on weekdays. For information,
call the Visitor Centre at 613-637-2828. The Spruce Bog Trail at km 42.5
near the Visitor Centre and the gated area north on the Opeongo Road are
the best spots for finches, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse
and Black-backed Woodpecker.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I thank staff of the Ontario Ministry of Natural
Resources from across the province designated by an asterisk* and many
others whose reports allow me to make annual forecasts: Dennis Barry
(Durham Region and Washington State), Eleanor Beagan (Prince Edward
Island), Ken Corston* (Moosonee), Pascal Cote (Tadoussac Bird
Observatory, Quebec), Mark Cranford, Samuel Denault (Monts-Pyramides,
Quebec), Bruce Di Labio (Eastern Ontario), Carrolle Eady (Dryden),
Cameron Eckert (Yukon), Brian Fox* (South Porcupine), Francois Gagnon
(Abitibi, Lac Saint-Jean, Saguenay, Quebec), Marcel Gahbauer (Alberta),
Michel Gosselin (Canadian Museum of Nature), David Govatski (New
Hampshire), Charity Hendry* (Ontario Tree Seed Plant), Leo Heyens*
(Kenora), Tyler Hoar (Central and Northern Ontario), George Holborn*
(Thunder Bay), Eric Howe*, Peter Hynard (Minden), Jean Iron
(Northeastern Ontario and James Bay), Bob Knudsen (Sault Ste Marie,
Ontario), Bruce Mactavish (Newfoundland), David McCorquodale (Cape
Breton Island), Erwin Meissner (Massey), Andree Morneault* (North Bay to
Renfrew County), Brian Naylor* (North Bay to Renfrew County), Martyn
Obbard*, Stephen O'Donnell (Parry Sound District), Fred Pinto* (North
Bay to Renfrew County), Dean Phoenix*, Rick Salmon* (Lake Nipigon),
Harvey and Brenda Schmidt (Creighton, Saskatchewan), Don Sutherland*
(Northern Ontario), Ron Tozer (Algonquin Park), Declan Troy (Alaska),
Gert Trudel (Gowganda), Mike Turner* (Haliburton Highlands), John
Woodcock (Thunder Cape Bird Observatory), Alan Wormington, and Matt
Young of Cornell University, who provided detailed information about
seed crops in New York and other eastern states. Jean Iron and Michel
Gosselin made many helpful comments and proofed the forecast.
LITERATURE CITED: Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2007 by editors
M.D. Cadman, D.A. Sutherland, G.G. Beck, D. Lepage and A.R. Couturier.
Ontario Field Ornithologists
23 September 2010
Algonquin Park Birding Update: 29 April Posted on April 29, 2010.
This is the last of the weekly bird reports from Algonquin Park this spring, although occasional updates may be issued in the coming weeks. Thanks again to all who have reported their observations. Cooler temperatures, often windy conditions, and even snow squalls on April 27, appeared to slow the arrival of new migrants. The only new species reported was Barn Swallow at Smoke Creek on April 24. Spruce Grouse have been reported near the register book on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and in the km 4 area on Arowhon Road at Sims Pit. Common Loons continue to be notably slow in arriving, with some breeding lakes still having none. The male Black-backed Woodpecker continued to excavate a nest cavity in the third utility pole west of Leaf Lake Ski Trail entrance, affording excellent views. Gray Jays are most reliably found by walking east from the chain gate along the Old Railway near Arowhon Road to Wolf Howl Pond and West Rose Lake. Two waxwings reported at Canoe Lake Road (Portage Store road) along Highway 60 on April 24 were almost certainly Bohemians. (Our earliest spring date for Cedar Waxwing is May 15.) We would appreciate receiving your bird observations for our Visitor Centre records. Birders are encouraged to add their sightings of newly arrived migrants to the sheets posted in the Visitor Centre lobby.
Ron Tozer Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired) Dwight, ON
Algonquin Park Birding Update: 8 April 2010
Interestingly, many lakes opened up before Common Loons
returned. There had been loon reports from only two
lakes as of April 7. Loons typically arrive in Algonquin
when the first small areas of open water appear.
Most migrants are arriving early, and three all-time
early records were set this week: Canada Goose
(interior subspecies), Common Loon and Osprey. A
female Giant Canada Goose incubating eggs along
Costello Creek on April 4 was the earliest ever found
New migrants reported this week included:
April 1: Canada Goose (interior subspecies), Bufflehead,
Northern Harrier, Eastern Phoebe
April 2: Turkey Vulture, American Woodcock,
Ring-billed Gull, Winter Wren, Fox Sparrow,
April 3: Common Loon, Killdeer, Mourning Dove,
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Tree Swallow
April 4: American Kestrel, Wilson's Snipe, Savannah
April 5: Osprey, Rusty Blackbird
April 6: Yellow-rumped Warbler
Other Species of Interest:
Bald Eagle: Two were over the Old Airfield on April 4,
and one was at Jake Lake on April 5.
Spruce Grouse: A male was along the Opeongo Road
on April 3.
Black-backed Woodpecker: Look in the km 8 area and
try Barred Owl calls to get them to respond.
Gray Jay: One was at Wolf Howl Pond on April 4, and two
were at the Visitor Centre feeders on April 7. The first nestlings
were banded by Dan Strickland this week, again a record
Boreal Chickadee: Try Opeongo Road and the old railway
from Arowhon Road to Wolf Howl Pond. Listen for the
Bohemian Waxwing: Five were feeding on common juniper
berries at the lookout on Barron Canyon Trail (accessible
from Pembroke area via Barron Canyon Road) on April 2.
Pine Siskin: Three (including a singing male) were at the
Visitor Centre on April 7.
Evening Grosbeak: A few have been fairly regular at the
We would appreciate receiving your bird observations
for our Visitor Centre records. Weekend visitors are
encouraged to add their observations of newly arrived
migrants to the sheets posted in the Visitor Centre lobby.
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Subject: Algonquin Park Birding Update: 1 April 2010
From: Ron Tozer <rtozer AT vianet.ca>Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2010 08:11:53 -0400
The very warm temperatures by week's end resulted in some small lakes (Long, Mew, Eos) along Highway 60 becoming ice-free on April 1. Snow cover is now mainly in deeply shaded north-facing areas. An influx of migrants was dominated by waterbirds. Arrivals this week included: Wood Duck, Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Great Blue Heron, Northern Harrier, Merlin (at the East Gate), Eastern Phoebe, Golden-crowned Kinglet and Song Sparrow. The next six weeks will be prime time to see the boreal species that many birders come to Algonquin Park to find. A male Spruce Grouse was right on the trail along Spruce Bog Boardwalk beyond the long boardwalk across the bog on April 1. A female Black-backed Woodpecker responded to a Barred Owl imitation at Heron Creek, which is about a kilometre inside the West Gate on Highway 60, and a male was drumming on the first utility pole east of the Tea Lake Dam road, on April 1. Gray Jays were seen on the Opeongo Road this week. There were about 10 Evening Grosbeaks at the Visitor Centre feeders on April 1, and a Pine Siskin was among the American Goldfinches there on March 31. We would appreciate receiving your bird observations for our Visitor Centre records. Weekend visitors are encouraged to add their observations of newly arrived migrants to the sheets posted in the Visitor Centre lobby. THE VISITOR CENTRE IS OPEN DAILY ON APRIL 2 TO 5, FROM 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. Ron Tozer Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Algonquin Park Birding Update: 28 January 2010
The week saw a few reports from birders, but little change in what is being observed. New snow and colder temperatures prevailed by the end of the week following the earlier mild weather.
Golden Eagle: an adult was photographed over km 8 on January 23.Northern Shrike: one was at Wolf Howl Pond on January 23.White-throated Sparrow: one is still at the Visitor Centre feeder.Boreal Species:Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.Black-backed Woodpecker: a female was at Davies Bog on the Bat Lake Trail on January 24.Gray Jay: present this week at Visitor Centre feeder; on Opeongo Road at the gate and at the bridge; at Wolf Howl Pond; and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.Boreal Chickadee: Three were at Wolf Howl Pond on the Mizzy Lake Trail on Janaury 23. The species was noted in the middle section of the Bat LakeTrail on January 24.Winter Finches:Pine Grosbeak: female still coming to the Visitor Centre feeder.American Goldfinch: About 70 daily at the Visitor Centre feeders.Mammals: Pine martens continue to come to the Visitor Centre feeders daily.Moose are being observed regularly along Highway 60.The walking trails, closed for a couple of days this week due to slippery conditions, are open again.We would appreciate receiving your bird observations for our VisitorCentre records. Those trying for Evening Grosbeaks should check the town of Whitney, five minutes drive east of the Park's East Gate There was a flock near the corner of Second Street and Ottawa Street (near the boat launch) this morning.
Ron TozerAlgonquin Park Naturalist (retired)Dwight, ON
Subject: 36th Algonquin Park CBCFrom: Ron Tozer <rtozer AT vianet.ca>Date: Mon, 04 Jan 2010 08:03:14 -0500
The 36th Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday, 2 January 2009. This count is a good indicator of the species and their relative numbers present in contiguous forest of the southern Shield during early winter. There is minimal distortion caused by feeders (only about six in the circle) which unnaturally concentrate birds and support lingerers that would otherwise depart or perish. Due to the almost total lack of seed crops this winter, we expected very low numbers of birds but actually going for hours at times without seeing a single individual was still amazing. Cold conditions (minus 21 to minus 17 degrees C, with occasional NW wind gusts to 20 kph) made it challenging to be out there. All water was frozen. However, the mainly sunny day enhanced the spectacular scenery and our 84 stalwart observers made a valiant and much appreciated effort. Never have so many seen so little! Below is the total list for your interest. Total Observers: 84 (record high) Total Party Hours: 338 (record high) Birds per Party Hour: 3 (record low; previous lowest was 4) Total Species: 23 (third lowest) Total Individuals: 1,018 (fifth lowest) Ruffed Grouse: 31 Spruce Grouse: 1 Wild Turkey: count week (1 at Lake of Two Rivers) Rock Pigeon: 6 (East Gate MTO sand dome) Barred Owl: 1 Downy Woodpecker: 16 Hairy Woodpecker: 26 Black-backed Woodpecker: 3 Pileated Woodpecker: 6 Gray Jay: 15 Blue Jay: 11 (mainly at feeders) Common Raven: 79 Black-capped Chickadee: 584 Boreal Chickadee: 29 Red-breasted Nuthatch: 16 White-breasted Nuthatch: 7 Brown Creeper: 5 Golden-crowned Kinglet: 5 White-throated Sparrow: 1 (at Visitor Centre feeder for weeks) Snow Bunting: 1 Pine Grosbeak: 23 Pine Siskin: 1 American Goldfinch: 143 (mainly at feeders) Evening Grosbeak: 3 A big thank you to all those who participated in the count and those who helped organize the tally and assisted with the catered dinner. There will be more birds next year. Ron Tozer Algonquin Park CBC Compiler Dwight, Ontario
oct 22nd 2009
The most interesting bird this week was a small juvenile Canada Goose(probably a runt of the Interior race) at the Opeongo Access Point that Iinitially thought was a Cackling Goose. We had doubts after seeing MichaelRuntz's photos of the bird today, and later expert opinions from Ken Abrahamand Ron Pittaway set the record straight
.A Brown Thrasher at Mew Lake Campground on October 17 was notable as this species is rare here at any time now, and the date tied our second latestfall record. Bald Eagles were reported from Canisbay and Lake of Two Rivers. A Golden Eagle flew over Lake of Two Rivers on October 22. The Old Airfield produced American Pipits, Rusty Blackbirds and two EasternBluebirds on October 18.The only winter finch reported was Evening Grosbeak, with small numbers atthe Visitor Centre and elsewhere along Highway 60.Spruce Grouse: singles on Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Bat Lake Trail (October17).Gray Jay: Spruce Bog Boardwalk; Opeongo Road and near Wolf Howl Pond. Boreal Chickadee: Wolf Howl Pond area on Mizzy Lake Trail.Black-backed Woodpecker: male and female at Wolf Howl Pond, October 20.Spruce Grouse: female on old railway west of Wolf Howl Pond on October 20,and a male at Sims Pit on Arowhon Road a few days earlier
.Ron TozerAlgonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Sat Oct 10th 09
Birding Algonquin Park this morning proved to be very productive. There weretwo BOREAL CHICKADEES and two GRAY JAYS on the Old Railway near West RoseLake on the Mizzy Trail. Also present were AMERICAN PIPIT, PALM +YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW and some more common species.On the eastern end of the Airfield, I located, in a mixed sparrow flock, twoCLAY-COLORED SPARROWS. Also present were SWAMP, SAVANNAH, WHITE-CROWNED,AMERICAN TREE and CHIPPING SPARROWS, plus D.E JUNCOS.The two LECONTE'S SPARROWS previously reported by Mike Burrell werere-located in the alders near Lake of Two Rivers on the east side of theairfield (Thanks Ron!). There was also a PINE WARBLER amongst numerousyellow-rumps. Flocks of HORNED LARKS and AMERICAN PIPITS were prominent onthe Airfield
Directions -Directions:Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60.Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From Ottawa, takeHighway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park.The Old Airfield is located along the Mew Lake Campground access road, park ata small parking lot on the left at the beginning of the Old Railway Bike Trailand walk around the airfield.
The Wolf Howl Pond & West Rose Lake area can be accessed by driving 4.8km upArowhon Rd and then turning right onto an abandoned railway and follow 0.6km tochain gate, park well to the side and walk in 1.5km to Wolf Howl and another1km to West Rose.Good Birding,Lev Frid,Maple, ON
Mon Oct 5th 09
I spent the morning looking for these two species around the old Airfield in Algonquin Provincial Park. I found 1 or 2 Le Conte's Sparrows near the east end of the airfield and 1 Nelson's Sparrow in the marsh where the north river flows into Lake of Two Rivers.There were good numbers of several other sparrow species around the airfield as well.Directions Exit Hwy 60 at KM 31, into Mew Lake Campground. Go past the campground office and the wood yard. Park at the first parking lot on your left after the wood yard. There are several trails around the airfiled, head east towards Lake of Two Rivers.
june 25th 2009
I spent the day at Algonquin, concentrating on the Arowhon Road areas. At the end of Arowhon Road, on the Orange Trail at Arowhon Pines, I located 10 species of warbler, including 4 NORTHERN PARULAS, 4 MAGNOLIA WARBLERS, 2 BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLERS, and 1 CANADA WARBLER. Two WINTER WRENS could be heard singing in the forest, as well as a WOOD THRUSH and a VEERY. As I was leaving, I heard three YELLOW-THROATED VIREOS singing near the restaurant and tennis court area.
I spent the remainder of the morning and early afternoon along the Old Railway, where I observed 11 warbler species, including 4 NASHVILLE WARBLERS, 2 CAPE MAY WARBLERS, 2 BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERS, and singles of BLACK-THROATED BLUE, BLACK-AND-WHITE, MAGNOLIA, and MOURNING WARBLERS. Five BOREAL CHICKADEES were singing and actively foraging, as well as 5 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS. A family of three BROAD-WINGED HAWKS flew lazy circles above the trail, frequently calling out.
DIRECTIONSfrom Huntsville Muskoka take hwy # 60 which will after 20 mins pass the Algonquin Innthen on into Algonquin Park, Arowhan rd is located at the 15km marker and at the entarnce to the Mizzy Lake trail.....also a great location for Moose spotting....
Sunday, May 17, 2009
full birding report algonquin park
this week we had a birding group in from eagle eye tours staying at the Algonquin Inn,the tour leader was Blake Maybank,Blake was good enough to go over his sighting for the Algonquin Park trip ,here is the listings broken down by main areas.
spruce bog extra's verginia rail
algonquin park visitors center, eastern phoebe nesting under observation deck
53km marker area black backed woodpecker
wiskey rapids extra's belted kinfisher swainson's thrushblack-throated blue warbler
opeongo road, canada goose mallard ruffed grouse common loon turkey vulture spotted sandpipper yellow bellied sapsucker northern flicker pileated woodpecker blue-headed vireo gray jayblue jay american crow common raven black-capped chickadee red-breasted nuthatch winter wren golden crowned kinglet ruby-crowned kinglet hermit thrush american robin nashville warbler yellow warbler chestnut sided warbler magnolia warbler yelloow-rumped warbler black-throated green warbler black and white warbler american redstart ovenbird northern waterthrush common yellowthroat chipping sparrow song sparrow swamp sparrow white-throated sparrow dark-eyed junco rose-breasted grosbeak red-winged blackbird purple finch pine siskin american goldfinch evening grosbeak
algonquin inn to the west gate of park.
canada goose,wood duck,american black duck,mallard,ruffed grouse,common loon,great blus heron,turkey vulture,bald eagle,coopers hawk,broad-winged hawk,red-tailed hawk,merlin,spotted sandpiper,wilsons snipe,ruby-throated hummingbird,yellew-bellied sapsucker,downy woodpecker,hairy woodpecker,northern flicker,pileated woodpecker,least flycather,blue-headed vireo,philadelphia vireo,red-eyed vireo,blue jay,american crow,common raven,barn swallow,back-capped chickadee,red breasted nuthatch,ruby-crowned kinglet,hermit thrush,american robin,brown thrasher,european starling,nashville warbler,northern parula,yellow warbler,chestnut-sided warbler,magnolia warbler,yellow rumped warbler,blackburnian warbler,palm warbler,bay-breasted warbler,black-and-white warbler,ovenbird,common yellowthroat,scarlet tanager,chipping sparrow,clay-clored sparrow,savannah sparrow,song sparrow,swamp,sparrow,,,white-throated sparrow,white-crowned sparrow,rose-beasted grosbeak,indigo bunting,red-winged blackbird,common crackle,purple finch,pine siskin,american goldfinch,evening grosbeak.
Subject: OFO Algonquin Park TripFrom: Ron Tozer <rtozer AT vianet.ca>Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2009 18:24:58 -0400
About 75 people in 31 cars participated in a successful Algonquin Park birding trip today, the 20th year for this OFO outing. Occasional rain did not significantly hinder our efforts. The combined observer list totaled 67 species. Highlights for many were the male and female Spruce Grouse north of the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the two Boreal Chickadees that Maris Apse spotted for us at Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot and which provided excellent views, and the male Black-backed Woodpecker excavating a nest cavity in the second utility pole west of Leaf Lake Ski Trail (km 53.8). A record was set when Gray Jay was not seen all day, for the first time in the 20 years of these outings. Unfortunately, the decline of the Gray Jay in Algonquin Park due to climate warming has now reached the point where it is quite easy to miss this species in late April, when the birds are focused on feeding young in the nest. Other noteworthy sightings included: American Wigeon: pair on Lake of Two Rivers after heavy rain Blue-winged Teal: pair on Costello Creek Green-winged Teal: pair on Sunday Creek at Spruce Bog Boardwalk Red-necked Grebe: one on Lake of Two Rivers after heavy rain Merlin: pair at a nest in white pine at east end of West Gate parking lot Eastern Towhee: singing male along Tea Lake Dam road I would like to thank all the participants today, and especially Kevin Clute who assisted ably with finding the birds. Ron Tozer
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 18:15:45 -0400
Here are some sightings from the past week: Spruce Grouse: Male at Spruce Bog Boardwalk north of the register box. Black-backed Woodpecker: Male still excavating nest cavity in second utility pole west of Leaf Lake Ski Trail entrance on April 17. Not seen later in week. Male at km 8 on utility pole. Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, and Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Boreal Chickadee: try Opeongo Road, and Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Rose-breasted Grosbeak: first alternate male at Visitor Centre feeder eating black sunflower seeds on April 20-22; previous earliest date was May 3. Pine Siskin: 10+ at Visitor Centre feeders. Evening Grosbeak: 6 at Visitor Centre feeders all week. Notes: First sightings of spring this week included: Bufflehead, American Bittern, Osprey, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. A female Fisher was at the Visitor Centre suet feeder on April 23. Whiskey Rapids Trail, and Mizzy Lake Trail remain closed as of today. Please report your Algonquin sightings to me (including date, number and location) for our park records. Thanks. Good birding. Ron Tozer Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired) Dwight, Ontario
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways
400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on
Highway 400. From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then
follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers along Highway
60 in the Park go from the West Gate (km 0) to the East Gate
(km 56). Get your park permit and the park tabloid (with a map
of birding locations mentioned here) at the gates.
The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings and
information. The centre is open on weekends during the
winter, from 10 am to 4 pm. Access to watch the birds during
the week is possible by entering at the service entrance
and contacting the staff.
ALGONQUIN 35TH CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT RESULTS.
The 35th annual Algonquin Provincial Park Christmas Bird Count
(sponsored by The Friends of Algonquin Park) was held on Saturday,
January 3. A record high 69 observers tallied 30 species (average is
28) and 6,787 individuals (average is 4,918). Moderate cone crops
resulted in better than average results, and the clear and not overly
cold temperatures made for good birding conditions. The recent
major thaw allowed walking in many areas without snowshoes.
-Sharp-shinned Hawk: 1
-Golden Eagle: 2 (previous highest was 1)
-Wild Turkey: 3 (new species for count)
-Hoary Redpoll: 1 (photo)
-Spruce Grouse: (count week only)
-Black-backed Woodpecker: 14
-Gray Jay: 35
-Boreal Chickadee: 28
-Red-breasted Nuthatch: 1,016
-Pine Grosbeak: 280 (notable increase in numbers in last week)
-Red Crossbill: 71
-White-winged Crossbill: 1,504
-Common Redpoll: 1,010
-Hoary Redpoll: 1
-Pine Siskin: 135
-American Goldfinch: 88
-Evening Grosbeak: 24
Thanks to all our observers and organizers, many of whom
travel long distances to participate.
Algonquin Park CBC Compiler
Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11
and 60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From
Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the
park. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the West
Gate (km 0) to the East Gate (km 56). Permits and information are
available daily at both gates throughout the winter, including the
Algonquin Information Guide showing park locations.
The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open on weekends (10 to 4) through the
winter. Recent bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found
there. Birders visiting during the week are welcome to contact staff for
birding information via the service entrance (right end of the building
as you face it from the parking lot).