Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from January - March 2005
 
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Re(2): Killdeer
Posted on March 31, 2005 at 07:21:14 PM by Brenda Clark

I forgot, I also heard a song sparrow on that same walk this morning...maybe he travelled with the killdeer?

 

 

Re(1): Killdeer
Posted on March 31, 2005 at 04:55:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday morning I heard a Killdeer calling near Gagnon's YIG in Bracebridge. Maybe it didn't like all the snow it saw and headed back your way! : )

On Tuesday morning I heard a Song Sparrow singing near the Bracebridge train station. Haven't checked since then to see if he decided to stick around.

 

 

Killdeer
Posted on March 31, 2005 at 03:59:05 PM by Brenda Clark

There was a killdeer flying south(!) this morning along Beaver Ridge Road south of Gravenhurst. There has also been a brown creeper singing on Luigi Road, and a Great Blue Heron along with numerous Herring Gulls.

 

 

Re(2): saw whet owl
Posted on March 31, 2005 at 04:55:28 PM by jim griffin

sure Todd, its been here all day, its 5pm as I send this; no telling how long it will stay, it ate a mouse this afternoon so may be content to sit longer, or move on this evening.

 

 

Re(1): saw whet owl
Posted on March 31, 2005 at 08:37:04 AM by todd white

hello jim,i have been searching all year for this bird,and ive had no luck. is it possible to come to photograph it?todd white.

 

 

saw whet owl
Posted on March 31, 2005 at 08:31:53 AM by jim griffin

as I post this there is a saw whet owl in a spruce tree in my back yard; located and announced by a very excited group of chickadees.

I live at 78 deer lake rd in Port Sydney

 

 

Great Blue Heron, Wild Turkey in Huntsville
Posted on March 30, 2005 at 07:06:02 PM by Mark McAnally

I saw a Great Blue Heron flying over Highway #11 and Ravenscliff Road in Huntsville @ 6:00 p.m. tonight.
A fellow worker reports a Wild Turkey in his driveway on Leneige Road in Port Sydney yesterday.

 

 

Re(2): Great Gray Owls are Moving Out??
Posted on April 3, 2005 at 02:23:43 PM by jerry

we were in orillia on fri pm and saw 8 ggo's , an osprey , a harrier , a kestral tftpi (to far to positively id) and 2 coopers hawks. not bad for 2 hrs!

ps; we had to let the hawks and kestral go because we already had 20lbs of owls in our livewell...

pss;(a joke!)

 

 

Re(2): Great Gray Owls are Moving Out??
Posted on March 31, 2005 at 06:23:11 PM by Bob Bowles

The Muley Point area is from hwy 12 south on Muley Point Road to con 8 of Ramara and over to con 7 on sideroad 20. A have been checking all the open fields in this area. A Great Gray Owl was hit by a service truck today on Muley Point Road which makes 55 for this winter that have been hit by vehicles. I would be interested in any reports from March 30th onward. Not many coming in for Muskoka so will check the area again tomorrow.

 

 

Re(1): Great Gray Owls are Moving Out??
Posted on March 31, 2005 at 08:40:05 AM by todd white

on tuesday the 29. i have seen thirteen ggo.at muley point rd.all have left the muley point area ,but are around the fields still.

 

 

Great Gray Owls are Moving Out??
Posted on March 30, 2005 at 06:01:27 PM by Bob Bowles

I think that the Great Gray Owls are leaving our area. Several reports on March 28th, fewer on Mar. 29th and this evening March 30th only 3 Great Gray Owls at Muley Point. There will be a few observations for the next few weeks but I think most have left. Other birds are also leaving and last seen Varied Thrush (March 28th) and Harris's Sparrow (March 29th). Reports in the next few days will give a clearer situation with the Great Gray Owls.

 

 

Barred Owl in our yard...finally
Posted on March 30, 2005 at 11:08:31 AM by Al Sinclair

We have been envious of all the people reporting owls in their yard this winter. Finally this morning at 6AM we had an owl, a Barred Owl in plain view watching our feeder from a nearby tree. There were a few Redpolls around and a Chipmunk, oblivous to danger as always, but no Red Squirrels. Normally there a 3 or 4 chasing each other around on the snow. After the owl saw us moving around it flew into the woods and out of sight. It may have been there all night as Joan head some strange cackling sounds last night that got the dogs barking. I suspect that the owl is one of the local pair that have nested somewhere down by the river for many years. We heard them calling back and forth for the first time this year on May 19. We live on Hwy 118E, 8km east of Hwy 11 at Bracebridge.

 

 

pied-billed grebe
Posted on March 30, 2005 at 07:16:54 AM by jim griffin

another spring arrival on the north muskoka river at Port Sydney,a pied-billed grebe showed up yesterday afternoon and this morning

 

 

Red-shouldered Hawk...Matthiasville
Posted on March 29, 2005 at 02:05:59 PM by Al Sinclair

At 1 PM today, Mar 29, a Red-shouldered Hawk was soaring and calling over its usual territory north of the Muskoka River at Matthiasville. My first sighting of them this year. Matthiasville is 10 km east of Bracebridge off Hwy 118E.

 

 

American Woodcock
Posted on March 28, 2005 at 10:04:10 PM by ron stager

This evening, 28 March, on Merkley Rd. east of Barkway. Still more than a foot of snow: I guess it thinks it will be a nice day tomorrow.

 

 

wood ducks
Posted on March 28, 2005 at 11:15:34 AM by jim griffin

there were two male wood ducks on the muskoka river at Port Sydney this morning, just south of the road 10 bridge.

 

 

Bufflehead, Rough-legged Hawk, etc.
Posted on March 28, 2005 at 10:27:39 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a good scattering of ducks and geese along the Muskoka River between the Wellington St. bridge and the big bend near Santa's Village, Bracebridge. Species seen: Bufflehead, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Canada Goose.

A Rough-legged Hawk flew across the river near Henry Rd.

 

 

Owl Reports from Muskoka
Posted on March 28, 2005 at 08:29:21 AM by Bob Bowles

Muskoka birders, I need your help. Great Gray Owls came down from northern Ontario last fall and passed through Muskoka and Parry Sound in late November and early December. I received several reports at that time from your area. A very few stayed in Muskoka but settled on the north shore of Lake Simcoe and in Simcoe County from Midland east to Lake Dalrymple and south to Elmvale and Newmarket. In this area I have tracked over 300 Great Gray Owls this year. Sadly, 52 more were killed by vehicle impacts in this area this winter. However, the birds are still here at all the hot spots as of yesterday. Last night I counted 10 Great Gray Owls at Muley Point and have received several reports from Midland and Coldwater of owls still in place. But with the temperature rising this week to double digit values I feel that the owls may start moving north. It is difficult to tell when they start to move from here since one night I have counted as few as 6 hunting in the fields only to count as many as 28 the following evening. It seems to depend on the weather. Since there are few owls in Muskoka when they start to move observations of owls should sharply increase in Muskoka and Parry Sound as they move through towards their nesting grounds in the north. If you start observing more Great Gray Owls in Muskoka we will know that they are moving out of this area and heading north. Therefore, if you could email me and let me know when Great Gray Owl observations increase in your area it will help us determine how quickly they leave this area. Thanks.

 

 

mergansers
Posted on March 28, 2005 at 06:50:18 AM by Gerald Willmott

Sunday, during the day, there were 6 male commom mergansers and 3 females in front of the LCBO in Port Carling.

 

 

Turkey Vulture
Posted on March 27, 2005 at 08:50:43 PM by Brenda Clark

Between Hamlet and Port Stanton today there were several turkey vultures, as well as robins, red-winged blackbirds, Canada Geese, and a muskrat that sat nibbling greens on the ice at the edge of the canal.

 

 

Grackle
Posted on March 27, 2005 at 09:08:16 AM by Mark McAnally

I saw my first Grackle in Huntsville at my feeder on Saturday.

 

 

Re(1): first sighting
Posted on March 28, 2005 at 10:14:27 AM by Don Davis

The Journey North Program - www.learner.org/jnorth - appreciates your reports of "first sightings". Please continue to post target species here and/or directly to the program at the website provided. Please report the name of the closest town or village.

At present, about 300,000 students in Canada and the U.S.A. use this award-winning internet-based science program.

Many thanks.
Don Davis
Toronto, ON

 

 

Re(1): first sighting
Posted on March 27, 2005 at 10:40:14 AM by Barbara Taylor

A robin was singing near the west end of Meadow Heights Dr. this morning. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): first sighting
Posted on March 26, 2005 at 10:09:15 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I saw one this morning along Hwy 169 while checking out a small heronry near Bush's Waterski School. No Herons yet.

 

 

first sighting
Posted on March 26, 2005 at 05:32:10 PM by bob burton

On the way to the cottage to fill the feeders across the hwy Muskoka rd. 4 from Austin's garage,a Robin scurried along the fenceline.

 

 

Re(2): directions to Beamer...
Posted on March 28, 2005 at 09:16:51 AM by Barbara Taylor

Scroll to bottom of page for directions: http://www.freenet.hamilton.on.ca/Information/NEST/nature/niaghawk/MoreAboutBeamer.htm

Main webpage:
http://www.hwcn.org/link/niaghawk/

 

 

Re(1): Peregrine Falcon
Posted on March 28, 2005 at 09:04:22 AM by Grace Taylor

Thanks for the info. Where is Beamer point? I've always wanted to hit one of those migrations but have been off on timing.

 

 

Re(1): Peregrine Falcon
Posted on March 26, 2005 at 07:44:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

Mark, you might want to send in a report about the Peregrines. Here is the latest on the Burlington Lift Bridge pair.


The Canadian Peregrine Foundation keeps tabs on several Peregrines in Ontario.
Sightings Menu
Webcam Menu (Etobicoke now in operation; others soon)

 

 

Peregrine Falcon
Posted on March 25, 2005 at 09:34:22 AM by Mark McAnally

I know this is not a Muskoka sighting, but if anyone is down in Southern Ontario in the Burlington area, there is a pair of Peregrine Falcons living on the Lift bridge below the Skyway Bridge. We parked at the Fishermen's Weir and observed one falcon high up on a wire between the two towers.
We also visited Beamer Point in hopes of seeing part of the hawk migration but our timing was bad. However, one of the official count obsevers there told me they had nine adult Bald Egles on Monday, March 21 and two Golden Eagles. If there current pace holds up, they expect to see around 73 eagles this year.

 

 

Algonquin Park - Three-toed & Black-backed Woodpeckers
Posted on March 23, 2005 at 08:09:21 PM by Mike Jaques

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (Mar. 23, 2005) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


This morning we found the following in Algonquin Park:

Three-toed Woodpecker, male - near the gate on Opeongo Lake Rd, north of km 46.3

Black-backed Woodpecker, male - working on pole #77 at km 53 on Hwy 60

Gray Jay (1) - near the gate on Opeongo Lake Rd, north of km 46.3

Pine Grosbeak (2) - at the entrance to the Spruce Bog boardwalk at km 42.5

Evening Grosbeak (2) - at the Visitor Centre at km 43

Common Redpoll (1) - at the Visitor Centre at km 43

Redwing Blackbird (1) - at the Visitor Centre at km 43

No Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadee or Crossbills


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, take
Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers
on 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. The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Birders are welcome to observe the Visitor Centre feeders and ask staff
about recent sightings during the week, as well.

Mike & Joyce Jaques
Carleton Place, ON


First sighting
Posted on March 23, 2005 at 07:45:12 AM by Wendy Fletcher

Red-winged Blackbird:
First sighting this Spring
When: 8.30am, Tuesday March 22, 2005
Where: Hillman Lake Marsh (Houston Rd.)

 

 

spring song, brown creeper
Posted on March 22, 2005 at 10:48:43 PM by Challis

Monday morning, a brown creeper broke into its territorial song out here on Rocksborough Road. Today, I believe there was a pine grosbeak singing. And the mourning doves are continuing to warm up. We've yet to hear from the barred owl ... but then it's been too busy chowing down on voles at the neighbor's house.

 

 

Re(6): Prettiest Songs
Posted on March 24, 2005 at 07:50:12 PM by Terry Whittam / Marion Whittam

Birds of Ontario, McIlwraith 1894 wrote:
"In Southern Ontario, the Winter Wren is most frequently seen during periods of migration but a few remain and raise their young in suitable places throughout the country. There is a cedar swamp in West Flamboro made impenetrable by fallen timber, moss-grown and going to decay. In the stillness and gloom of that uninviting region, I have listened to the song of the Winter Wren in the month of June, and thought it one of the most pleasing specimens of bird music I have been privileged to hear. Tinged with melancholy it may be, but there is still a hopeful springhtliness about it that seems to rise above the gloomy surroundings and point to a brighter world outside. I have not heard of the species having been observed in winter but it arrives from the south early in April, and lingers quite late in the fall."
Thomas McIlwraith Feb 1, 1894

Hope you all enjoy this view from the past! How lucky we are the Winter Wren is still here 101 years later!

 

 

Re(5): Prettiest Songs
Posted on March 23, 2005 at 10:20:15 PM by Brian Shulist

My vote is the high warbler-like "wee-weedle-weedle-wee" song of the inconspicuous Brown Creeper. I was surprised at how beautiful they sing, especially when quite near. The winter wren and the ruby-crowned kinglet put more complexity into their song but they don't outdo the simple soul music of this underrated fellow. Love them all!

 

 

Re(4): Prettiest Songs
Posted on March 23, 2005 at 12:59:43 PM by gerald willmott

And for a new addition, the Fox Sparrow. Although he is not a resident here, he does pass through.

But who does he sound like???? Hmmmm...

 

 

Re(3): Prettiest Songs
Posted on March 22, 2005 at 10:55:19 PM by Challis

I like trying to find a musical equivalent. Rose-breasted grosbeak -- Ella Fitzgerald, pure and effortless. Winter wren -- Dizzie Gillespie, all high notes and wild riffs.
And Sandhill crane -- William Shatner, tone deaf and weird.

 

 

Re(2): Prettiest Songs
Posted on March 22, 2005 at 09:02:52 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Winter wrens nested near our place on Lake Joseph until two years before I moved from there. I missed them. At my new place in Bala my favourites are the veery and hermit thrush.

 

 

Re(1): Prettiest Songs
Posted on March 22, 2005 at 08:27:43 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Winter Wren is one of my favourites too. Two good places to hear them once they arrive are the Bracebridge Resource Management Centre Trails, and along a section of the Bracebridge Trans Canada Trail between Stephens Bay Rd. and Muskoka Beach Rd. Here is an unusual "viewpoint" of a Winter Wren.


Here are some song samples:
http://www.uwgb.edu/birds/wbba/species/audios/WREN__WINTER.MP3
(from Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas - http://www.uwgb.edu/birds/wbba/index.htm)

http://www.math.sunysb.edu/~tony/birds/wrens.html
(if you watch the upcoming US Masters golf tournament, listen for Carolina Wrens)

 

 

The Littlest Birds have the Prettiest Songs
Posted on March 22, 2005 at 06:43:01 PM by Al Sinclair

If you have watched TV recently you probably heard the catchy little song on the new Zellers commercial. Its title is "The Littlest Birds (have the Prettiest Songs)" by The Be Good Tanya's from their Blue Horse CD (a group based in British Columbia) http://www.begoodtanyas.com/. CBC radio has played the full song on two different programs in the last week.

After thinking about it, I have to agree with the proposition in the title. My nomination for the prettiest song by a Muskoka bird is the song of the Winter Wren, also one of the littlest birds at 4 in long. The following is a quote from Bent 1948: "loud, rich, full, song, rising and falling, high-pitched notes in fine silver thread of music lasting about 7 seconds, contains 108-113 separate notes". We are looking forward to hearing their song soon, last year we heard it first on March 31.

 

 

Great Blue Heron over Muskoka River
Posted on March 22, 2005 at 06:03:56 PM by Richard Doucette

I just saw a great blue heron over the Muskoka River, the segment of the river next to George Rd, Bracebridge. Minutes before I had a pair of common mergansers in the same area.

 

 

Hooded Mergansers & Canada Geese
Posted on March 22, 2005 at 06:02:10 PM by jim maguire&sylvia purdon

There are 5 Hooded Mergansers in the Severn River and nearby 2 -6 Canada Geese, along Canning Road towards the Blue Bridge, on the Muskoka side.

 

 

Re(4): Robber at my suet feeder!
Posted on March 27, 2005 at 10:18:15 AM by Terry Whittam / Marion Whittam

Based on futher research using a ruler! .......I think my Ermine is a Long Tailed weasel! Just not small enough for an Ermine. Terry

 

 

Re(3): Robber at my suet feeder!
Posted on March 24, 2005 at 03:32:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

Terry, you may need to use a ruler! : )

"Body measurements are needed to distinguish a male ermine from a female long-tailed. They both turn pure white, except for the black-tipped tail, in winter." -- quote taken from http://www.nhfishandwildlife.com/weasels.htm

 

 

Re(2): Robber at my suet feeder!
Posted on March 23, 2005 at 12:38:08 PM by Terry Whittam

I assumed it was an ermine..... very tough little animal. Birds and everything else scatter when he comes to steal suet.....black tip to the tail and a slight green hue to his white fur. I'll look up the long tailed weasel just to check.

 

 

Re(1): Robber at my suet feeder!
Posted on March 23, 2005 at 11:26:54 AM by Al Johnston

Hey, an albino squirrel! Great pic, Terry. Just kidding. Do you figure it's a long-tailed weasel or an ermine?
Al

 

 

Re(1): Robber at my suet feeder!
Posted on March 22, 2005 at 08:55:22 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Lucky you, Terry!

 

 

Robber at my suet feeder!
Posted on March 22, 2005 at 01:39:52 PM by Terry Whittam

I wondered where all my suet was going!
Here is the culprit!Suet Robber

 

 

Red-winged and Evening Grosbeaks
Posted on March 22, 2005 at 07:18:17 AM by Ron Stager

Hi
Two red-winged blackbirds at our feeder yesterday and a pair of evening grosbeaks this morning. Having not seen the grosbeaks since early January, they feel like spring arrivals. On the lookout for butterflies!!!(Barkway)

 

 

Re(1): Golden eyes in Bracebridge
Posted on March 21, 2005 at 12:03:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

They were still there this morning around 11 a.m. There were two male Common Goldeneyes fighting over the lone female. The Muskoka River is open along Beaumont Dr. now, but no ducks were seen.


directions: George Rd. is off Golden Beach Rd., which can be accessed from Santa's Village Rd. (south end) or from Hwy. 118 west of Bracebridge (north end).

 

 

Golden eyes in Bracebridge
Posted on March 21, 2005 at 08:28:58 AM by Richard Doucette

I saw two golden eyes (male & female)at the George Rd municipal dock (off Golden Beach RD) on Sunday March 20 at around 6:30 PM.

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swans
Posted on March 23, 2005 at 12:42:21 PM by Terry Whittam

Hi Jim and Sylvia! 6-9 Trumpeters seen regularly at the Washago public dock at the north end of Lake Couchiching. Water has been open there for a few weeks. No visible yellow wing tags on any of them.

 

 

Trumpeter Swans
Posted on March 21, 2005 at 07:04:05 AM by jim maguire&sylvia purdon

Friday March 19, 2 Trumpeter Swans at the Muskoka side of the Blue Bridge on the Severn River, and a group heard Monday March 22 at the mouth of the Severn River open at the mouth at Sparrow Lake. Sparrow Lake remains frozen.

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on March 20, 2005 at 07:39:53 PM by Lesley Wigg

A northern shrike has been visiting close by our feeder for the past few of weeks. Although the picture was taken Feb.23/05, it has been seen pretty well every day right up to today. It's the first time we have seen one of those here. Gull Lake, Gravenhurst.Northern Shrike

 

 

Owls, etc. Muskoka
Posted on March 20, 2005 at 05:36:24 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I did not find the GG owl reported by Jim McGuire this morning.

This afternoon I talked to some people who have seen a great gray near Kia and Rich Hill Candles. It hadn't appeared when I left at about 4:30-5 but has been seen a few times since last weekend.

The Northern shrike still puts in an appearance and I saw it behind Kia late today.

There was a family waiting for the great gray to appear who told me they had a Boreal Owl going after rodents at their bird feeder for about a week on Fraserberg Road. No longer there.

 

 

GGO- Sparrow Lake
Posted on March 20, 2005 at 07:46:25 AM by jim maguire&sylvia purdon

GGO that has been sighted from time to time since January still pops up in various locations on Canning Road and at our gate at 1091 Wenona Rd. Owl seems to be gazing over the frozen lake as if at a field, but he still survives despite such poor judgement.Most recent sighting- Saturday March 20 at the corner of Canning Rd. and Wenona Lodge Rd.

 

 

Mergansers
Posted on March 19, 2005 at 12:27:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

The south branch of the Muskoka River is wide open along the Matthiasville Rd. loop. This morning there was a pair of Common Mergansers near the west end of the road just before the bridge. Further along, near #1498 there was another pair of Common Mergansers as well as a male Hooded Merganser.

Take Hwy. 118 east from Hwy. 11 and turn north onto either end of Matthiasville Rd. (the road loops along the river and back out to Hwy. 118).

 

 

Barred Owl in Bracebridge
Posted on March 18, 2005 at 08:39:49 PM by Richard Doucette

I saw a barred owl at 1164 Golden Beach Rd on March 16 at 6:50PM. It was perched on the utility line just above the house number.

 

 

Re(1): Spring Migration information
Posted on March 19, 2005 at 05:47:06 PM by Brian Shulist

Thanks Barbara for these links. Now, this is the type of news I like waking up to!
Brian

 

 

Spring Migration information
Posted on March 18, 2005 at 12:17:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here are some websites that can help us follow the Spring Migration:

Hummingbird Migration Map

Purple Martin Migration Map

Long Point Bird Observatory sightings

Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch (aka Beamer)

Journey North

Recent Posts from ONTBIRDS

Other Regional Email Lists

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network

Migration of Birds

 

 

Just to pass along some spring highlights!
Posted on March 17, 2005 at 11:44:57 PM by Gerald Willmott

Just to pass along some spring highlights!

To those in need of spring, this weekend past, in the 905 blob rwblackbirds were flocking about. It seems winter will eventually loose again to summer.

 

 

Chipmunks, Bala
Posted on March 17, 2005 at 06:38:06 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I saw my first chipmunk yesterday. It didn't stay out long.
I am ready for bare ground!!!

 

 

Re(1): Ruffed Grouse
Posted on March 16, 2005 at 07:26:09 PM by Bob Burt

There was also a Ruffed Grouse in our own backyard this afternoon, sitting in a birch tree, eating buds in the late day sunshine. Glendale Road, Bracebridge.

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk & grouse
Posted on March 16, 2005 at 11:42:59 AM by Bob Burt

This morning a Red-tailed Hawk flew over the fields along Beaumont Dr. near Beaumont Farm Rd. A Ruffed Grouse was eating buds in a tree at SE corner of Henry Rd. and Beaumont Dr. (Bracebridge)

 

 

pileated, mourning dove
Posted on March 15, 2005 at 04:56:07 PM by Challis&Carlyle

A mourning dove was calling this morning, and the pileated down the road was drumming, as was a hairy woodpecker. Sounds like spring! Now all we have to do is convince the weather to follow suit.(Bracebridge)

 

 

Pine Siskins & signs of spring
Posted on March 15, 2005 at 12:37:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday two Pine Siskins showed up at our birdfeeder - first time we've seen any this year. A few Dark-eyed Juncos have remained all winter, but with spring approaching they have become very feisty, chasing other birds all over the yard. The American Goldfinch are noticeably more yellow just in the past week. Yesterday was the first time the male Northern Cardinal burst into full song - we'd only heard a few warm-up notes until now. Today he has started feeding his mate. American Crows seem to be everywhere. There has been a Pileated Woodpecker drumming and calling near the corner of Glendale Rd. and Daleman Dr.†† (Bracebridge)

 

 

snow fleas
Posted on March 14, 2005 at 08:45:24 PM by Alex Mills

I was at Magnetawan on Sunday and Monday (Mar 13-14). The only migrants back there are crows. But at least the snow fleas were out in force during the sunny afternoons!

 

 

Bald Eagle near Dwight
Posted on March 14, 2005 at 08:58:02 AM by Burke Korol

I saw an adult Bald Eagle being chased by a Common Raven on the north side of Hwy. 60, about 500 m west of the its junction with Hwy. 35 on Friday, 11 March 05 around 1030 hrs.

 

 

pine grosbeaks
Posted on March 12, 2005 at 10:59:21 AM by Frank LeVay

Five pine grosbeaks eating crab-apples, March 12. NW Corner of Alexander & Catherine Streets, Gravenhurst

 

 

Re(2): grey owl
Posted on March 12, 2005 at 06:40:52 PM by todd white

the grey was seen early in the morning at the top of the hill by the rust treatment place? open field on left.

 

 

Re(1): grey owl
Posted on March 12, 2005 at 08:32:32 AM by Mark McAnally

Todd
I live on Britannia Road and would love to see the Great Gray. Where did you see it?

 

 

grey owl
Posted on March 11, 2005 at 07:00:04 PM by todd white

great grey on browns rd, huntsville. o3.11.05

 

 

Grey Owl
Posted on March 11, 2005 at 03:36:20 PM by Dave

we had a 45 min visit last Sun. Mar 6
we think it was a juvinile, it's feathers were still rather Grouse colored..seemed a little on the small side too.

 

 

Re(1): woodpecker drumming sounds
Posted on March 11, 2005 at 09:26:50 AM by Barbara Taylor

If anyone is interested in listening to the sounds of Pileated Woodpeckers, here is a website with calls and drumming sounds: http://weaselhead.org/profile/index.php?s=191

There is also a lot of information about other woodpeckers - links to other species are shown near bottom of that webpage. Here are 3 sample sounds from the webpages (wav file format):
Downy drumming
Pileated drumming
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker tapping
The main homepage is the Weaselhead Glenmore Park Preservation Society, Alberta.

 

 

pileated, shrike
Posted on March 10, 2005 at 10:18:09 PM by Challis-Carlyle

Gayle watched a northern shrike chasing chickadees for at least 10 minutes around the house.
Also -- to follow up on Barb Taylor's note about the woodpeckers. The pileated on Rocksborough Road was drumming here a few days ago -- before the temperature really plunged, but I can't remember which day because this whole week has been a blur. Also have had five or six pine grosbeaks feeding here and lots of goldfinches.(Bracebridge)

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on March 10, 2005 at 01:01:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just before noon today there was a Northern Shrike (adult plumage) perched high in a tree east of 1447 Beaumont Dr. It flew to a tree overlooking the birdfeeders at the west side of the house. No sign of any owls in the area.

There were at least three woodpeckers drumming in the woods along the snowmobile trail a short distance west of Henry Rd. marsh. We saw a Pileated Woodpecker and a female Hairy Woodpecker. Several American Crows flying over Henry marsh.

(Henry Rd. is accessed from Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge)

 

 

Robin
Posted on March 9, 2005 at 06:11:33 PM by Ted

One very cold Robin perched in the maples above our platform feeder this morning , hope he survives the night!
120 meadow heights†† (Bracebridge)

 

 

Mixed message - Hoary Redpoll and Robin
Posted on March 7, 2005 at 03:19:41 PM by Goodyear

Winter? Spring? This morning we had a flock of Common Redpolls visit our feeder (117 Meadow Heights Dr.).With them was one Hoary Redpoll -unstreaked white rump, bright white undertail coverts, faint streaking on upper flanks, it was noticeably larger than the Commons. We also had a Robin "clucking" away as it perched in a Maple in our yard. We also continue to have a Barred Owl visit our feeder area on a regular basis. It hunted from a nearby tree most of yesterday.(Bracebridge)

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on March 5, 2005 at 09:27:18 AM by George Micallef

Barred Owl on the Williamsport Rd. in Huntsville

 

 

Barred Owl, Torrance
Posted on March 5, 2005 at 08:23:09 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

At about 5:30 pm last evening a barred owl was sitting on a power line above a rock cut a bit South of Torrance.
It looked very small compared to the great grays.

 

 

Update
Posted on March 6, 2005 at 07:18:00 PM by Challis-Carlyle

The barred owl on Rocksborough Road has been seen for four days in a row now. Pete and Caitlin, whose property the bird has been staying at, watched it catch a red squirrel on Saturday. Today we discovered the skin of a black squirrel and much fecal matter in the garage/barn on our property, across the street from Pete's house.

 

 

Barred owl
Posted on March 4, 2005 at 04:05:32 PM by Carlyle/Challis

Fri. Mar. 4
There has been a barred owl hanging around my neighbour's yard all day. (Rocksborough Rd., Bracebridge)
My neighbour has bee hives and has had major problems with voles and mice getting into the hives and making a mess; eating bees etc.
Plus there are quite a few bird feeders up and this has created a haven for rodents.
My neighbour is quite happy to have the owl pick off as many of the rodents as it can catch.

 

 

Re(5): N. Shrike hunting technique
Posted on March 4, 2005 at 09:46:57 PM by Alex Mills

I watched a northern shrike capture and kill a mouse this winter near Orillia. The mouse was crossing a road. The shrike landed beside the mouse (on the road's hard surface) and struck a couple of times, I think at the back of the neck. It then grabbed it with its feet and flew off into a tangle of small trees.

 

 

Re(5): N. Shrike hunting technique
Posted on March 5, 2005 at 08:58:14 AM by Al Johnston

Thanks for clearing that up for me, Barbara.

 

 

Re(4): N. Shrike hunting technique
Posted on March 4, 2005 at 07:36:04 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here's an excerpt from a website that contains notes from Life Histories of North American Birds, edited by A. C. Bent: http://birdcentral.net/naturalhistory3.htm#nor

"The shrike is a fairly swift flier, but is often not able to catch a smaller bird in a straightaway flight, especially if it resorts to dodging, at which the heavier bird is less adept. The shrike's usual method is to rise above its victim and dive down upon it, felling it to the ground with a stunning blow from its powerful beak, which often proves fatal by breaking the little bird's neck or its back. The shrike follows it to the ground immediately and, if necessary, kills the bird with a blow at the base of the skull or by biting through the vertebrae of the neck. Small birds often escape from such attacks by mounting higher and higher in the air, so that the shrike cannot get above them, and then suddenly darting downward into thick cover."

 

 

Re(3): Clarkes Nutcracker
Posted on March 4, 2005 at 04:48:26 PM by Al Johnston

Speaking of Northern Shrikes, here's something that I've often wondered about. How does a bird without obvious grasping, piercing talons effectively catch other birds? Al Sinclair, what do you think? Al

 

 

Re(1): Clarkes Nutcracker
Posted on March 5, 2005 at 08:20:01 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Silver, did you take a look at the shrike photo posted here on February 24th? This is the Robert Dollar drive bird that replaced the Northern hawk owl.

 

 

Re(2): Clarkes Nutcracker
Posted on March 4, 2005 at 01:06:56 PM by Al Sinclair

I Agree with Al J, your description and the behavior observed, eating other birds, suggests Northern Shrike. Quite a few have been seen lately in this area.

 

 

Re(1): Clarkes Nutcracker
Posted on March 4, 2005 at 12:38:07 PM by Silver

We forgot to inform you that this sighting was in Coldwater.

 

 

Re(2): Clarkes Nutcracker
Posted on March 4, 2005 at 01:30:52 PM by Silver

In reply to Al Sinclair,the bird was the size of a dove,or a large robin.

 

 

Re(1): Clarkes Nutcracker
Posted on March 4, 2005 at 01:02:08 PM by Al Johnston

You didn't mention the size of your bird but it sure sounds like a Northern Shrike to me. Al Johnston, Whitchurch-Stouffville

 

 

Clarkes Nutcracker
Posted on March 4, 2005 at 12:24:24 PM by silver

We saw a bird that looked like this Nutcracker in our backyard.It had a Cardinal in it's grasp,it landed on the ground,then took it into a spruce tree in our backyard.The bill was long,not like a Hawks,light grey head,lighter underbelly,dark to black on the wings and the back and tail.It also looked similar to the Missippi and White tailed Kite except the bill.Does anyone know what we saw? Silver.

 

 

Shrike but no Owls - Bracebridge
Posted on March 4, 2005 at 11:38:05 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the Northern Shrike was in the trees behind Muskoka Mechanical. It flew down behind the hill towards Beaumont Dr. There was still no sign of the Northern Hawk Owl, so it must have left the area to head back north.We searched along Beaumont Dr. and Stephens Bay Rd. but couldn't find any owls.

directions:
From Hwy. 11 northbound, take first exit to Bracebridge and follow Muskoka Rd. 118 West until you see Leons Furniture, and turn left onto Robert Dollar Dr. Muskoka Mechanical is on Robert Dollar Dr. Beaumont Dr. is at stop lights just past Robert Dollar Dr. - turn left/west at the lights. Stephens Bay Rd. is accessed from Beaumont Dr.

 

 

Re(1): Owl at 1029 Beaumont
Posted on March 2, 2005 at 03:45:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

Unless the owl was too far away for you to clearly see the yellow colour in the eyes, then dark eyes would indicate a Barred Owl. Barred Owls have been seen hunting in the same areas as Great Grays this winter, so it is possible. However, perching atop an evergreen sounds more like the habit of a Great Gray. Also, if the owl appeared to be over 24 inches in length, that leans more towards a Great Gray. Here are two photos I found with the owls turning their heads - maybe this will help you decide if it might have been a Barred Owl (left) or the Great Gray (right). (Sorry I couldn't find good "relative size" photos.)

Barred Owl photo website url:
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/kontonicolas/images/Barred-Owl_C8465.jpg
Great Gray photo website url:
http://www.owlpages.com/species/strix/nebulosa/pictures/greatgrey1.jpg

 

 

Owl at 1029 Beaumont
Posted on March 2, 2005 at 01:01:02 PM by Brenda Clark

At about 10:30 this morning I tracked down the owl between 1029 Beaumont and the road to the east. It was sitting on top of one of the pines with its back to me. It looked at me just once, but through my binoculars its eyes were black. Then it turned and obviously saw something good to eat, and hopped down into the gully behind the pine clumps. That's all I saw. the owl looked to be about just over two feet tall. Could it be that this is a Barred Owl?†††† (Bracebridge)

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - March 3 meeting
Posted on March 2, 2005 at 11:17:00 AM by Barbara Taylor

MARCH 3 THURSDAY MEETING 7:30 PM
Ron Reid, a biologist with the Ministry of the Environment will talk about studies on aquatic organisms, especially benthic invertebrates, and their role in lakes and streams (think crayfish). The significance of the Dorset Environmental Studies Centre, gaining on its 30th anniversary, and Ron's workplace since 1976, will be explored, in terms of science and the monitoring of Muskoka-Haliburton waters. 7:30 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, corner of First and Brock Street, Gravenhurst. Visitors welcome to attend the meeting.

Membership Information & Program Updates:
MFN website

 

 

Bird Board update
Posted on March 1, 2005 at 09:18:11 AM by Barbara Taylor

All reports for January through February are now available in the Archived Reports. Thanks to everyone for all your posts.

The hosting service for the Bird Board has had to reset the time-clock on their servers. This means that all messages posted prior to March 1 will now show a timestamp 3 hours earlier than the actual time of the post. All new messages will appear with the correct time.

Just a reminder to bookmark (save to your favourites list) the back-up webpage. All recently posted reports are copied and stored there. In the event of any major problems with the Bird Board hosting service, important notices will also be posted there.


New to the Bird Board?
If you're new to the Bird Board you might want to review the Hints and Tips section on the Guidelines webpage. Several features of the Bird Board are explained there.

I try to monitor the Bird Board on a regular basis. If you want to bring something to my attention, just send me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Barbara Taylor
muskoka_birder@hotmail.com

 

 

Algonquin Prov. Park Birds
Posted on February 28, 2005 at 08:38:32 AM by Karl & Marienna Egressy

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 27, 2005) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Hi Birders,
We spent the weekend up in Algonquin Park. Birding was good.
The most productive spot was Opeongo Road, with the following birds: Pine Grosbeak (M) (1) Boreal Chickadee (1) White-winged Crossbill (30+) Ruffed Grouse (F) (1) Grey Jay (3) Blue Jay (30+)
Next best spot was Spruce Bog Trail: Grey Jay (1) Black-backed Woodpecker (1) Blue Jay (30+) Raven (1)
Mew Lake Campground: Red-breasted Nuthatch (3), Blue Jay, many.
Along HW 60: many Ravens and a pair of Pine Grosbeaks.
Mammals: Marten, (Mew Lake Campground), Beaver, along HW60 and White-tailed Deer.
Apparently the Blue Jays are everywhere in huge numbers, so are Black-capped Chickadees. Local people said that they had never seen so many Blue Jays before.
Cheers,
Karl & Marienna Egressy

------------------------------------
*To join or leave ONTBIRDS visit
http://mailman.hwcn.org/mailman/listinfo/ontbirds
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

N. Shrike - Fraserburg Rd.
Posted on February 27, 2005 at 09:01:33 AM by Lad Helde

We have had a Shrike visiting our feeders the last couple of weeks as well. Could be the Challis Shrike. We were fortunate to see him take a vole while hunting on the ground right under the feeder. Also this week about a dozen Pine Grosbeaks are visiting our feeders. We too have a barred owl hunting from atop our feeders but he only hunts here after dark - we never see him in the daylight.(Bracebridge)

 

 

shrike & Kinglet
Posted on February 26, 2005 at 10:47:33 PM by Gerald Willmott

Hi all. I dropped in to have a look at the shrike this pm (3:45) and he was sitting up atop the poplar trees behind Muskoka Kia.

In other bird matters, there was a small flock of Golden Crowned Kinglets at the Resource Centre Trails just past High Falls on Highway 11.

 

 

Re(1): Trip to Barrie
Posted on March 7, 2005 at 10:35:58 AM by jim griffin

the goldeneye at indian landing port sydney are usually around all winter as there is always open water in the river, they are fun to watch in march as the males start there courting showing off and aggression.

 

 

Re(1): Trip to Barrie
Posted on February 28, 2005 at 04:43:46 PM by GerryLannan

Hi Mark;Marlene and I were in Port Sydney yesterday and saw 9 goldeneyes at that spot;Then on to Bracebridge where we saw the shrike behind Kia ,but no hawk-owl or great gray;At 1447 Beaumont Dr. the lady told us a great gray sat on her deck railing last Wed..Gerry Lannan

 

 

Trip to Barrie
Posted on February 26, 2005 at 07:08:40 PM by Mark McAnally

Today I drove from Huntsville to Barrie and had three interesting sightings. Two Goldeneye ducks at Indian Landing in Port Sydney, two swans in the water just before the Washago cutoff on Highway 11(were in the same spot on the way down and back) and five wild turkeys about 4 kilometeres north of Barrie in an open field.

 

 

Re(1): Shrike still there
Posted on February 27, 2005 at 04:07:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon around 3:30 p.m. the Northern Shrike was perched high in the poplars behind Muskoka Mechanical.

No sign of the Northern Hawk Owl. Perhaps it has begun the long return journey northward.

 

 

Shrike still at Robert Dollar Dr.
Posted on February 26, 2005 at 11:17:23 AM by Barbara Taylor

We saw the Northern Shrike this morning at 10 a.m. perched in a small tree right across the street from Muskoka Window and Door Centre. It flew to the west side of the building where we relocated it on the ground next to the air conditioning unit. It then flew up into the small pine tree just behind the a/c unit, and soon flew back to its perch in the tree across the street.

NO sign of the Hawk Owl.

directions:
From Hwy. 11 northbound, take first exit to Bracebridge and follow Muskoka Rd. 118 West until you see Leons Furniture which is on Robert Dollar Dr. Muskoka Window and Door Centre is at 15 Robert Dollar Drive.

 

 

Re(1): N. Shrike -- P.S.
Posted on February 25, 2005 at 02:39:18 PM by Challis

The one hunting around our place was definitely a mature adult. None of the beige highlights of the one photographed so beautifully by Eleanor at Robert Dollar Drive.

 

 

N. Shrike
Posted on February 25, 2005 at 02:35:38 PM by Challis

Seems to be a lot of shrike activity lately. A northern shrike made an appearance at our feeders at dusk yesterday (feb 24), Rocksborough Road off Fraserburg Rd, Bracebridge. The hairy woodpecker seemed unimpressed, but every other bird in the neighbourhood disappeared.

 

 

Re(1): Great Gray Owl - still nearby
Posted on February 26, 2005 at 11:00:14 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning around 10:30 a.m. we found the owl sitting on a metal trellis on the east side of the house at #1029 Beaumont Dr. The owl was staring at the ground under the bird feeder. It seemed to be a little thin, but perhaps it just wasn't plumped up much because of the relatively mild temperature.

It was very hard to see the owl since there are many small shrubby pine trees along Beaumont Dr. as you approach the house - first house west of Stephens Bay Rd.

 

directions:
From Hwy. 11 northbound, take first exit to Bracebridge and follow Muskoka Rd. 118 West. Beaumont Dr. is at first set of stop lights - turn left/west at the lights.

 

 

Great Gray Owl
Posted on February 25, 2005 at 02:09:32 PM by jim griffin

Tracking the Bracebridge GGOwl; seen at noon today sitting in a small tree in the middle of open space on the west side of 1447 Beaumont drive

 

 

Barred Owl takes Red Squirrel
Posted on February 25, 2005 at 06:38:34 AM by Mark McAnally

I watched a Barred Owl chase a Red Squirrel for 15 minutes. It was difficult for the owl as it had to fly in among evergreen branches but persistence paid off and the owl finally caught the squirrel. It then flew into my yard and sat on top of my bird feeder. This is the first time I have seen the owl in two weeks, and I just couldn't believe how persistent it was with me only standing 20 feet away.(Huntsville)

 

 

Re(1): Northern Shrike - photo
Posted on February 24, 2005 at 08:41:19 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here is a photo that Eleanor took of the Northern Shrike this morning. Thanks Eleanor.

(Canon 1DMK2, 500mm IS lens + 2 x & 1.4 converter)

The brownish plumage of first year birds becomes the gray adultlike plumage by spring. This bird looks very similar in colour to the one that visited our yard yesterday. The Ontario Field Ornithologists has a webpage describing shrike identification.

 

 

Hawk Owl, No.†† N. Shrike, Yes. - Bracebridge
Posted on February 24, 2005 at 01:54:44 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This morning from 10 am to approx. noon a Northern Shrike replaced the Northern Hawk Owl in the Robert Dollar Drive area. The shrike used all the perches that the hawk owl has been using since January 1.

I have noticed for the last 10 days that the hawk owl is not spending as much time along behind the businesses on Robert Dollar Dr. I have seen both chickadees and crows harass the owl numbers of times. The bird has been driven off and has stayed away for more than 3 hours at a time.

At about noon the shrike disappeared and I wasn't able to relocate it.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Shrike
Posted on February 23, 2005 at 07:59:33 PM by Brenda Clark

I just saw a shrike yesterday, as well, on Sedore Road, east of Highway 11, at the first bend as you come off the highway northbound.

 

 

Northern Shrike
Posted on February 23, 2005 at 12:44:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Northern Shrike just tried to grab a chickadee off the hanging feeder but missed. The chickadee had been keeping an eye on the "snoozing" Barred Owl who had returned to our yard this morning. Lucky for him the Shrike was a young one and didn't have very good aim. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Great Gray hit by truck...survived
Posted on February 23, 2005 at 10:58:00 AM by Al Sinclair

A resident on Golden Beach Rd reports that a Great Gray Owl was hit by a van in front of #1349 (near Patterson-Kaye Lodge) at about 9:30pm Mon Feb 21. It sat on the road for about 10 minutes before flying up to a telephone cable. It was gone the next morning. Anyone seeing an owl on that road should be aware that it may be injured and look to see if it might need some help.

 

 

GGOW @ 1140 Golden Beach Rd
Posted on February 22, 2005 at 04:57:39 PM by Richard Doucette

Seen Tuesday Feb. 22 @ 4:50PM.

[This post has been modified by an administrator -- note: for anyone new to the Bird Board, here is some background - two Great Gray Owls had sometimes been seen in the area since mid-December but last report of one was on Feb. 5. The owls were being seen between 1106 and 1140 Golden Beach Road, off Hwy 118 West, just west of Bracebridge.]

 

 

hawk owl
Posted on February 22, 2005 at 09:25:40 AM by Cecile King

We recently had a hawk owl outside of our house on Williamsport Rd. north of Huntsville. It was much darker than the barred owl and had a longer tail.

We were also fortunate enough to see 3 great grey owls on Highway 169 near Udney last week.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on February 21, 2005 at 06:54:48 PM by Mark McAnally

Approximately 100 Bohemian Waxwings at the corner of Gouldie Street and Hanes Road in Huntsville today at 2:00 p.m. They were quite vocal and all in treetops.

 

 

Add 2 more unusual species/errors are expected
Posted on February 22, 2005 at 12:25:21 PM by Al Sinclair

Add to the unusual list:
Purple Finch - I don't know anyone who is getting these this winter.
House Finch - These have died out in our area and haven't been seen here in winter in several years.

Errors in this type of bird survey shouldn't be a surprise since the data isn't checked for accuracy and everyone regardless of experience is encouraged to participate. I don't see errors as being a problem as what we are interested in is the overall picture, a few errors can be ignored. Another benefit of the count is getting more people involved in observing nature. My request for information on the unusual species is just in case what we assume are errors are actually correct!

 

 

Re(1): ...a few unusual species???
Posted on February 22, 2005 at 10:24:43 AM by Barbara Taylor

I've heard many folks use the nickname "partridge" when referring to a Ruffed Grouse so maybe that's what was meant.

 

 

Results for Bracebridge...a few unusual species???
Posted on February 22, 2005 at 10:10:19 AM by Al Sinclair

Just wondering if anyone can tell me about where some species on this list were seen: Gray Partridge, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Northern Mockingbird. These species aren't normally expected here in winter. Gray Partridge would be a new species for the region! It is possible they are entry errors or mis- identifications.

Species [taxonomic]
[alphabetic] Number of Birds Number of Checklists
Reporting the Species
Gray Partridge 1 1
Mourning Dove 13 4
Barred Owl 2 2
Red-headed Woodpecker 1 1
Downy Woodpecker 6 4
Hairy Woodpecker 8 3
Pileated Woodpecker 2 2
Gray Jay 1 1
Blue Jay 36 3
American Crow 3 1
Common Raven 22 2
Black-capped Chickadee 55 4
Red-breasted Nuthatch 10 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 12 3
Northern Mockingbird 1 1
Dark-eyed Junco 8 1
Pine Grosbeak 14 1
Purple Finch 2 1
House Finch 11 2
Common Redpoll 65 3
Evening Grosbeak 11 1
Total 284


There are also reports for the following nearby localities:

Bala, Ontario
Birch Island, Ontario
Huntsville, Ontario
Orillia, Ontario
Port Sydney, Ontario

 

 

Re(2): Great Backyard Bird Count ...our list today
Posted on February 22, 2005 at 07:17:21 PM by Terry Whittam

Amazing when you look back at the GGO maps & data for 1999 to 2004. What a GGO year we are having in 2005! I wonder what the chances are that the irruption continues next year? Terry

 

 

Re(2): Great Backyard Bird Count ...our list today
Posted on February 22, 2005 at 08:35:35 AM by Brian Shulist

Hi all: It's interesting also to see the maps of the Barred Owl this year compared to last. I'm guessing the Gray Owl irruption has had repercussions for the Barred as the food supply is spread thinner. BTW, I'm located on the other side of the Park (my GBBC checklists can be seen under Wilno).

Regards,
Brian Shulist

[This post has been modified by an administrator - Here's the direct link to Brian's list]

 

 

Re(2): Great Backyard Bird Count ...our list today
Posted on February 21, 2005 at 07:51:28 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today we had the following birds in our Bracebridge yard:

6 American Goldfinch
1 Common Redpoll
6 Dark-eyed Juncos

2 Red-breasted Nuthatch
2 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Downy Woodpeckers
2 Hairy Woodpeckers
2 Northern Cardinals
7 Blue Jays
3 Mourning Doves
10 Black-capped Chickadees
2 American Crows

The Barred Owl left yesterday at dusk. On the weekend it tried to catch doves at the feeder at least 4 times and missed - guess it was just lucky on Friday.

 

 

Re(1): Great Backyard Bird Count ...our list today
Posted on February 21, 2005 at 07:28:21 PM by Al Sinclair

It was quiet at the feeders today but since it was the last day of the count we submitted our list anyway. We had Pine Grosbeaks and White-breasted Nuthatch yesterday and a Golden-crowned Kinglet in the woods on Friday but all were no-shows today. The maps being generated by the count are quite interesting. Look at Great Gray Owl, Pine Grosbeak, and Common Redpoll. A link to the map room is below.Map Room


Our backyard list for today:
Species Count 5
Mourning Dove 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Black-capped Chickadee 5
Common Redpoll 50

 

 

Great Backyard Bird Count is this weekend
Posted on February 20, 2005 at 10:39:28 PM by Al Sinclair

The Great Backyard Bird Count is on this weekend Fri to Monday. Almost forgot! Link to their website below.
Backyard Bird Count

 

 

Re(1): Boreal Owl - photo
Posted on February 20, 2005 at 06:46:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

Jane's Feb. 5 close-up photo.

Jane has sent this photo which was just taken today. Thanks Jane.
(I've reduced the image size a bit for faster loading.)

(Big Doe Lake, in Sprucedale)

 

 

Boreal Owl
Posted on February 20, 2005 at 04:49:43 PM by Jane Marshall

Hello! The Boreal Owl is back again, I had a posting on Feb.5/05 about it with a picture, I have a picture again, but the first one is better, I had just got off of this site and went to the kitchen for some water, and there it was again, keeping an eye on the birdfeeder. I was quite surprised and excited to see it again. Thanks, Jane

(Big Doe Lake, in Sprucedale)

 

 

Re(1): Pine Grosbeaks, Bala
Posted on February 19, 2005 at 12:33:12 PM by anne lewis

I wonder if we are seeing the same birds. As the crow flies we are not far away from each other. I didn't see the PGB on Thurs or Fri a.m. We had two females and 1 immature on Fri afternoon and this morning there were 2 males and 1 female. The most we have seen at one time is 7. since then only between 1 and 4 at a time. they are here usually at 11am and 3pm
(Six Mile Lake)

 

 

Pine Grosbeaks, Bala
Posted on February 18, 2005 at 09:57:04 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I had 2 immature and 1 adult male pine grosbeaks visit my platform feeder today. I hope they will stay around so that I can get some decent photographs.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl takes dove
Posted on February 19, 2005 at 12:38:00 PM by anne lewis

I had an EGB taken off the railing of my deck by the Barred Owl that is visiting. I too thought he was sleeping, was even concerned about it because it seemed dozy....I just caught the sight of it leaving and the tail feathers left behind but didn't see what it had. the feathers told the tale.
Anne
(Six Mile Lake)

 

 

Barred Owl takes dove
Posted on February 18, 2005 at 07:04:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

Timing is everything! This afternoon I witnessed a Barred Owl swoop across our yard and grab a Mourning Dove off the platform feeder. It took the dove to the ground where it easily subdued it and then retreated to a pine tree out of sight. Just before the attack, the owl had appeared to be "snoozing" on a fence post, soaking up some sunshine. Many birds were in the yard at the time, but the single dove on the platform feeder had its back turned to the owl. Oops...

I had known that Barred Owls would occasionally catch birds at night when they were roosting, but I never imagined an owl could carry out a successful attack in broad daylight. Wow!

 

(Bracebridge)


Barred Owl info:
The Owl Pages
Owling.com

 

 

Hawk Owl still there & Great Gray
Posted on February 18, 2005 at 05:24:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 10:15 a.m. today the Northern Hawk Owl was in the trees on the hill behind Muskoka Mechanical on Robert Dollar Dr., Bracebridge.

There was also a Great Gray Owl at the pipeline property at #154 Beaumont Dr. The owl was hard to find since it was perched very low in a spruce tree to the east side of the driveway.


directions:
From Hwy. 11 northbound, take first exit to Bracebridge and follow Muskoka Rd. 118 West until you see Leons Furniture which is on Robert Dollar Dr. Beaumont Dr. is at stop lights just past Robert Dollar Dr. - turn left/west at the lights.

 

 

PINE GROSBEAKS/BALD EAGLE: SOUTH PORTAGE RD
Posted on February 17, 2005 at 09:51:08 PM by Bruce Kirkland

GREETINGS MUSKOKA BIRDERS,

Apologies for the late reporting but it was a matter of e-mail access in the past two days.
These sightings are for Tuesday, 15 Feb. 05:
Found on South Portage Road at 9:30 am: A flock of 15 Pine Grosbeaks, four of them males, in trees and then on the road while picking up freshly laid sand grit, in front of House #3322.
Found on South Portage Road at 10:15 am: An adult Bald Eagle perched in a tree across the road from House #1507.
Found at the intersection of South Portage Road and Highway #60, as well as the nearby intersection of Highway #60 and Hills Road, at 11 am: A large fast-moving flock of Pine Grosbeaks (perhaps 25-30 birds, males included) as well as smaller flocks of Common Redpoll and American Goldfinch.
Directions for Out-of-Towners: South Portage Road is 20.4 km long and runs between Highway #60 and Brunel Road southeast of Huntsville. Brunel Road runs south from Huntsville towards Baysville. South Portage is a left-hand turnoff about 15 km out. If accessing South Portage from Huntsville, travel east on Highway #60. Look for it on the right a few km past the village of Hillside. If you hit Dwight, you've driven past it.
The Bald Eagle was on South Portage five km from the intersection with Highway #60; the flock of Pine Grosbeaks in front of #3322 was 15 km from Highway #60.
Note: South Portage Road may be more productive for Pine Grosbeaks than Highway #60, especially in the morning after a snowfall and then a fresh sanding, because there is less traffic to flush the birds.

GOOD BIRDING,
BRUCE KIRKLAND

 

 

Re(1): Ravens nest building...week earlier than last year
Posted on February 19, 2005 at 12:41:39 PM by anne lewis

the here ravens have become louder and more apparent in the last week.

(Six Mile Lake)

 

 

Ravens nest building...week earlier than last year
Posted on February 17, 2005 at 08:39:54 PM by Al Sinclair

A pair of Ravens were collecting dog hair on our property today Feb 17 so they must be nest building. Last year the first date I noticed this was Feb 25. They carried away a big mouth full from our compost pile and found more in the emptied vacuum cleaner contents. They always fly away to the north-east but I have never found their nest location. We are on Hwy 118E near Hawn Road, approx 8 km east of Bracebridge.

 

 

Algonquin birds
Posted on February 17, 2005 at 04:35:30 PM by Tony Bigg

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 17, 2005) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


In Algonquin Park today I had two BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS, three GRAY JAYS and many WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS on the Spruce Bog Trail. A male BBWO was on the far side of the marsh, going clockwise around the trail, just at the start of the woods. A female BBWO was at the exit of the same woods near the road.
Four small flocks of PINE GROSBEAKS were seen on Hwy 60 and two BOREAL CHICKADEES were by the highway about 1km west of the Minnising turn-off (about km22). The gate area on the Opeongo road had a further two GRAY JAYS and more WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS. It is interesting to note that a flock of more than a dozen BLUE JAYS is now at the gate also waiting for handouts.

Tony Bigg

 

 

Bald eagle, and more
Posted on February 17, 2005 at 02:36:32 PM by Gayle Carlyle

Thurs. 17, 2:10 pm
Wow, can't believe a saw an adult bald eagle today. It was soaring over Hwy. 11 near the airport. Maybe it was waiting for a runway to open.
I also saw a medium-sized raptor flying over the highway at about 12:50 pm south of Gravenhurst. Maybe a sharp-shinned?
Also, this morning I saw a pileated woodpecker down our road, the Rocksborough Rd.
Not a bad day for bird watching despite the weather; or maybe because of it.

 

 

Re(1): Owls at feeders
Posted on February 19, 2005 at 12:47:08 PM by anne lewis

i have had a barred owl in a tree close to the feeders on and off all last week. i was surpised that it did not seem interested in the squirrels and seemed to be sleeping. i did not think it would take a bird but it did. i saw the owl flying away off my deck and only the tail feathers of an egb left behind. i guess they are having trouble finding food.(Six Mile Lake)

 

 

Re(1): Owls at feeders
Posted on February 17, 2005 at 08:15:18 PM by Dennis

I too have had a Barred owl perched beside my bird feeder on 2 occasions over the last week. It appeared to be disinterested in either black or gray squirrels but did try on 2 occasions to get a red squirrel-no success. It perked up when it got sight of a chipmunk, out on a sunny day this week. Don't know if it got it or not. On Wed. evening around midnight, I was awakened by a noise and saw the owl perched atop my feeder. It was there the next morning and stayed till at least noon. I then saw it again, sitting in a nearby tree at about 4:00 PM, it was gone just before dark. I left a dead mouse on top of my bird feeder and it was gone the next morning, so I am presuming the owl took it!††††††† (Lake of Bays)

 

 

Owls at feeders
Posted on February 17, 2005 at 09:49:04 AM by Barbara Taylor

There have been several reports of Barred Owls hunting near bird feeders. This may be a sign that some are having trouble finding enough food. If you have an owl that is staying in your yard for several days, look for signs of distress. You can find out "How to Identify Owls in Distress" in Al Sinclair's Jan. 7 post near the bottom of the Bird Board.

 

Barred Owls are usually not very active during the day and you may even catch an owl "snoozing" from time to time with its eyes barely open. That is normal behaviour since they hunt mostly at night, and at dusk and dawn.Here's a photo of a Barred Owl hunting near our bird feeder in the early morning a few days ago in Bracebridge.

 

 

birth of hummingbirds photos
Posted on February 17, 2005 at 08:42:02 AM by Brenda Clark

I was just passed this website from photos taken a couple of years ago. For any who have not seen it, it is truly amazing. http://community-2.webtv.net/hotmail.com/verle33/HummingBirdNest/

[This post has been modified by an administrator -- link should work now Brenda. See tips about adding links, etc. on the Bird Board Guidelines webpage.]

 

 

owl sighting
Posted on February 17, 2005 at 08:26:09 AM by Linda Middaugh

On the morning of February 16th a Great Gray Owl sat on the tree out the front of our house on Lake of Bays. We live at the Baysville end of the Lake right on the water. He stayed for the morning but didn't return on Feb. 17th

 

 

Great Gray & Hawk Owl, Bracebridge
Posted on February 16, 2005 at 10:01:21 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

The regular great gray was back at the pipeline compressor station property this afternoon.

From 3:30 pm to 5:30 the hawk owl was not seen behind Rich Hill Candles.

 

 

Barred Owl - photo
Posted on February 16, 2005 at 08:29:25 PM by Michel Potvin

 

Sunday morning we saw this Owl looking at the bird feeder. The picture was taken out my kitchen window on Cooper Lake in Dwight.

 

 

Northern Goshawk
Posted on February 16, 2005 at 03:29:18 PM by Ted Gardner

Peeking out my window this afternoon i witnessed mass hysteria!! Blue jays , mourning Doves and Gold finches skattered!! Maybe the large Goshawk coasting by and settling in a large maple caused this comotion me thinks!!

 

 

Northern Shrike - Bay Lake
Posted on February 15, 2005 at 04:16:56 PM by Kip Daynard

A Northern Shrike made an appearance today (2nd time this winter), sitting above my feeder while being scolded by an irate Blue Jay.

We've had exactly a dozen Pine Grosbeaks at our feeders every morning for the last 3 weeks. Typically between the hours of 8 and 10AM, sometimes in the afternoon as well.

I've noticed Hairy Woodpeckers starting territorial drums recently.

Directions:
1. Hwy 11 north from Huntsville to Novar
2. Hwy 592 north to Bay Lake Rd.
3. #1380 Bay Lake Rd.

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swan info
Posted on February 15, 2005 at 06:30:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here is a bit of background on Trumpeter Swan #586 which I've copied from the Bird Board archived reports. The swan was seen by Eleanor Kee Wellman in about the same place last year on Jan. 29...also of note, there was a male Hooded Merganser seen then too!


Re(1):Trumpeter Swan #586
Posted on January 30, 2004 by Al Sinclair

Trumpeter Swan #586 was originally released at Lake Scugog near Port Perry as part of the re-introduction program. The "8" is missing on one side of the tag. It has been in Muskoka for 2 years seen mostly around Dwight on Lake of Bays and Huntsville on Vernon and Fairy Lake. It was also in Algonquin Park briefly.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings in Huntsville
Posted on February 14, 2005 at 10:28:06 PM by Bruce Kirkland

Greetings Birders:
Sighted on both Friday, February 11, and Monday, February 14, was a large flock of Bohemian Waxwings in downtown Huntsville. At 20 Brunel Rd. there has been a flock of 25-30 feeding in a fruit tree right next to the road in the morning. Meanwhile, on High St., one block South of Main St., in front of All Saints Parish Hall and Church, another flock of 75 - 100 Bohemians was roosting on both sides of the street and flying down to the fruit trees on the church property to feed. The birds were there throughout the morning today.
FYI - in the nearby Muskoka River (just East of All Saints Church) you may spot the resident Trumpeter Swan (tag number 586, a bird that originated in the Wye Marsh) hanging out with a large group of Mallards and American Black Ducks. There is also a drake Hooded Merganser who seems to enjoy swimming in the water underneath the Swing Bridge, just to the north.
Cheers,
Bruce Kirkland

 

 

Pileated woodpecker
Posted on February 14, 2005 at 09:39:49 AM by Brenda Clark

Yesterday, on a stretch of Luigi Road between the road and highway 11, a pileated woodpecker was chatting away to us as we walked. There was also a lone female pine grosbeak above the rec hall at Sun Park beaver Ridge estates behind the Muskoka Store,(Gravenhurst) and a group of redpolls. Lots of crows are back as well.

 

 

Great Gray - still at Stephens Bay Rd.
Posted on February 13, 2005 at 03:07:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Great Gray Owl was still at the fields along Stephens Bay Rd. this afternoon, but in a different spot than on Feb. 10. This time, it was sitting on a low branch near several honey bee boxes on the west side of the road just over the crest of the hill past the farm (#1008). Stephens Bay Rd. is accessed from Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge.

Also saw the Robert Dollar Dr. Northern Hawk Owl this afternoon too.

 

 

Lots of feeder birds
Posted on February 13, 2005 at 12:28:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

After having very little action at our feeders for a while, everything seemed to arrive at once this morning. Several Common Redpolls, American Goldfinch, Dark-eyed Juncos, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, Mourning Doves, many Blue Jays and Black-capped Chickadees, and a Barred Owl. The owl didn't seem to intimidate the other birds but it did take two unsuccessful swoops at a Red Squirrel. For the first time this year I noticed a Blue Jay feeding its mate.

What I thought was a young female cardinal may yet turn out to be a young male - there are now a few red splotches on its breast - is it possible that a late second hatch bird would wait until spring to get its male plumage?Very odd.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on February 12, 2005 at 02:39:21 PM by Gary Hammond

Have a Barred visiting our back yard at 1055 Golden Point Road. Thurs. Feb.10 he sat high above our platform birdfeeder. Sat. Feb. 12. visited again but not without a major scolding from atleast a dozen blue jays, who dove at him continually as he sat quietly.

 

 

Pine Grosbeaks
Posted on February 12, 2005 at 02:13:50 PM by Dan Burton

At 1 pm there were 13 Pine Grosbeaks across from South Meadow Antiques in Barkway. The house had a feeder but the birds were not using it at the time.

 

 

Pine grosbeaks
Posted on February 11, 2005 at 04:23:37 PM by Carlyle/Challis

Fri. Feb. 11
Finally, something interesting at our feeding stations.
This morning I watched four pine grosbeaks (2 male, 2 female) chowing down of sunflower seeds underneath our crabapple tree out front.
By the way, the red squirrels seem to enjoy the crabapples every now and then. When they're not busy inhaling the sunflower seeds.

 

 

Hawk Owl & Great Gray - Bracebridge
Posted on February 10, 2005 at 03:34:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

We saw the Northern Hawk Owl today at 2:45 p.m. near its usual place behind Rich Hill Candles on Robert Dollar Dr. It was hard to find since it was sitting atop a hydro pole that was partially hidden from view by the hill behind Rich Hill. (Another place to look - sometimes the owl can be seen from Beaumont Dr. in the trees on the hill behind #67.)

We couldn't find a Great Gray Owl in the vicinity of the TransCanada pipeline property at #154 Beaumont Dr., but did find one further west when we turned up Stephens Bay Rd. The owl was in a tree at the north-east corner of the large field on the east side of Stephens Bay Rd. just past the Muskoka Ridge Camping trailer park. (same field where the Rough-legged Hawk was in Nov.)

directions:
From Hwy. 11 northbound, take first exit to Bracebridge and follow Muskoka Rd. 118 West until you see Leons Furniture which is on Robert Dollar Dr. Beaumont Dr. is at stop lights just past of Robert Dollar Dr. - turn left/west at the lights.Stephens Bay Rd. is along Beaumont Dr.

 

 

HUNTSVILLE/MUSKOKA FINCHES AT FEEDERS
Posted on February 10, 2005 at 10:52:02 AM by Bruce Kirkland

GREETINGS MUSKOKA BIRDERS,
As a regular visitor from Toronto (my girlfriend works at The Huntsville Forester), I would be interested in having the opportunity to drop in at a couple of residences in Huntsville & Area, ideally this Friday (tomorrow) or perhaps Monday morning (Feb. 14) to see Pine Grosbeaks, Evening Grosbeaks and any other intriguing northern finches being seen regularly (I've seen the past postings from Mark McAnally and Barb Woodfield). If anyone wants a visitor for an hour or so to see your feeder birds, please let me know at this email address:
brucekirkland@hotmail.com
or post a rely on the Muskoka Bird Board (but that would involve making a phone number and/or address public).
Meanwhile, I would like to thank Barbara Taylor for maintaining this birding site, which I only recently discovered. I would have one small request, as an outsider. Some of the postings do not have specific directions or occasionally town names. As is the case with many of the posting on ONTBIRDS where meticulous directions are provided by folks such as Bruce Di Labio of Ottawa, it would be very helpful for those of us who don't know the area well to get more info, even if it seems repetitive, redundant or silly to those of you who are local. Just picture a Toronto birder (me) driving around hopelessly lost in Bracebridge looking for some rarity, such as the Northern Hawk Owl.
I look forward to hearing from and meeting birding enthusiasts in Muskoka. Thanks in advance.
REGARDS & GOOD BIRDING,
BRUCE KIRKLAND

 

 

Re(1): Pine Grossbeaks, Barred Owl
Posted on February 9, 2005 at 08:21:18 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Hello Anne, As barred owls are nocturnal this owl is very likely sleeping. It is probably getting mice or voles from beneath your feeder at night and is staying there during the day.

I would be interested in photographing your owl and the grosbeaks. As I am in Bala, you aren't too far from me. If you send me an e-mail by clicking on my underlined name I will get in touch with you.

Eleanor

 

 

Pine Grossbeaks, Barred Owl
Posted on February 8, 2005 at 11:42:38 PM by Anne

we have had 7 pine grossbeaks at the feeders for a couple of weeks along with 50 evening grossbeaks. they are here every day in between the 40 blue jays.
there is a barred owl that has been in a tree by the feeder 3 times in the last week. it sits in the tree all morning. the birds all ignore it. we had one a couple of weeks ago that did the same thing but i think this is a different one. i am a bit concerned about it because the eyes are not bright like the other one. it seems to be sleeping.
could this be the case if it is daylight?
i am on Six Mile Lake south of Gibson Lake Rd. off hyw 400

 

 

Bird Board update
Posted on February 8, 2005 at 06:48:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

All reports from January are now available in the Archived Reports. Find information about posting photos and give it a try on the new Photo Sharing Board. Photos posted on the Bird Board should be related to sightings in Muskoka and nearby areas. Nature photos may be posted on the Photo Sharing Board if taken anywhere in Ontario. (See links above.)


New to the Bird Board?
The Muskoka Bird Board is a place to share reports of any bird sightings or other nature sightings in Muskoka and surrounding areas. There is no membership or registration required. You don't have to include your email address in your post. Your report will appear on the Bird Board immediately after you click on "Post". See the Bird Board Guidelines for more information, including several tips on using the message board.

Please bookmark (add to favourites) the Bird Board back-up webpage. All recently posted reports are copied and stored there. In the event of any major problems with the Bird Board hosting service, important notices will also be posted there.

I try to monitor the Bird Board on a regular basis. If you want to bring something to my attention, just send me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Barbara Taylor
muskoka_birder@hotmail.com

 

 

Re(2): Barred owl
Posted on February 16, 2005 at 08:30:54 AM by Barbara Taylor

Don't know about Art's Barred Owl, but the one we've had around our bird feeders in Bracebridge has been finding shrews. The bird would carry the shrew to the roof of our shed and reposition it for easier swallowing. They were definitely shrews, not voles. We've seen shrews under the bird feeders in past years, but this is the first time we've had an owl hunting for them during the day. The owl appears to be healthy - very alert and active. Photo

 

 

Re(1): Barred owl
Posted on February 15, 2005 at 10:37:32 PM by Alex Mills

How do you know that it was hunting moles?

 

 

Barred owl
Posted on February 8, 2005 at 04:24:46 PM by Art Pearse

Barred owl on Bonnell Rd. since Saturday 5th, hunting moles. Often at #71, near bird feeders, especially late afternoons.

 

 

Great Gray Owl, Falkenberg Road
Posted on February 8, 2005 at 12:10:53 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Yesterday around 5 pm I drove around the Falkenberg Rd./Beatrice Town Line area to see if any owls were around. This is the area where most of the great grays hunted in 2001.

I found one sitting on the first utility pole south of Binsteads house. It flew into the bush as I drove by.

In 2001, Don Goltz, who owns a lot of property in the area, was pretty upset with all the people who trespassed and left vehicles parked unsafely. We don't want to anger the property owners again so it is best to view and photograph the owl from the road and better still from your vehicle.

 

 

Red Tailed Hawk agression on Snowy Owl
Posted on February 7, 2005 at 03:49:14 PM by Jim Griffin

The things you wish you could see while not driving a car. Driving to Peterborough this morning to pick up injured Barred owl for AWAP; I observed a snowy owl just as it left its perch on a guardrail post, it was immediately replaced by a large red tailed hawk that was swooping in on it. I did not have opportunity to stop immediately, but did visit on return trip about 45minutes later; hawk was perched in a nearby tree but no snowy. Location was north side of hwy 7,west side of first hill west of Fowlers Corners, guardrail overlooking farm fields.

 

 

grey owl, hawk owl and otter slides
Posted on February 6, 2005 at 07:18:31 PM by Leslee Tassie

Observed the Hawk Owl again today out by Robert Dollar Drive. As well, today, out at Henry Marsh we observed otter tracks, and areas where they had slid down the sides of the beaver dam.
Approx. 2 p.m. observed the great grey owl in the top of a pine by the pipeline booster station on Beaumont Drive. As well, my husband and the Venturers were out camping this weekend and while hiking came across about a 50 metre long otter slide. This was on the south side of Taylor Road, about 3 or 4 km. in from the snowplow turnaround, on privately owned land.

 

 

Re(1): Gray Jays near Vankoughnet (east of Bracebridge)
Posted on February 8, 2005 at 11:29:34 PM by Anne Lewis

we have one gray jay that comes every winter. it doesn't come with the other jays and is always alone. it could be there are two but they are never together.

 

 

Gray Jays near Vankoughnet (east of Bracebridge)
Posted on February 6, 2005 at 04:31:39 PM by Al Sinclair

Yesterday Feb 5, I spotted a Gray Jay flying across the road at the Clear Lake Store east of Bracebridge on Hwy 118E. Store owner Ted Ramsay said they have a pair coming to their feeder and that they have seen Gray Jays every year since they moved to that location 4 years ago. The store is on Hwy118E about 3 km east of Vankoughnet.

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on February 6, 2005 at 03:04:06 PM by Bob Burt

Today at about 2:05 pm we had a very good look at a mature bald eagle which was effortlessly circling over the intersection of Muskoka Road 4 and Hwy.141 a few km. north of Bracebridge. It was enjoying a light south breeze and flying with very few wing strokes. After about a minute it headed in a westerly direction.

 

 

Algonquin Park update: 5 February 2005
Posted on February 6, 2005 at 11:39:25 AM by Ron Tozer

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 5, 2005) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


The following is a summary of recent reports in Algonquin Provincial Park:

Spruce Grouse
Seen today at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.5). Opeongo Road (km 46.3) is
another location to check.

Black-backed Woodpecker
One or two have been seen on de-barked trees near the Spruce Bog Boardwalk
parking lot over the last few days.

Gray Jay
Several are being seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the wooden gate on
Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee
Recent sightings have been from km 8 logging road, Arowhon Road (km 15.4),
Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and Opeongo Road.

Pine Grosbeak
Small numbers are regular along Highway 60, especially after sanding and
salting.

White-winged Crossbill
Small flocks are still being seen and heard along Highway 60, including km 8
logging road, Arowhon Road, and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Common Redpoll
Small numbers are being observed regularly, usually calling in flight.

Notes:
On weekdays, log hauling is occurring on Arowhon Road and BIRDERS SHOULD NOT
GO ON THE ROAD. Birding along this narrow winding road may be undertaken on
weekends, when log trucks are not present, but drive with caution.

Other than the three species noted above, no other finches are being
reported.

A marten is making irregular visits to the Visitor Centre (km 43) feeder.


Ron Tozer
Dwight, Ontario

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, take
Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers
on 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. The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Birders are welcome to observe the Visitor Centre feeders and ask staff
about recent sightings during the week, as well.

--------------------------------------
*To join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://mailman.hwcn.org/mailman/listinfo/ontbirds
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Great Grey Owl and Cardinal
Posted on February 5, 2005 at 09:41:53 PM by Leslee Tassie

We live across the river from the pipeline on Santa's Village Road.
This morning I observed a male cardinal feeding in a tree out back and around 5 p.m., we heard a great gray owl out back hooting several times. We didn't see it, however right at our sliding doors at the back are some very large wing marks in the snow, that I'm sure are from the owl and it probably found found a meal. This is likely to be one of the ones from across the river.
By the way, the Trans-Canada trails over by Henry Marsh were wonderful for walking on last weekend, all packed down by the snowmachines.

 

 

GGOW on Golden Beach Rd
Posted on February 5, 2005 at 02:29:17 PM by Richard Doucette

Seen Feb. 5 behind #1106 on same tree as posted on Jan 22.

 

 

Posting Photos - new test board
Posted on February 5, 2005 at 10:51:57 AM by Barbara Taylor

I've set up a new Photo Sharing Board where you can find information about posting photos and give it a try. Everything works the same way as on the Bird Board, except that you can edit your posts - just in case you want to do a bit of experimenting. The new board lets you test how to post a photo before trying it on the Bird Board. Photos posted to the Bird Board should be related to sightings in Muskoka and nearby areas. You may post nature photos on the Photo Sharing Board if taken anywhere in Ontario.

 

In my quest to find an easy, quick way to post photos on the Bird Board, I've recently discovered TinyPic and ImageShack. You "browse" your computer to locate your photo, then click "host it". Copy and paste the appropriate "Img" hotlink into your message. You don't have to register, so for one-time posting of a photo this free upload service might come in handy.

 

Owl Photo
Posted on February 5, 2005 at 10:16:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

Peter has sent this photo of the owl. Thanks Peter.

 

 

Northern Saw Wet Owl
Posted on February 5, 2005 at 10:48:42 AM by Peter +Michelle Jessen

Northern Saw Wet Owl: on Thursday evening (feb3) we were delighted to observe a Northern Saw Wet Owl perched above our bird feeder. (location: 18km on Fraserburg Rd)In short succession she caught 3 voles, that came up through the crusty snow to feed on the leftover birdseeds. In the fading light we managed to take some pictures.

 

 

Re(1): Boreal Owl - Photo
Posted on February 5, 2005 at 07:35:17 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here is Jane's photo of the owl. Thanks Jane.

 

 

Boreal Owl
Posted on February 5, 2005 at 09:07:20 AM by Jane Marshall

Hello! I live on Big Doe Lake, in Sprucedale, Ontario. Yesterday morning [Feb. 4/05] a Boreal Owl was sitting on top of our birdfeeder, we have a great picture of it, if anyone would like one. My husband was standing 3 feet away from it, and the owl didn't seem to mind at all. When I got up this morning, it was still sitting on top of the feeder.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl
Posted on February 11, 2005 at 11:42:33 AM by Barbara Taylor

The owl returned last evening and patiently waited for over an hour between 5 and 6 p.m. but no luck. It only attempted one pounce but was unsuccessful because it couldn't get through the hard crust to grab its intended prey. I think the owl knew something was there and that's why it waited so long before giving up and moving on.

photo

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on February 4, 2005 at 06:40:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

Just at dusk there was a Barred Owl at the treed edge of our back yard in Bracebridge. A young female cardinal came to get her last feed of the day and became very agitated when it saw the owl. Eventually the owl flew off and the cardinal came down to the feeder, but she remained very alert. owl photo

 

 

Algonquin Park birds
Posted on February 4, 2005 at 10:49:34 AM by Bruce Di Labio

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 4, 2005) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Hi Everyone
Spent yesterday birding various sites in Algonquin Park. The most
activity was along Arowhon Road off Hwy.60 (Km 15). We made a number of
stops along the road and had a few flocks of Pine Grosbeak and numerous
groups of White-winged Crossbill. Towards the end of the road we had
excellent views of both Boreal Chickadee and at least 6 Gray Jays. Watch out
for Logging Trucks! A few other species were noted: lots of
Black-capped Chickadees, a couple of Red-breasted Nuthatch, 3 Golden-crowned
Kinglet and a Pileated Woodpecker. Along Hwy.60 a few flocks of Pine
Grosbeaks were flushed off the road. On our return trip we saw a Barred Owl
perched on a telephone wire just outside Barry's Bay.

good birding
Bruce

--------------------------------------
*To join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://mailman.hwcn.org/mailman/listinfo/ontbirds
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Cardinal
Posted on February 2, 2005 at 04:26:01 PM by John Challis

At about 10 a.m. this morning, I heard a cardinal in full song, in the subdivisions just south of Gull Lake Park, Gravenhurst. Cardinals are common in this area in summer, but that's the first I've heard or seen in the area all winter.

 

 

White-throated Sparrow & GGO
Posted on February 2, 2005 at 03:36:15 PM by Sandy Gage

It's Groundhog Day and the White-throated Sparrow first noted around our place on December 6, is still here (Oudaze Lake, Chaffey Township). Maybe the little guy will make it through to spring.

Our first sighting of a Great Gray Owl on our property today. It was perched on top of a pole that supports our suet feeders. Seems like an alert and healthy bird re. the Wing & a Prayer guidelines.

 

 

More Pennsylvania birders in Muskoka...Our Hawk Owl is famous!
Posted on February 2, 2005 at 12:18:01 PM by Al Sinclair

Their trip report is at the link below as well as another picture of the Bracebridge Hawk Owl.

Trip Report Bill Etter & Cameron Rutt

 

 

Two Great Grays TCPipeline, Bracebridge
Posted on February 1, 2005 at 07:16:18 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

When checking for great grays late this afternoon at the TC Pipeline compressor station property I saw one great gray in the top of a spruce along the Kerr Park fence line. Shortly after a second owl appeared also along the fenceline. Both caught what appeared to be meadow voles.

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren - Bala
Posted on February 2, 2005 at 08:37:52 AM by Jack Hutton

My thanks to Barbara Taylor for correctly identifying our winter visitor (which I thought was a Winter Wren). Our suet feeder was empty yesterday while we were out of town, and I am not sure whether the wren is still here. If he/she returns, I'll let the list know, with directions to our feeder. Jack Hutton Feb. 1/05

 

 

Carolina Wren - Bala
Posted on January 31, 2005 at 10:32:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Carolina Wren has been a regular visitor to a suet feeder in Bala since shortly before Christmas. Here is a photo of the bird taken by Jack Hutton on Jan. 24. (Thanks to Mary Willmott for passing along the report.)

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Feb. 3
Posted on January 31, 2005 at 09:45:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

 

FEBRUARY 3 THURSDAY MEETING 7:30 PM

Discover the beauty of underwater life through the eyes of photographer and diver Jeff Rabjohn. 7:30 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, corner of First and Brock Street, Gravenhurst. Visitors welcome to attend the meeting.

Note: MEETINGS NOW SWITCH from Bracebridge to Gravenhurst

Membership Information & Program Updates:
MFN website

 

 

Re(1): Pine Grosbeaks
Posted on February 1, 2005 at 11:01:24 PM by Barb Woodfield

We have had almost 20 Pine Grosbeaks at our feeder since Jan 11 together with more than 20 Evening Grosbeaks that have been here since Christmas. We have also had between 20 and 30 blue jays all winter. (Oxtongue Lake)

 

 

Pine Grosbeaks
Posted on January 31, 2005 at 06:53:42 PM by Mark McAnally

This morning at my feeders, there were three Pine Grosbeaks with the now larger group of about 20 Evening Grosbeaks. (Huntsville)

 

 

Cause of Great Gray Death
Posted on January 31, 2005 at 11:18:57 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

After examination of the great gray found dead at Trans Canada Pipeline Compressor Station last Thursday, Janice Enright concluded that it was a male and that it had starved. A male's normal body weight is around 1000 grams and this bird weighed 750 grams. Janice felt that even if the bird had been brought in a couple of days before that it was unlikely she could have save it.

In a first or second year bird it is possible to save them if they have lost less than 1/3 their body weight. An older bird would suffer a lot of liver damage from such a weight loss and would be less likely to be saved.

Janice thought this to be a first or second year bird.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on January 31, 2005 at 06:38:04 AM by Mark McAnally

Shortly after posting that I had seen various non-spectacular sightings, a Barred Owl showed up sitting on top of my feeder. Hunted there for about an hour.

 

 

Re(1): Dollar Hawk Owl
Posted on February 5, 2005 at 11:28:55 PM by Bob Healey

Still there as of 3 pm today.

 

 

Dollar Hawk Owl
Posted on January 30, 2005 at 05:44:29 PM by cityseen

Thanks to Barbara Taylor for directions to the Hawk Owl on Robert Dollar Rd.
It was at its usual site Fri 27th at noon and again taday (Sun) in the same tree at noon. A clockwork hawk - must be unionized.

 

 

Various
Posted on January 30, 2005 at 05:05:05 PM by Mark McAnally

In Huntsville on my property this weekend, nothing like a Townsends Solitaire or Varied Thrush but some new activity. I have a flock of about 10 Evening Grosbeaks now coming to my feeder, the first for me this winter. Today, Sunday, I had a small group of 4-6 Redpolls for the first time. I also heard Woodpeckers drumming for the first time in my back forty and the Ravens were flying high and being very vocal.
Saturday, just before the Washago cutoff, saw a male Goldeneye.
Nothing exciting, but at least some different activity.

 

 

Varied Thrush near Orillia
Posted on January 30, 2005 at 01:37:51 PM by Al Sinclair

After reading the trip report of the Pennsylvania birders I contacting Bob Bowles for info on the Varied Thrush they mentioned. It has been coming to a feeder near Orillia since January 9. Bob sent these directions:
It is at Lorne and Gloria Braithwaite's feeder. They live at 94 Tamarack in Big Cedar Estates (just west of Orillia on Bass Lake) and you are best to take your photos from their kitchen window (they will open it)which is a perfect distance for a long lens, so as not to scare the bird .
Big Cedar Estates is along Bass Lake Sideroad and Line 12 of Oro-Medonte. Take hwy 12 west from Orillia to Line 15 then go south to Bass Lake
Sideroad. Turn right and follow it across to Line 12 and Big Cedar Estates.

 

 

Boreal Owl Nobel...Ann's photo
Posted on January 29, 2005 at 08:47:27 PM by Al Sinclair

This is a photo Ann McCallum took of the Boreal Owl she found near Nobel, Parry Sound District. See previous post for details.

 

 

Re(2): Townsend's Solitaire
Posted on January 29, 2005 at 08:36:18 PM by Al Sinclair

We arrived about 10 minutes too late. The bird flew from the Goodyears on the loop at the end of Meadow Heights towards Brian Rd. At the Goodyears it was feeding on the small red berries of an ornamental shrub that I think was Winged Euonymus, Euonymus alata (same genus as Burning Bush). There is a possibility it will be back tomorrow, however the Euonymus berries were almost all gone. There has been one other sighting of this species in Muskoka that I know of, in Huntsville about 15 to 20 years ago.

 

 

Re(1): Townsend's Solitaire
Posted on January 29, 2005 at 05:02:25 PM by Goodyear

The bird stayed in our front yard for approximately 10 minutes, flying back and forth between the Highbush Cranberry and a Burning Bush and a Crab Apple tree. Not seen since.

 

 

Townsend's Solitaire
Posted on January 29, 2005 at 02:14:15 PM by Goodyear

2:15 p.m. - currently sitting in a Highbush Cranberry in our front yard - 117 Meadow Heights Drive, Bracebridge

 

 

Pennsylvania birders in Muskoka
Posted on January 29, 2005 at 02:02:19 PM by Al Sinclair

A group of birders from Pennsylvania were in Ontario this week and stopped in Muskoka to see the Bracebridge Hawk Owl. A report on their trip and the birds they found is at the link below.
Trip Report

 

 

Great Gray Death
Posted on January 29, 2005 at 09:57:34 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Late yesterday afternoon Jim Griffin discovered one of the great grays, that has been hunting the TCPipeline area, dead in one of the tall pines along the road into the compressor station.

I was and photographed both owls on Tuesday. I wasn't out of Wednesday. Ted Smith and I were there Thursday and saw only one.

The body is going to Janice to try to find out how it died.

It is believed that the one that is still hunting the area is a female and that the dead one is a male.

I will report when we find out.

 

 

Boreal Owl
Posted on January 28, 2005 at 09:36:29 PM by Ann McCallum

A Boreal Owl was sighted in the Village of Nobel on Jan. 25 and stayed around for a couple of days. Very good photography was aquired. Nobel is just north of Parry Sound and is a small rural village just west of the 69 highway. Photos can be shipped email if anyone would like to see them.

 

 

northern hawk owl
Posted on January 26, 2005 at 05:34:43 PM by todd white

on the 25th,behind the window store,at 8am and 2pm.posed well for pics.


[This post has been modified by an administrator -- I just confirmed with Todd that he saw the Hawk Owl on Jan. 25 in its usual place, along the snowmobile trail behind the Muskoka Windows and Doors shop on Robert Dollar Dr., Bracebridge.]

 

 

GreatGrays, Waxwings & Robin
Posted on January 25, 2005 at 04:26:51 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Two great grays being seen at TCP Compressor Station. One seems to be using the left side of the driveway and the other the snowmobile trail side.

Robin seen and heard behind the snowmobile trail at the pipeline today about 2 pm.

Yesterday morning at 10 am there were Bohemian waxwings in a small tree at the back of Tim Hortons along 118.

 

 

GGOwl-Still here
Posted on January 25, 2005 at 08:58:11 AM by sylvia purdon

The GGO on Canning Road near Wenona Lodge Road keeps re-appearing in one field or the other in the general area, including right on Wenona Rd. one day. Usually though, in one of the fields along canning rd (near 1349 last report) but often not seen at all for days.

 

 

bohemian waxwings
Posted on January 24, 2005 at 06:17:54 PM by Sam Robinson

About 4 p.m. this afternoon a flock of approximately 50 bohemian waxwings arrived on Dill Street. They removed all berries on a small tree (not sure which species) very quickly and retreated to the tops of some tall trees nearby where they ate and preened. They left enmasse after l5 minutes or so.

 

 

Beaumont Dr Great Gray has a small branch frozen to its tail-feathers
Posted on January 23, 2005 at 09:46:32 PM by Ted Smith

Hi folks,

I was out photographing the great gray owl off Beaumont at the pipeline this afternoon. As soon as it flew I noticed something hanging from its tail-feathers. Upon closer exam it turned out to be a small evergreen branch approximately 8" long. It was frozen to the tail-feather. The owl seemed to fly okay, although maybe a little slower than normal. I'm going to keep an eye on it over the day or two. Hopefully it will fall off as it warms a little.
Take care,
Ted

 

 

Great Grey Owl
Posted on January 22, 2005 at 07:29:51 PM by Linda Boon

January 21, 5:15 p.m. just before the entrance to the pipeline property.

 

 

Great Gray Owl Golden Beach Rd
Posted on January 22, 2005 at 05:55:43 PM by Richard Doucette

I spotted to great gray owl behind 1106 on Golden Beach Road at 4pm today. It was perched atop one of the young (5') conifer trees in the field.

I hadn't seen it for about a week or more.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings...Gravenhurst
Posted on January 21, 2005 at 08:23:45 PM by Al Sinclair

This morning, Jan 21, Joan Fairhead saw 5 Bohemian Waxwings on Stonehenge Close in Pine Ridge Estates at the south end of Gravenhurst off Bethune Drive. They sat in a small maple tree for about 5 minutes before moving on. There are no fruit trees nearby but there could be in an older part of town further north off Fairview Drive.

 

 

Two Great Grays - Beaumont Dr.
Posted on January 21, 2005 at 02:33:13 PM by Bob Burt

At 1:50 p.m. today there were two Great Gray Owls by the TransCanada compressor station at #154 Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge. One was in a tree near #140's driveway, and one was in some pines part way up the hill and west of the TransCanada driveway. There was a set of wing-prints in the snowbank on the west side of the compressor station driveway where one of the owls must have recently pounced on something.

The Northern Hawk Owl was in its usual place along Robert Dollar Dr., but no Snowy Owl.

 

 

Re(2): Great Gray
Posted on January 20, 2005 at 07:23:38 PM by Robyn

Saw Great Grey Owl on East side of Wilson, South of Anten Mills and just north of Hwy 26. First sighting was around 10:45 a.m., and he was still in same field are on my way back home around 4:45 p.m.. HUGE fellow who 'posed pretty' for any who wished to take pictures, in the blowing snow!

 

 

Re(1): Great Gray, Hawk Owl, no Snowy
Posted on January 20, 2005 at 12:03:39 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Northern Hawk Owl continues to be a dependable find - was in the trees behind Muskoka Mechanical on Robert Dollar Dr., Bracebridge. Still no sign of the Snowy Owl this morning around 11:15 a.m. Please post if you see the Snowy.

The Great Gray Owl was in a spruce tree overlooking the snowmobile trail, just west of the TransCanada driveway at #154 Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge. It seems the owl likes to hunt in that area around 11 a.m. - we've had very good luck finding it then.

 

 

Northern Hawk Owl
Posted on January 19, 2005 at 08:13:32 PM by Leslee Tassie

Yup, the Northern Hawk Owl was still around today at 12:30. No sign of the Snowy Owl.

 

 

am Robins-Confirmed
Posted on January 19, 2005 at 09:20:01 AM by sylvia purdon

Liz Puntis was checked out today re her Robin report of Sunday January 16 and she confirms that the birds were definitely robins, that they were seen on two days in a row, Saturday and Sunday, and that her neighbours, the Johnstons also saw the birds. They have not been seen since.

 

 

Northern Hawk Owl again
Posted on January 18, 2005 at 05:36:13 PM by Leslee Tassie

Saw the Northern Hawk Owl again about 5 p.m. close to where I saw it at lunch. This time it was in the top of a tree behind Muskoka Windows and Doors off Robert Dollar Drive. This building is to the left of Rich Hill Candles where I saw it at lunchtime.

 

 

Northern Hawk Owl
Posted on January 18, 2005 at 01:40:30 PM by Leslee Tassie

I spotted the Northern Hawk Owl today in a tree directly behind Rich Hill Candles at about 1:10 p.m.

 

 

Fox Sparrow at Wing & A Prayer
Posted on January 18, 2005 at 12:44:18 PM by Al Sinclair

On Jan 15 an injured Fox Sparrow was taken to Wing and a Prayer bird rehab. It was apparently mauled by a dog in Gravenhurst. Unusual species here in winter but not surprising as many pass through in migration. It may have been trapped at a feeder by the early snow this winter.

 

 

GGO
Posted on January 17, 2005 at 03:20:24 PM by todd white

could not find the ggo,in bracebridge,but found three in orillia,muley point road.also a red tail hawk,sitting above the ggo.

 

 

Re(2): Bracebridge Owl update
Posted on January 17, 2005 at 08:48:05 PM by Ted Smith

Myself and Eleanor observed the snowy owl on Saturday afternoon behind Leon's. It was in the field and was very tough to spot. Regarding the Golden Beach Rd GG owls, according to one resident one was present on Friday afternoon. I personally did not see it on several trips by on Saturday.

 

 

Re(1): Bracebridge Owl update
Posted on January 17, 2005 at 05:32:19 PM by Doug Smith

Thx for the update Barb. I saw the Hawk Owl as well, at approx. 3:45, but couldn't locate the Snowy, and wondered about the snowmobiles, too.

 

 

Bracebridge Owl update
Posted on January 17, 2005 at 12:34:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

Between 11-11:30 a.m. this morning the Northern Hawk Owl was in the trees behind Muskoka Mechanical on Robert Dollar Dr. I couldn't find the Snowy Owl - has anyone seen it recently? Fresh snowmobile tracks in the field behind Leons and lots of snowplow activity in the area may have sent it into hiding. The Great Gray Owl was in a spruce tree close to the Trans Canada driveway at #154 Beaumont Dr. but I had to go up the driveway a short distance to see it. No owls at the Alcan plant and none seen along Golden Beach Rd. just before noon. Have the Great Gray Owls by #1106-1140 Golden Beach Rd. left?

There was a small flock of Pine Grosbeaks across from #1191 Golden Beach Rd.

 

 

Robins in Gravenhurst
Posted on January 17, 2005 at 08:10:47 AM by sylvia purdon\

Liz Puntis on Lorne Street (new houses near wooded area of Gateway Estates) reports she had 8 Robins at her house on Sunday morning, January 16.

 

 

New Sighting-GGOW
Posted on January 15, 2005 at 08:57:52 AM by jim maguire&sylvia purdon

Saturday Jan. 15: 0830hr. GGOW at Canning Road and Wenona Lodge Road in the field beside the collapsed barn on the south side of Canning Rd. Pos. original bird reported last Sunday, but not seen all week.

 

 

Northern Hawk Owl Bracebridge
Posted on January 13, 2005 at 10:32:07 PM by Terry Whittam

I took this picture New Years Day behind Muskoka Windows and Doors on Robert Dollar Dr in Bracebridge. I was using my new XMAS present from Santa.Northern Hawk Owl photo

 

 

Barred Owl - Golden Beach Road
Posted on January 13, 2005 at 05:13:14 PM by Richard Doucette

I saw a barred owl at 5:00PM on Jan. 13 at 1311 Golden Beach Rd. It was perched on the Cedarsigns' sign.
Richard

 

 

Bracebridge Examiner owl articles
Posted on January 13, 2005 at 04:32:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Jan. 12 Bracebridge Examiner newspaper has two articles that may be of interest to birders. On page A3 there is an article entitled "Owl sightings in area are up" by Matthew Sitler. Please note that this article incorrectly identifies the Northern Hawk Owl as a Barn Owl - wishful thinking...thanks for checking into that Al.

On the front page of the Sports and Leisure section there is an article about the Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count. This article "Owls surprise birders" by Allyson Snelling can be found online but minus Eleanor Kee Wellman's photo of the Snowy Owl.

 

 

Re(1): Great Gray Owls in Simcoe
Posted on January 13, 2005 at 10:42:41 AM by Barbara Taylor

Latest word from Bob Bowles is a count of about 120 Great Gray Owls that he is trying to keep track of around Simcoe County. We took an owl tour a couple days ago on some of the sideroads off Hwy. 12 south-east of Orillia and found several owls with no effort at all. There were 2 owls right next to the road where Muley Pt. Rd. intersects with Concession 8, a short distance south-east of Uptergrove. Owls can also be found hunting in the fields just south of Casino Rama.

 

There don't seem to be many reports of Great Grays around Muskoka - perhaps they are just passing through to better hunting grounds further south.

 

[This post has been modified by an administrator -- Bob Bowles has just posted an update to ONTBIRDS - now up to 130 owls! Here's a link to his post.]

 

 

83 individual Great Gray Owls in Peterborough County January 8th & 9th 2005
Posted on January 13, 2005 at 08:11:34 AM by Richard Doucette

I thought the folks on the Muskoka Bird Board might be interested this ad hoc survey that occured last weekend.

Great Gray Owl Locations Peterborough County January 8th & 9th 2005

 

 

Re(2): great gray...seen today
Posted on January 12, 2005 at 09:34:39 PM by Al Sinclair

A Great Gray was seen again today, Jan 12, at the pipeline entrance on Beaumont drive. Go west on beaumont about a km from Wellington street to the natural gas pipeline right-of-way. Today it was seen "sleeping" in a spruce tree and later sitting on a light standard. It helps to drive up the pipeline entrance to get a better look and different angle of view. In some locations it is hard to see. Good luck.

 

 

Re(1): great gray
Posted on January 12, 2005 at 02:28:10 PM by todd white

spent all day looking for the gray,can someone direct me?

 

 

Re(2): great gray
Posted on January 13, 2005 at 09:13:17 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

The snowy does sit for extended periods. It can be very difficult to see and the best way to find it is to check out the field from all sides. The parking lot behind Leon's, the back of the Naurtilus parking lot, the road in front of Bracebridge Yamaha and the road in front of Muskoka Window and Door.

The great gray can be difficult to find also. Drive along Beaumont checking all the tops of the spruce trees along the pipeline compressor plant property. Turn up their driveway and check all the trees from there. Go to the top of the driveway and look back and check all the spruce on the way out.

If you don't see it that way drive out to the snowmobile trail area at the road and look over that whole field and all the trees.

Good hunting!

 

 

Re(1): great gray
Posted on January 12, 2005 at 10:29:23 AM by Bob Burt

The snowy owl does seem to sit on the ground for extended periods. The last few times we have observed it - most recently yesterday morning - Jan. 11th, it was sitting on a mound of earth just to the north and slightly east of Nautilus North.

 

 

great gray
Posted on January 12, 2005 at 07:53:28 AM by gerald willmott



The Hawk Owl behind the Kia dealership was replaced by a Great Gray yesterday afternoon - 4:30. It flew towards the river and landed on top of some pine trees along Beaumont Dr. just before the Pipeline entrance. Saw no Snowy.
Does the Snowy also sit on the ground for long periods of time??

 

 

Re(2): Northern Shrike - Bay Lake
Posted on January 12, 2005 at 07:58:08 PM by Kip Daynard

I did check the jay over, but found no puncture wound or sign of blood. The only thing that looked out of the ordinary was a clump of feathers on its back which seemed quite out of place. Perhaps the puncture wound was too difficult to see beneath his feathers... guess I'd have to pluck him to know for sure.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Shrike - Bay Lake
Posted on January 12, 2005 at 07:11:15 PM by Nick Bartok

I would not be surprised to see a shrike take a stab at a jay!! I have witnessed shrikes easily take plump snow buntings without a whim. did you check the jay for puncture wounds?

 

 

Northern Shrike - Bay Lake
Posted on January 11, 2005 at 05:44:12 PM by Kip Daynard

I noticed a dead Blue Jay under my feeder this afternoon and as I reached for my coat to go investigate, some movement caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. A Northern Shrike had a small bird (a Redpoll, I think) pinned in the snow. The wings of the Shrike's prey were fluttering in desperation and as I watched, the efficient predator proceeded to tear into the unfortunate finch with his sharp hooked beak. It was a spectacular sight, but a fleeting one for as I reached for my binoculars to get a closer look, the Shrike flew off leaving nothing but an imprint in the snow and 3 downy feathers.

I'm still uncertain of the cause of the Blue Jay's demise, but it seems too big of a coincidence that after looking out at the feeder hundreds of times, the sight of a dead Blue Jay should coincide with that of a Northern Shrike in the midst of a precision strike.

 

 

Great Gray Owls - Huntsville
Posted on January 11, 2005 at 05:35:20 PM by Barbara Taylor

Rick McGarey reports 2 Great Gray Owls seen while travelling east on Muskoka Rd. 3 (Aspdin Rd.), just past the C.N. line at the south end of Huntsville. Seen today, Jan. 11 just before 2 p.m.

 

 

Waxwings in Bracebridge
Posted on January 11, 2005 at 10:00:35 AM by Ted Smith

This morning at 8:30 a.m. there was a flock of approximately 20 Bohemian waxwings dining on crabapples at the Bracebridge OPP detachment. There are 3 trees along the front of the detachment with lots of apples still on them. I haven't seen the waxwings on a regular basis, but they were present once last week as well.
Take care,
Ted

 

 

New Sighting-GGray
Posted on January 10, 2005 at 08:17:58 AM by sylvia purdon & jim maguire

Sunday January 9, a new Great Gray in the first field at the corner of Wenona Lodge Road and Canning Road.

 

 

Snowy Owl and Northern Hawk Owl
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 08:18:21 PM by Terry Whittam

Spotted the Snowy owl in the field opposite the Yamaha dealership on Robert Dollar drive in Bracebridge at 1Pm today. I had a great time showing it to numerous "non birder" families who happened along. The Northern Hawk owl was also in its favorite tree behind Muskoka Windows and doors. I had a nice chat with the owner of Muskoka windows and doors who is actually a keen birder. I showed him the Snowy which he had not seen yet. Scanned Golden Beach road for the GGO from 1:45pm to 2:30PM but no luck.

 

 

Snowy Owl
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 07:05:44 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Saw the snowy in it's field at 3:30 today and Stephanie Lehman relocated it later on a snow bank behind Carpet One. It flew up to corner of a McClarens Publishing cube van.

Did not see the great gray last evening at about 5 pm at the Alcan plant or tonight. It may be the one being seen at the other end of the pipeline.

 

 

Carolina Wren...Gravenhurst
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 01:28:27 PM by Al Sinclair

At noon today Heather Harris saw a Carolina Wren searching for insects around her window sill. She thinks she may have seen it a couple of days ago as well but wasn't sure. Heather lives on Wapaska Crescent in West Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(1): 3 Owls (no Barred)
Posted on January 11, 2005 at 11:10:47 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning around 10:45 a.m. we saw the Hawk Owl and Snowy Owl almost exactly where we saw them on Jan. 8. The Great Gray Owl was atop a spruce tree along Beaumont Dr. between #140 and #154 (the Trans Canada driveway). No sign of the Barred Owl, or any other bird for that matter, across from the Alcan plant.

 

 

Re(2): 4 Owls
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 04:01:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yes, we were very lucky to see 4 species within such a short time frame. None of these owls appeared to be in any distress, but the hunting must be fairly difficult now with that hard icy crust under the snow. Perhaps the increase in sightings well south of here is due to better hunting conditions where there was only rain, not the freezing rain we had.

(sorry Liz, no camera with us today - always the way...)

 

 

Re(1): 4 Owls
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 03:56:05 PM by Liz M. MacDonald

Very nice collection of owls Barbara! Are you taking/posting pictures?

 

 

Re(1): 4 Owls
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 01:35:45 PM by Doug Smith

Congrats! -- that's awesome. Great winter for owls and owlers.

 

 

4 Owls
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 11:56:00 AM by Barbara Taylor

Today, Jan. 8 in Bracebridge:

1. BARRED OWL in tall maple? tree just east of D snowmobile trail at north edge of field across road from the Alcan plant on Muskoka Beach Rd. 10:45 a.m. (did not see any GGOW there today)

2. SNOWY OWL on small ridge just a little north-east of the Nautilus building in field on Robert Dollar Dr. 11 a.m.

3. NORTHERN HAWK OWL in trees behind and a little west of Muskoka Kia on Robert Dollar Dr. 11 a.m.

4. GREAT GRAY OWL in small group of deciduous trees on east side of Trans Canada compressor station driveway at 154 Beaumont Dr. 11:05 a.m. & 11:35 a.m. still there (Beaumont Dr. is at stop lights just north of Robert Dollar Dr. - turn left/west at the lights)

At Henry Rd. parking area there was a small flock of Tree Sparrows in some birch trees. No sign of life at the marsh but very good condition of walking trail thanks to snowmobiles...at least they're good for something.... : )

 

HOW TO IDENTIFY OWLS IN DISTRESS
Posted on January 7, 2005 at 07:54:00 PM by Al Sinclair

As we get deeper into winter some of the owls invading our area from the north will get in trouble because of starvation or injury. In other owl irruptions in the past many did not survive. Janice Enright from Wing and a Prayer has prepared the following to help us identify owls that need help:


HOW TO IDENTIFY OWLS IN DISTRESS
FROM JANICE ENRIGHT, A WING AND A PRAYER, MUSKOKA CENTRE FOR WILD BIRDS


1. The eyes become slits (best seen at dawn and dusk). The slitty-eyed look does not change when approached by humans. The owl does not seem interested in its surroundings.

2. The owl has an unnatural puffiness under the neck and around the back while sitting on its perch. Its shape is more rounded and humped over than erect and alert.

3. If the owl is at a low level and does not fly away when approached, you should consider this a strong sign of distress. Watch this bird closely. Any bird that does not fly for 1-2 days is probably in severe distress and needs immediate help.

4. If other birds such as crows and blue jays are mobbing an owl and the owl does not fly away or seem to retaliate, this could be cause for concern. It is normal for such mobbing to take place but a healthy owl will defend itself or fly away.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT A PARTICULAR BIRD

1. Do not touch the bird or attempt to approach it. The less stress placed on such a bird the better. As well, its talons are lethal weapons.

2. Keep animals such as dogs and cats away from the bird. They may also stress the bird and cause further deterioration.

3. PHONE JANICE ENRIGHT AT 705-385-1488. She is dedicated to the work of helping these birds and is willing to come out at any time to assess the bird and do what is necessary. Try to contact her as soon as you have concerns as timing is important and it is much easier for her to help a bird when it is daylight.

4. Prepare a box for the possible transfer of the bird to her bird centre. The box should be large enough for the bird to sit and turn around in, but not big enough for it to spread its wings causing further damage. Line the box with clean towelling, but use nothing that will fray. Make two holes about the size of a loonie or a toonie in all four sides of the box at the top.

5. While viewing these birds, be respectful regarding the distance you maintain. If you are, for instance, any closer than 100 feet to a great gray owl, you are too close. These birds require three or four 40gram rodents daily and if a person (friend or foe - it doesnít know the difference) is closer than 100 feet this may well inhibit its hunting routine causing it to miss valuable meals. During the winter months, this can become a serious problem. Letís enjoy nature first by showing our respect.
(Remember that there is a critical weight loss for these birds and once that is reached, nothing can be done to save them. Janice is most anxious to hear about any birds in trouble and thanks everyone for their interest and cooperation.)

 

 

Re(2): Bohemian Waxwings...not seen 3pm
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 06:58:01 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Al, sent you a shot of 26 waxwings flying by the hawk owl at 5 pm tonight.

 

 

Re(1): Bohemian Waxwings...not seen 3pm
Posted on January 7, 2005 at 04:49:13 PM by Al Sinclair

I checked at 3 pm and there were none around however the apartment building down the hill from the school has a row of crabapple trees that are still loaded with fruit. The Waxwings may return tomorrow.

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings...Bracebridge
Posted on January 7, 2005 at 01:53:10 PM by Al Sinclair

Today Fri Jan 7 at 10am Dan Burton saw 50 Bohemian Waxwings from the parking lot behind the Bracebridge Highschool. They were in the trees behind the apartments visible from the south (left) side of the parking lot.

 

 

Pine Grosbeaks - Bay Lake
Posted on January 7, 2005 at 12:18:02 PM by Kip Daynard

This morning several small flocks of Pine Grosbeaks were present in the Black Spruce and Tamarack at the north end of Bay Lake (North Bay Lake Rd.). 11 individuals were counted in two separate flocks. They were feeding in the tops of the spruce and also eating sand/grit off the road surface.

 

 

Re(1): Owls - sightings Jan 7
Posted on January 7, 2005 at 04:54:25 PM by Al Sinclair

We saw the Snowy and N. Hawk Owl on Robert Dollar Dr. today at 3pm. The Great Grays at the Alcan plant were missing. Two birders from Niagara Falls New York were there looking for them. They got the the other two but still need a Great Gray. Anybody seen one today?

 

 

Re(2): Additional Owl Sightings
Posted on January 10, 2005 at 12:30:46 PM by Kip Daynard

As a supplement to my previous post, the GGOW at location #2 was seen Wednesday, Jan. 5th at 453 North Bay Lake Rd.

 

 

Re(1): Additional Owl Sightings
Posted on January 10, 2005 at 11:58:19 AM by Kip Daynard

I just got two more reports of Great Gray Owls on Bay Lake Rd.

1) One was seen from close range at 1250 Bay Lake Rd. during the week of Jan 3 to 9th. This is the same place that had the Red-bellied Woodpecker in late November / early December. This couple had a GGOW perish at their house about 5 years ago. They have quite a lot of feeders up and are currently being visited by a half dozen Evening Grosbeaks, about a dozen Pine Grosbeaks, 4 Gray Jays, 12 Mourning Doves among others.

2) About 1.5 kms from location #1 on N. Bay Lake Rd., a GGOW was seen over the course of several days last week. I will post with the exact location when I find out.

These two reports and the one from my previous post are all within about 2.6 kms. It seems possible these are all the same owl.

 

 

Additional Owl Sightings
Posted on January 7, 2005 at 12:11:35 PM by Kip Daynard

I have the following additional sightings to report:

Dec.29th - probable Great Gray Owl seen in daylight hours flying low across the edge of Bay Lake in front of my house at 1380 Bay Lake Rd. east of Novar. Not seen again.

Jan.6th - Hwy 592 about 500m south of Perry Township Recycling Depot. Unconfirmed sighting by my wife likely a Great Gray - "huge gray owl" seen perched in a small tree about 20ft off ground on west side of road at about 7:25AM. This is an open boggy area surrounding the Little East River (creek) - adjacent to a small pond / train tracks - ringed with Black/White Spruce and Tamarack. Attempts to relocate the owl this morning were unsuccessful.

 

 

Owls - sightings update
Posted on January 7, 2005 at 08:44:49 AM by Barbara Taylor

The MFN meeting last evening was abuzz with stories of owl discoveries. If I've missed anything, please feel free to add your information in a reply to this message. Thanks.

Update on owls previously reported:
The Snowy Owl and Northern Hawk Owl at Robert Dollar Dr., Bracebridge were both seen yesterday, Jan. 6. The day before, a Great Gray Owl was seen in that same area along with the Hawk Owl. This may be one of the 2 Great Gray Owls that were seen along Beaumont Dr. since one of those was also seen on Jan. 5. The two locations are in very close proximity. At least one Great Gray Owl was seen yesterday (Jan. 6) near the Alcan plant along Muskoka Beach Rd. I don't have any update on the 2 Great Gray Owls on Golden Beach Rd. since the last report on Jan. 3. A second-hand report suggests there may have been 5 Great Grays at one time in a field along Golden Beach, but only the 2 have been confirmed to my knowledge.


Other owl reports:
(these owls have not been seen since original sighting date)

On Jan. 4, David Kent spotted a Great Gray Owl at the South Muskoka Golf Course near the second hole.

On. Dec. 27, George Sikorski saw a Great Gray Owl along Wilson's Falls Rd., Bracebridge. It had captured a mouse.

A few days ago there was an unconfirmed sighting of a Great Gray Owl behind a house on Glendale Rd. backing on Twin Creeks, Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(7): which owl is dominant?
Posted on January 9, 2005 at 09:40:57 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

If the great gray has left the Alcan field I suspect it because the freezing rain last week left us with a hard crust. This would be why the barred owls are out during the day as well. They can't get through the crust either and are having a hard time. More and more barreds will turn up at feeders.

I saw the hawk owl take a couple of runs at the snowy but the snowy didn't flush. The snowy will hunt from the tops of trees if they can. They are seen around Holland Marsh and Amherst Island in trees. They must have evolved when there were trees further north than they are now. They certainly will hunt from the highest knoll they can find.

 

 

Re(6): which owl is dominant?
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 05:03:48 PM by Bob Bowles

Northern Hawk Owls depend on their speed and eyesight to hunt prey and usually hunt during the day. Snowy Owls hunt from the ground during the day as well while Great Gray Owls seem to be hunting mostly at dawn and dusk while Barred Owls usually hunt in the dark.
It is a good question which owl species would be more dominant but I do not think it is a good sign that all owl species are hunting in the same fields. It does indicate a good supply of meadow voles and rodents in that one location but few at other locations. When the supply runs low the owls will get more stressed and hungry and hunt all day long in an attempt to find enough food to stay alive. This will bring all the species together. In Simcoe we are getting more and more Great Grays every day and are now up to 70 in Simcoe County. I think the food supply is going to run out. Some are also being hit by passing cars so we are asking drivers to slow down and watch for these owls at dusk and dawn when they are most active. We are also asking observers to stay well back from the birds.

 

 

Re(5): which owl is dominant?
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 02:47:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

Bob, is there an "owl pecking order" in terms of which species would be the dominant bird in a field? Since the Barred Owls would tend to be year-round resident birds, do the Great Grays usually push them out - or perhaps they will "share" depending on the abundance of food in the area?

The Barred Owl we saw today near the Alcan plant was not seen when the Great Grays were in the area from Jan. 2-6, but no Great Grays seen yesterday or today. It also seems unusual to have a Snowy Owl and Northern Hawk Owl in such close quarters as they are at Robert Dollar Dr. in Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(4): Unk owl (barred ?)- Golden Beach Road
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 01:57:19 PM by Bob Bowles

This is an interesting post since we have confirmed reports of Barred Owls in the same fields as where Great Gray Owls have been reported in Simcoe County. I had not noted this happening during our other Great Gray Owl irruptions (83,84,97) but now we have more observers, better communication with emails, and bulletin boards like the Muskoka Bird Board. These boards increase our knowledge of birds and help us share information on observations much faster.

 

 

Re(3): Unk owl (barred ?)- Golden Beach Road
Posted on January 8, 2005 at 01:34:11 PM by Doug Smith

Heard from a lady who lives on a road off of Golden Beach Rd that she has a Barred Owl visiting her back yard everyday. She said it has dark eyes and is smaller than the GGOW, which she has seen along Golden Beach Rd.

 

 

Re(2): Unk owl (barred ?)- Golden Beach Road
Posted on January 6, 2005 at 01:37:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

There has previously been two Great Grays between #1106 and #1140 Golden Beach Rd. but they aren't often seen at the same time. Here is the only photo I have with part of the field in the background. The driveway by the white house is #1140. There is another house just outside the photo to the right (#1126?) and an owl sits in their spruce trees sometimes.

directions: Golden Beach Rd. is short distance west of Bracebridge on south side of Hwy. 118 W.

 

 

Re(1): Unk owl (barred ?)- Golden Beach Road
Posted on January 6, 2005 at 12:17:17 PM by nick

sorry, the second GGOW was in the same field, not sure of house numbers, i am assuming the field where they are usually seen

 

 

Unk owl (barred ?)- Golden Beach Road
Posted on January 6, 2005 at 05:53:29 AM by Richard Doucette

I had a owl perched on a utility line just down from 1223 Golden Beach Rd (along the cattle pasture). From the dim ilumination from my headlights on my way to work this morning @ 5:00AM, I would guess it was a barred owl but I am not positive. It seemed smaller than the GGOW I've seen several times near 1106 Golden Beach Rd. However, I would not rule out GGOW, especially when Nick (on Jan 3) did not detail where the 2nd GGOW was located on that road.

 

 

Bird Board update/reminders
Posted on January 5, 2005 at 01:33:29 PM by Barbara Taylor

With all the owl excitement a few posts got pushed down the board rather quickly.Just in case you missed these ones...click on the link to go directly to the message.

1. Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Jan. 6

2. 2004 Highlights

3. Bird Board downtime - PLEASE READ

All the Archived Reports are now available for download to your computer. You can choose the archives.zip file which contains all saved reports from 2000-2004, or the 2004.zip file which only contains reports from 2004.


New to the Bird Board?

The Muskoka Bird Board is a place to share reports of any bird sightings or other nature sightings in Muskoka and surrounding areas. There is no membership or registration required. You don't have to include your email address in your post. Your report will appear on the Bird Board immediately after you click on "Post". See the Bird Board Guidelines for more information, including several hints and tips on using the message board.

Please bookmark (add to favourites) the Bird Board back-up webpage. All recently posted reports are copied and stored there. In the event of any major problems with the Bird Board hosting service, important notices will also be posted there.

I try to monitor the Bird Board on a regular basis. If you want to bring something to my attention, just send me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Barbara Taylor
muskoka_birder@hotmail.com

 

 

Great Greys on Beaumont Drive
Posted on January 3, 2005 at 10:49:29 PM by Grace Taylor

We saw the Great Grey out on Golden Beach today. Then saw two more on Beaumont Drive. A female a #100 Beaumont and a male (I think) in front of the Pipeline property. Got to see some fancy hovering manoevers. Ckvr came along and shot some footage too.

 

 

Re(1): Snowy, N. Hawk Owl, Great Grays, at Bracebridge
Posted on January 4, 2005 at 09:48:30 AM by Al Sinclair

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 3, 2005) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Today, January 3, we were amazed to find three northern owl species within the Bracebridge town limits. A Snowy Owl and Northern Hawk Owl were in the same area along Robert Dollar Drive. The Snowy hunts in the vacant lot behind Leon's Furniture and has been a regular there for about three weeks. The Hawk Owl, first reported on January 1, was mostly on the ridge behind Muskoka Windows and Doors. At 4pm the Hawk Owl was seen diving at the Snowy as it sat on the top of a hydro pole. The Snowy didn't fly, just crouched and spread its wings in a threatening pose. Five minutes south on Muskoka Rd 17, two Great Gray Owls were hunting in an old field across from the abandoned Alcan factory. The two Great Grays on Golden Beach Rd off Hwy 118W just west of Bracebridge (reported previously) were also seen today. For updates check the Muskoka Bird Board: http://b3.boards2go.com/boards/board.cgi?&user=MuskokaBirdBoard

Directions: Bracebridge is 2 hrs drive north of Toronto on Highway 11. Take the south entrance to Bracebridge, Muskoka Rd 118.
For the Great Grays: go past the railway underpass and turn left on Muskoka Rd 17, then around the first bend to the Alcan factory.
For the Snowy and Hawk Owl: continue on 118 past Muskoka 17 to the first corner past Leon's, turn left on Robert Dollar drive.

Al Sinclair
Bracebridge

 

 

Re(1): Snowy, Hawk, Gt Gray Owls Bracebridge
Posted on January 4, 2005 at 09:44:40 AM by Dan Burton

*This report originated on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 3, 2005) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


3 owls in 3 minutes is possible. I just spent less than 5 minutes
looking and saw 3 owl species. On Robert Dollar drive in Bracebridge a
Snowy Owl has been hunting the field between Leon's and Muskoka Yamaha
for a few weeks. I met Bob Healey as I drove up and he said "there's the
Snowy", pointing behind me. I said "there's a Hawk Owl" pointing behind
him. Then he said "there's a Gt Gray across from the Alcan plant". This
is about a 2 minute drive away, so off I went and sure enough it was
cooperating too.

Dan Burton,
Gravenhurst

Directions:
The first Bracebridge exit off Hwy11 north is Hwy 118. Follow this
towards Bracebridge past the car dealerships and turn left on Robert
Dollar Drive (Leon's on the corner). The Hawk Owl is usually on the
snowmobile trail behind the businesses on the right and the Snowy is
hunting the field on the left.
Return back towards Hwy 11 if you want the Gt Gray and turn right on
Muskoka Beach Rd, The Alcan plant is less than 1 km down the road and
the Gt Gray is hunting the field across the street. (4:30 pm)

*********************************
*To join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://mailman.hwcn.org/mailman/listinfo/ontbirds

 

 

a 3 owler
Posted on January 3, 2005 at 05:13:18 PM by Gerald Willmott

Oh YAY!

Three owls in one evening!! WHOOHOO.

The Snowy and Hawk Owl were both in their usual spots and.....there was a Great Gray in front of Alcan (close to the beginning of 118 on the Muskoka Sands road).

What a day. A personal record and the Snowy was a LIFER!

 

 

GGOW - golden beach road
Posted on January 3, 2005 at 04:13:57 PM by Nick

two GGOW's seen on Golden Beach Road at 1200pm monday jan 3rd. another lifer and finally i might add!!

 

 

Re(1): Hawk Owl
Posted on January 4, 2005 at 12:49:28 PM by Bob Burt

Between 12-12:30 p.m. today the Hawk Owl was in a poplar tree right behind Rich Hill Candles and then moved to some trees a little west behind Muskoka Windows and Doors.

Couldn't find the Snowy Owl.

 

 

Snowy still there - no Hawk Owl
Posted on January 3, 2005 at 12:04:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 11:10 a.m. today we found the Snowy Owl in the field along Robert Dollar Dr. on a small ridge a little NE of the Nautilus building. We returned at 11:40 a.m. and it was still in the same place. We couldn't find the Northern Hawk Owl though.

 

From Hwy. 11 take Hwy. 118 exit into Bracebridge. Turn west onto Robert Dollar Dr. at Leons Furniture.

 

 

Re(1): 1 Great Gray Owl - near Alcan
Posted on January 4, 2005 at 12:51:37 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning at about 11:45 a.m. there was one Great Gray Owl in a tree in the middle of the field across from the Alcan plant.

 

 

Re(1): 2 Great Gray Owls - near Alcan plant
Posted on January 3, 2005 at 01:03:31 PM by Bob Healey

I saw these owls as well today at 12:00. One was on the first hydro pole on west side of #17, and the second was on a pole in the middle of the field across from the Alcan parking lot. Got pictures as well but haven't checked them for quality yet.

 

 

2 Great Gray Owls - near Alcan plant
Posted on January 3, 2005 at 11:58:39 AM by Barbara Taylor

At 11:30 a.m. today we found 2 Great Gray Owls overlooking fields to north of the Bracebridge Alcan plant along Muskoka Beach Rd., short distance in from Eccelstone Dr. Perhaps one was the owl seen yesterday by Doug Smith at the Royal Muskoka field - thanks for the tip Doug.

First owl was on west side of Muskoka Beach Rd. near abandoned brick house across from #2006. Second owl in poplars just west of the D snowmobile trail visible from the Alcan shipping/receiving driveway.

 

 

Re(2): Bird-banding Codes
Posted on January 3, 2005 at 04:11:59 PM by Nick

visit

http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/manual/aspeclst.htm#A

for all the banding codes

 

 

Re(1): Bird-banding Codes
Posted on January 3, 2005 at 01:29:43 PM by John Challis

Al; Is there an easy-to-find source for all those codes? On my morning walks in the spring I have been using short forms while counting the new arrivals -- pretending to use the banding code system, but really only guessing. Then a few days later I look back at my list and find I can't remember a third of my abbreviations.

 

 

Bird-banding Codes
Posted on January 3, 2005 at 12:04:17 PM by Al Sinclair

For everyones info: Nick's bird code is the one used by bird banders in their data sytem. Bird-banding codes have been adopted by birders and ornithologists as a short form for bird names and are now used in almost all bird related data collecting such as the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas. The codes are usually the first 2 letters of the two words in the birds name ie: American Robin is AMRO. However there are exceptions when the bird has more than a two word name or a hyphenated name, Black-capped Chickadee is BCCH, or when the code is a duplicate of another bird, Northern Shrike is NSHR and Northern Shoveler is NSHO. Also bird banders keep the old code when a bird name is changed so that their old data does not have to be revised.

 

 

Re(1): NOHO
Posted on January 3, 2005 at 08:09:12 AM by Nick

correction, the correct code for northern hawk owl is NHOW. also it was seen at 430pm

 

 

NOHO
Posted on January 2, 2005 at 04:43:56 PM by Nick Bartok

Chalk a lifer up for the kid!! Northern Hawk Owl in a tree behind Muskoka Mechanical (beside RH Candles), you might know I did not bring my camera!! I did not see sign of the snowy, still cannot find the GGOW. Hope to get that one before I leave for Argentina on Jan 4th.

 

 

Snowy & Hawk Owl & GGO
Posted on January 2, 2005 at 02:15:50 PM by Doug Smith

The Snowy is still there, as of 2pm today, though was on the ground in the field. The Northern Hawk owl was also there, at the top of the poplars behind Rich Hill candles. Also spotted a Great Gray Owl in the Royal Muskoka, (now Touchstone) field. It flew off a hydro pole and then skirted the northern edge of the field, landed briefly in a tree, then flew back the same way and crossed the road into the field on the eastern side of the road.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Jan. 6
Posted on January 2, 2005 at 10:15:29 AM by Barbara Taylor

 

MUSKOKA FIELD NATURALISTS

JANUARY 6 THURSDAY MEETING 7:30 p.m.
Jan McDonnell will discuss deer and deer yarding. 7:30 PM, Church of the Latter Day Saints, Bracebridge. (east side of Cedar Lane, just south of Taylor Rd.) Visitors welcome to attend the meeting.

Membership Information & Program Updates:
MFN website

 

 

Snowy, Gone?
Posted on January 1, 2005 at 08:42:55 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I waited from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm today to try to see the snowy owl behind Leon's in Bracebridge. It didn't appear. If anyone sees it in the next few days please post.

I have a feeling that the Northern hawk owl wouldn't be around if the snowy was still there.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Hawk Owl - Robert Dollar Dr.
Posted on January 1, 2005 at 05:42:08 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Richard, The snowy did not appear and I hung in until 4:30 pm. It may have left.
Had great looks at the Northern hawk owl. Thanks for the heads-up

 

 

Northern Hawk Owl - Robert Dollar Dr.
Posted on January 1, 2005 at 04:07:50 PM by Richard Doucette

I went out to look for the Snowy Owl,which evaded me again, but I was delighted to see a Northern Hawk Owl in the field behind Rich Hill Candles @ 2:45 pm on January 1. It perched in a hardwood for only a few minutes and then disappear over the crest of the hill. I returned a little past 3:00 pm and it had return but was high in a clump of hardwoods near the snowmobile trail.

 

 

2004 Highlights
Posted on January 1, 2005 at 08:19:09 AM by Barbara Taylor

There was a good start to the year for birders as a Northern Hawk Owl spent several days near the Bracebridge Golf Course. A Robin in Gravenhurst and a White-throated Sparrow in Huntsville were seen in late January, both unusual sightings for that time of year. As spring arrived, a Winter Wren was heard singing near Uffington thirteen days earlier than usual. With the trend to warmer springtime weather in recent years, several species of migrating birds are returning earlier in the season now. The Blue Jay population seemed to bounce back to normal as birds returned from their mass migration southward the previous fall.

A Forster's Tern was seen at the Bracebridge Ponds, the first record for this species in the Muskoka District. In Gravenhurst, a Peregrine Falcon with leather anklets was determined to be an escapee and was returned to the Central Ontario School of Falconry in Kilworthy. A few "winter gulls" were found feasting at the Bracebridge landfill site in early December - Glaucous, Iceland, and Great Black-backed. But the best was yet to come - the owls! There was a very significant Great Gray Owl irruption, with many sightings around Ontario, including several in Muskoka. A Snowy Owl continued to be a dependable find, often sitting atop a hydro pole near Bracebridge Yamaha - a great ending to 2004.

Other notable bird sightings included Sandhill Cranes, Upland Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpipers, Green Herons, Horned Grebes, Golden-winged Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Sedge Wrens, Carolina Wrens, Eastern Towhees, Red-headed and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Lapland Longspurs, Golden Eagle, Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Northern Mockingbird, Lincoln's Sparrows, White-winged Scoter, Canvasback, Gadwalls, Redheads, Trumpeter Swans, and Snow Geese.

Several Otters were reported around Muskoka - are their numbers on the rise? Other nature sightings included various moths, butterflies, mushrooms, wildflowers, frogs, turtles, dragonflies, a Fisher, a Pine Marten, a Five-lined Skink, and an Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake near Six Mile Lake.

The complete set of posts for 2004 can be found in the Archived Reports. Thanks for all your reports.

Happy New Year,
Barbara