Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from January - March 2007
 
Return to the Index of Archived Reports
 
Go to the Muskoka Bird Board
 
 

 

Buffleheads and Killdeer
Posted on March 31, 2007 at 02:13:25 PM by Bob Burt

Today on the Muskoka River near Santa's Village and in Cell 1 at the Bracebridge Ponds, we saw a few Buffleheads - the first this season. As well, there were three Killdeer along the West edge of Cell 1. The Ponds are still mostly frozen with a little open water at the North end of Cell 1 and 2. Cell 4 still has solid ice.

 

 

Great Blue Herons on nest
Posted on March 31, 2007 at 09:53:15 AM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday there were two Great Blue Herons standing on a nest in a swampy area a bit west of #1848 Doe Lake Rd. on the south side (east of Gravenhurst). The nest seems to be the only one in that area, and the dead tree the nest is in has a bad lean to it. From the Bird Board archives, on July 26 last year, Terry & Marion Whittam reported seeing young herons in the nest.

 

 

What a day
Posted on March 31, 2007 at 08:57:09 AM by mmcanally

Yesterday was quite the wildlife action day. On our way to work, in Green's field, south of Riverside School (Huntsville), there were 8 deer and 3 Wild Turkeys together. People were stopping and watching, it was like being in the Serengetti. During the evening, 5 Great Blue Herons flew over our house together heading north (around 8 p.m., Britannia Rd, Huntsville). While sitting around our firepit, we heard Woodcock peenting, a Saw-whet Owl calling, Robins singing and a Mourning Dove cooing. And a bright moon to complement everything. Sure beats being inside watching tv.

 

 

pileated woodpecker
Posted on March 31, 2007 at 07:54:00 AM by janice house

just came in from a walk to the Silver Lake Rd beaver pond, still frozen, but pileated wp drumming on one of the hydro poles, got as close as possible and I believe it was a female? (Silver Lake rd off Doe Lake Rd approx 1.4 klm from hwy 11)

 

 

Savannah Sparrow
Posted on March 30, 2007 at 06:12:53 PM by janice house

this morning sparrow was singing atop a fence post across from our driveway, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

More Kearney returnees
Posted on March 30, 2007 at 11:01:58 AM by Wayne Bridge

This morning in the Perry Lake open water were many common mergansers, but also at least 3 male hoodies, also a pair of goldeneyes and a second male driven off by the paired male.
Song sparrows have arrived.
A flock of 8 evening grosbeaks (2m, 6f) invaded my sunflower seed feeder (only ones to do so this year) and then headed off over Hazzard Lake in a northerly direction.

 

 

Northern Harrier - Bay Lake
Posted on March 30, 2007 at 10:23:22 AM by Kip Daynard

A stunning male Harrier flew overhead this morning at about 9AM heading eastward towards Algonquin.

Also first of year for my Bay Lake list were two migrant Golden-crowned Kinglets calling softly near the Little East River Creek.

 

 

Addendum to Algonquin Park Bird Report: 29 March
Posted on March 30, 2007 at 09:08:01 AM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 30, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Some additional information received after posting my earlier report:

Spruce Grouse:
On March 29, there was a male at the register box near the start of Spruce
Bog Boardwalk, and another male in the black spruce area at the north end
of Opeongo Road.


Black-backed Woodpecker:
Both a male and a female were behind the washrooms at the Spruce
Bog parking lot on March 29.


American Three-toed Woodpecker:
A female was observed on Opeongo Road, north of the big culvert
(Costello Creek) on March 29.


Gray Jay:
Singles were along the north end of Opeongo Road in the black spruce
area, and at the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on March 29.

Good birding.
Ron Tozer
Dwight, Ontario

 

 

Algonquin Park Bird Report: 29 March
Posted on March 30, 2007 at 09:05:36 AM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 30, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


The following summarizes the birding situation in Algonquin
Provincial Park for northern species during the past week.

NEW INFORMATION SINCE LAST WEEK IS PRESENTED
AT THE START OF EACH SPECIES ACCOUNT BELOW.

Walking Conditions:
Snow remains only in deeply shaded and north-facing areas. However,
there are many patches of is ice-covered ground in shaded areas that are
extremely slippery. Be careful.


Spruce Grouse:
A male was seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, off the trail 30 m west
(left) of the register box on March 27.

Areas to search include: Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.5 on Highway
60); the black spruce area south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog
Boardwalk; and Opeongo Road (located at km 46.3) near the locked
gate, and farther north in black spruce bog area on the right (east) side.


American Three-toed Woodpecker:
At Spruce Bog: a male was near the start of the trail on March 23; a
female was observed at the red pine area beyond the long boardwalk
across the bog on March 24; a female (probably a different individual) was
seen 20 metres down the trail from the parking lot on March 26; and a
male was observed behind the parking lot toilets on March 27.

Listening for the relatively quiet tapping sounds made by the American
Three-toed as it flakes off bark is the best way to find them.


Black-backed Woodpecker:
A male was inspecting holes in a utility pole at km 53, and a male and
female were on poles at km 8, on March 23.

Spruce Bog Boardwalk, along Opeongo Road, and utility poles at km 8
on Highway 60 are good areas to search. Check all conifer sites where
de-barked trees are in evidence. Imitations of Barred Owl calls, and
pishing, may elicit calls or movements by this woodpecker, helping to
locate them.


Gray Jay:
Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot and Opeongo Road are still the best
places to look. One bird has started making occasional visits to the Visitor
Centre feeder again.


Boreal Chickadee:
One was heard on Spruce Bog Boardwalk trail, near Post 6 on March 24,
and three were seen and heard along Opeongo Road in the bordering
black spruce north of the Costello Creek culvert (requiring a walk on the
road from the locked gate) on March 27.


Red Crossbill:
Still regular in small groups along Highway 60, especially in the morning
when finches concentrate at cracks in the pavement where sand and salt
have concentrated.


White-winged Crossbill:
Still numerous, many in song. Often on the highway pavement and shoulder,
seeking sand and salt.


Evening Grosbeak:
About 50 are coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeder, and others are
being reported elsewhere along Highway 60.


Purple Finch, Pine Siskin (abundant) and American Goldfinch (scarce)
were reported again this week. Watch for flocks along the highway.
You need to slow down and blow your horn to avoid hitting them.


Note: both the Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road are posted CLOSED
TO PUBLIC TRAVEL this winter, and should not be used by birders.

As always, please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is stored in the
Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help us to assist other birders
visiting the Park. Thanks.

Good luck.

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 free Algonquin 2006
Information Guide has a map showing the location of sites mentioned in
this report.

The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Recent
bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found there. Contact
staff via the Visitor Centre service entrance during working hours on
weekdays for access to view the feeders.

 

 

Moths and Sap
Posted on March 30, 2007 at 01:49:26 PM by Ron Stager

We are making maple syrup and it seems that the moths tend to be in the buckets with the low amount of sap and absent in the buckets on higher-producing trees.

Can moths sense, and be attracted to, sap based on sugar content or, maybe, flavour? If so, I wonder how they do it, but regardless, it could be a good planning tool for which trees to tap next year.

Our first moths this year were early in the week of the 18th (the warm couple of days before it got cold for a while again). This is typical for our location (Merkley Rd east of Barkway).

 

 

First moth east of Bracebridge
Posted on March 29, 2007 at 10:09:56 PM by Al Sinclair

Our first moth here this year was Eupsilia vinulenta, Straight-toothed Sallow, on Mar 27 stranded in a water bucket, took its photo (below). Was also the first last year on Mar 31. It looks a bit worn because they overwinter as adults, feed on sap in the spring.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Bluebird!
Posted on March 31, 2007 at 08:02:59 AM by janice house

returning from a walk this am male bluebird on hydro wire over our driveway, then flew over to roof of one of my bluebird boxes

 

 

Re(1): Bluebird!
Posted on March 30, 2007 at 06:10:49 PM by janice house

heard a bluebird calling somewhere in our yard this morning, 1206 Doe Lake Rd.

 

 

Bluebird!
Posted on March 29, 2007 at 10:03:07 PM by Carol Wagg

Two days ago I thought I saw a pair of bluebirds in the yard, but couldn't move fast enough to be certain. This afternoon, there was no doubt that a male was scoping out the yard and garden. The earliest we have seen them before was April 10th. We are at 1611 Doe Lake Road, east of Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(2): Moth websites
Posted on March 30, 2007 at 10:56:30 AM by Wayne Bridge

Thank you, Al, for all the moth suggestions...Wayne

 

 

Re(1): Moth websites
Posted on March 30, 2007 at 09:07:29 AM by Al Sinclair

Muskoka Moths:
http://www.moths.castillejalabs.com/
This is a web site I am working on with photos of live moths from Muskoka. It has thumbnails with the names that I hope makes unknown species easier to find. Clicking on the thumbnail opens a larger photo in a new window. Multiple windows can be opened for comparing similar species. However the site is not finished yet, still many species in the noctuid section missing. I did just upload all the sallows on page 6, some of the most common spring moths.

http://theperfecthouse.biz/dls/mothhome.html
Lynn Scott's Moths from the Ottawa area.

http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/MainMenu.shtml
The most complete site for north america

http://www.cbif.gc.ca/spp_pages/misc_moths/phps/mothindex_e.php
The moth website of the Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility

 

 

Moth books
Posted on March 29, 2007 at 09:51:44 PM by Al Sinclair

Moth Books:
Moths of Eastern North America
Charles Covell Jr.
Virginia Museum of Natural History
Special Publication Number 12

Le guide des Papillons Du Quebec
Louis Hadfield
Brouquet
www.broquet.qc.ca

 

 

Re(1): moth, flies, mergansers & more
Posted on March 29, 2007 at 07:15:28 PM by Kip Daynard

Brown Creepers are not uncommon here during winter but generally much harder to locate as they are usually quite inconspicuous. During breeding season they're much easier to find if you can learn their song, which is actually quite distinctive and sung with some degree of gusto (albeit still not terribly conspicuous).

 

 

moth, flies, mergansers & more
Posted on March 29, 2007 at 06:30:50 PM by Wayne Bridge

This morning on a patch of open Perry Lake water near Lions Park in Kearney were 26 common mergansers (24 male & 2 female), 4 Canada geese and 2 ring-billed gulls.
The back deck was inundated with flies this afternoon.
We had a moth on the screen. I'm not good at moth ID; can anyone recommend a good field guide re. moths?
We had a brown creeper on the backyard trees regularly throughout the winter. Is that common for the Kearney-Bay Lake area? This is our first winter as full-time residents.

 

 

Merlin - Bay Lake
Posted on March 29, 2007 at 01:14:25 PM by Kip Daynard

On my morning walk today along Bay Lake Rd. a Merlin flew over me heading northward. My first this year and first ever sighting for Bay Lake!

Our local Pileated Woodpecker is very actively proclaiming his presence these days. Brown Creepers seemed to be everywhere this morning with at least 3 heard. Purple Finch and Pine Siskins still numerous, but no Crossbills have been seen or heard since the weekend.

 

 

3rd straight day - owls seem settled
Posted on March 30, 2007 at 10:18:09 AM by Kip Daynard

All was quiet last night - no toot from the owls, despite near identical weather conditions to the night before. It was perhaps a degree colder and the barometer was falling last night instead of rising. Or perhaps they were just trying to be less conspicuous. In any case, I thought they might have moved on. However, after I quietly approached the nest box this morning to a distance of 50 feet or so, the bird made a brief appearance at the opening. She seems well ensconced.

 

 

...and then there were two!
Posted on March 29, 2007 at 05:19:12 PM by Kip Daynard

 

I suspected there was more than one last night, but couldn't be sure. Today, I've confirmed we have not just one Saw-whet Owl, but two! While taking a couple of photos of the one sitting in the nest box, I heard a second individual calling from the trees nearby. The photo below was taken around 4pm this afternoon. It looks like we have a pair setting up to breed if they have not begun already!  photo1   photo2

 

 

Northern Saw-whet Owl - Bay Lake
Posted on March 29, 2007 at 01:00:25 PM by Kip Daynard

Last night around 10pm we became aware of a Saw-whet Owl calling from the trees in front of our house. I went out to try and get a look at the bird and discovered with great satisfaction that he was calling from inside the nesting box I had put up for Flickers/small owls! This is the first time since I put the box up 5 years ago that anything besides a Wood Duck has shown any interest in this box (its far too small for Wood Ducks). The owl was still calling when we went to bed at 11pm. Weather last night: -2C, calm, clear, 103.7kPA and rising. Similar conditions expected tonight so I'll repost if he's still here.
Kip Daynard
RR1 Emsdale, ON

 

 

Wood Ducks, Mergansers
Posted on March 29, 2007 at 12:36:16 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we found several Hooded Mergansers, a few Common Mergansers, and two pairs of Wood Ducks on the south branch of the Muskoka River by Matthiasville Rd. There was a Brown Creeper singing as well as Purple Finches, Pine Siskins, and Golden-crowned Kinglets at various spots along the road.

There were several Canada Geese and Mallards along the Muskoka River beside Beaumont Dr. A few Hooded and Common Mergansers were at the big bend in the river by Santa's Village.

The Bracebridge Ponds are still iced in but cell 1 looked like it will have a bit of open water by tomorrow. Song Sparrows were singing at the Lagoon Lane gate.

 

 

Butterfly
Posted on March 28, 2007 at 06:23:12 PM by Dawn Sherman

There was a Mourning Cloak soaking up the sun on the Hunter's Bay Trail today in Huntsville.

 

 

Turkey Vulture
Posted on March 28, 2007 at 03:51:55 PM by Barb Staples

First TV flew over Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst 1 pmish. Two days earlier than '06 and seven days earlier than '05.

 

 

male redwings
Posted on March 28, 2007 at 10:00:16 AM by Wayne Bridge

Two male red-winged blackbirds have made it to Kearney (where the creek flows into Perry Lake).

 

 

Winter Wren - Bay Lake
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 02:43:54 PM by Kip Daynard

Heard singing this afternoon at 2pm near the Little East River creek where it flows from Bay Lake. My previous early date for Winter Wren around here is Apr. 2nd. (2004)

 

 

Eagle and vultures
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 11:17:58 AM by Dave Hawke

adult Bald eagle flew over Hwy 11 at Kilworthy on March 26.
7 Turkey Vultures in 'kettle' over Kilworthy same date.

 

 

Kearney firsts
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 09:30:10 AM by Wayne Bridge

The Canada geese returned to the river on March 23.
3 robins and 1 grackle sighted March 26.
Chipmunk gave up hibernation (i.e. seen regularly each day) March 12.
We had 1 mourning dove overwinter.

 

 

woodcock
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 07:20:44 AM by gerald willmott

This morning, about 6:30am, while walking the dog, there were two woodcocks calling and displaying. There were also a Bared Owl and Piliated Woodpeckers calling in the background. Also two birds slightly smaller than a robin calling. Not sure what they were, but their song was a musical tinkle like the robins song, but it was very quiet, any ideas? Habitat was wetland, with lots of willows and ash, close by the lake.
Gerald Willmott,  Beaumaris

 

 

Re(2): Peregrine Falcon - Etobicoke webcam
Posted on March 30, 2007 at 09:48:45 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Etobicoke webcam is now back in operation with incubation already underway. Scroll down webpage and click on picture to open the live webcam.
http://www.peregrine-foundation.ca/Web_Cams/Etobicoke/index.htm

 

 

Re(1): Peregrine Falcon
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 01:31:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

Darn, for a moment you had me hoping I'd be able to find it for my Muskoka list. :)
For anyone interested in Peregrines:
Peregrine Falcons are very rare in Muskoka, although you can easily find them in some Ontario cities. The abundance of food (e.g. Pigeons) and tall buildings with suitable nest ledges have convinced several of the birds to make the cities their permanent home. There are currently two functioning webcams focused on nest sites - I've found that 10 a.m. is usually a good time to see the birds. They will be spending more and more time at the nest sites over the next few weeks as they begin laying eggs.

Hamilton Community Peregrine Project webcam
Canadian Peregrine Foundation - Toronto webcam

Canadian Peregrine Foundation - sightings 

Here are a few images from the Hamilton webcam earlier today:

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Peregrine Falcon
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 09:55:46 PM by bob burton

at 8 am today peregrine falcon was sighted on the 11th floor of coronado condos, eating a young purple martin in panama, central america 2000km south of bracebridge,on

 

 

Spring
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 08:42:25 PM by janice house

just got back from Toronto today, 4 fox sparrows in Dad's yard at Steeles and Yonge. Saw several hawks along the 400, plus a turkey vulture at the Bradford overpass.

 

 

Firsts of spring
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 11:09:26 AM by Kip Daynard

Great Blue Heron flying over Hwy 124 near Fairholme Mar. 25
Brown Creeper heard singing today
Pileated territorial drumming and calling - Bay Lake Mar. 25
Pair of Pileateds flying together - Emsdale Mar 25
First Robin singing - Bay Lake today
American Kestrel - near Burk's Falls Mar 25.
Ring-billed Gulls - Magnetawan etc.
Canada Geese - (3) Ahmic Lake Mar 25, (1) Bay Lake today

 

 

Bald Eagle - Bay Lake
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 10:54:02 AM by Kip Daynard

An adult Bald Eagle has been sitting all morning in the same tree across the lake from my window. It may be the same individual I saw fly over the lake a week ago today. Interestingly, its the exact same tree favoured by the only other Bald Eagle I've seen on the lake (5 years ago). Perhaps its the same bird? ... or maybe just a coincidence as it is probably the best lookout tree on the lake and in one of the few stretches of shoreline without cottages.

At one point as I watched through my scope, it grew very interested in something and tilted and turned its head suddenly as if tracking something moving - seconds later a Canada Goose flew within 30 feet or so of the Eagle, something which no doubt gave the goose a real start!

Bay Lake is 19kms NE of Huntsville, 5kms S of Kearney.

 

 

Phoebe
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 07:31:06 AM by J. Gardner

yesterday, March 25, Phoebe turned up in the yard. Last year it was April 11. So we are really on the early side. We are in Hurdville, Lake Manitouwabing.

 

 

Re(2): Snow Goose heading to Muskoka!
Posted on April 2, 2007 at 08:51:33 AM by terry & marion whittam

I agree Ron. We spotted this domestic on our way north on Friday night on the edge of Lake Simcoe at the Talbot river. The goose is paired up with a Canada goose. They definately seem to be an item! Thanks for pointing this out. I should have known also by the size relative to the Canada geese its travelling with.

 

 

Re(1): Snow Goose heading to Muskoka!
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 02:46:18 PM by ron tozer

Sorry to say, but this appears to be a domestic goose and not a Snow Goose, Terry and Marion. It may involve a mix of breeds. Although it looks somewhat like a juvenile Snow Goose, this bird lacks several features of that species, including: bright pink bill, legs and feet; the dark "grin patch" on the side of the bill; and whitish underside.
Escaped domestic geese often produce identification problems due to their similarity to wild species, unfortunately. Your observations over the last 3 years at the Talbot River may indeed involve the same individual goose since they often return to use the same area in subsequent years.

 

 

Snow Goose heading to Muskoka!
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 09:37:14 PM by terry & marion whittam

 

The last 3 years we have spotted a snow goose at the Talbot River near Beaverton Ontario. This 1 of a kind is always in a large flock of Canada geese. Nice bird! photo

 

 

Sandhill Cranes at Udney!
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 09:08:22 PM by terry & marion whittam

 

Six Sandhill Cranes today at Udney Ontario just off the east side of Hwy 169...about 250m south of Udney Ontario....same spot they hung out last fall for 2 months! photo

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 08:54:18 PM by terry & marion whittam

3am today....."Who cooks for you....who cooks for you all?"...over an over ... a great wake up call! Suspect the active mice and vole activity has brought this Barred owl in to our feeders 10km east of Washago!

 

 

Spring is here!
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 08:40:59 PM by terry & marion whittam

Spring is rapidly coming to Muskoka! We had purple finches and song sparrows at our feeders 10km east of Washago. Herring gulls are out on the ice waiting for spring! Lots of crows!
Both nuthatches, hairy woodpeckers, and a Piliated!

 

 

Re(3): Saw-whet Owl calling
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 10:26:15 PM by Doug Smith

I have heard him (it) again this evening, at about 9:30pm. Seems it is serious about making this area home, for now.

 

 

Re(2): Saw-whet Owl calling
Posted on March 27, 2007 at 07:18:20 PM by Doug Smith

The saw-whet owl was calling again, (still?!) this morning at 6 am.

 

 

Re(1): Saw-whet Owl calling
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 10:36:27 PM by Doug Smith

The saw-whet is calling again tonight. It started at approx. 8 pm, and is still calling.

 

 

Saw-whet Owl calling last night/another Barred Owl Duet
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 08:30:17 PM by Al Sinclair

Last night at 10PM we heard a Saw-whet calling here 8 km east of Bracebridge. It only called for a couple of minutes. We live not too far from Doug Smith who heard one at his place 2 weeks ago. Same one or maybe a migrant? It was a warm and foggy night.
We also heard another Barred Owl duet 2 nights ago, Mar 23, lots of cackling and this time a couple of shrieks.

 

 

spring
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 04:13:24 PM by gerald willmott

Spring is most definitely on the way here in Beaumaris. On a walk today there were 5 or 6 Robins, 4 Redwing Blackbirds and a Song Sparrow.

At the head of the Hazelnut trail in Port Carling (go down Ferndale Road to the beaver dam) there was a Red Shouldered Hawk that responded to a recording by flying overhead and calling.

 

 

Turkey Vulture, Bala
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 01:55:31 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Saw my first TV today about 1 PM flying across 169 in Bala.

Several small flocks of Red Crossbills feeding on the side of the road about 11 am along Hwy 69 between Foots Bay and the new turn-off to Hwy 400 Extension.

 

 

Re(2): Red-shouldered Hawk
Posted on March 26, 2007 at 10:35:33 AM by Kip Daynard

Yesterday (Mar. 25) around 3:30pm my mother and I saw a beautiful adult Red-shouldered Hawk soaring northward over Hwy 124 in SW Parry Sound district, halfway between Waubamik and Dunchurch.

 

Re(2): Red-shouldered Hawk - Port Carling
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 03:16:06 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon we went out to Port Carling to see if the hawks were back at a nesting site along the Hazelwood Trail. Just after 1:30 p.m. we found a Red-shouldered Hawk circling and calling near the beaver pond. On our way home we spotted an American Kestrel perched in a tree opposite #1621 on Hwy 118W.

Hazelwood Trail directions:
From Hwy.118W in Port Carling, turn onto Ferndale Rd. which is opposite the Steamboat Bay shopping area. Keep following the road past the Hazelwood Trail parking lot, all the way through the golf course, and eventually you will get to the other end of the trail by the beaver pond on the left side of the road.

 

 

Re(1): Red-shouldered Hawk
Posted on March 25, 2007 at 08:24:08 AM by ron tozer

Terry Spratt has kept track of the first observation date of Red-shouldered Hawks at a nesting territory on Limberlost Road, east of Huntsville, since 1995. The average (13 years) is March 27. This year, the first observation was on March 23. The dates have ranged from the earliest on March 11 in 1995, during a mild spring with extensive bare ground developing by mid-March, to the latest first observation on April 9, 1998, in a year when deep snow persisted into April. (From: The Chickadee 48(5): 1, newsletter of the Huntsville Nature Club)

 

 

Red-shouldered Hawk...east of Bracebridge
Posted on March 24, 2007 at 04:35:54 PM by Al Sinclair

Today at 1pm a Red-shouldered Hawk was flying and calling over a traditional nesting territory about 1 km west of the Matthiasville Dam. I noticed on Ontbirds that more than 200 Red-shouldereds passed by the Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch yesterday.

 

 

House Finch
Posted on March 24, 2007 at 03:12:13 PM by J. Gardner

New arrival today - House Finch. This is the first house finch since 1998, according to my records. Hurdville is at bottom end of Lake Manitouwabing.

 

 

Hooded Mergansers
Posted on March 24, 2007 at 12:31:32 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we checked the south branch of the Muskoka River along Matthiasville Rd. (off Hwy118E about 3km. east of Hwy11). Most of the river was open, but we only found two Canada Geese and a pair of Hooded Mergansers near #1300.

We also checked the Muskoka River along Beaumont Dr. in Bracebridge and found six Canada Geese and one Mallard. The river still has some large patches of ice, but should be wide open soon. Two Common Grackles were on the road near Kerr Park.

Yesterday a lone American Robin showed up in our back yard. Today there was a pair along Glendale Rd. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Brown Creeper
Posted on March 24, 2007 at 09:55:50 AM by mmcanally

Yesterday, March 23, 2007 I heard a Brown Creeper singing in my back woods here in Huntsville.

 

 

American Woodcock
Posted on March 23, 2007 at 08:19:38 PM by janice house

just got back from a walk with the dogs, several woodcocks peenting and whirling in the neighbourhood (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Red-wing Blackbirds
Posted on March 23, 2007 at 02:51:58 PM by sam robinson

Three red-wing blackbirds visited the feeders here on Dill Street in Bracebridge this morning.

 

 

Red Crossbills
Posted on March 23, 2007 at 12:34:20 PM by Bob Burt

At noon today there was a pair of Red Crossbills at the Henry Rd. parking area. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Bird Report: 22 March
Posted on March 22, 2007 at 09:02:49 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 22, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


The following summarizes the birding situation in Algonquin
Provincial Park during the past week.

NEW INFORMATION SINCE LAST WEEK IS PRESENTED
AT THE START OF EACH SPECIES ACCOUNT BELOW.

Fisher:
The large male mentioned a few weeks ago has started coming to
the Visitor Centre suet feeder irregularly, again. A long shot to see
it, but possible.


Spruce Grouse:
One was found on the side trails from the register box area near the
start of Spruce Bog Boardwalk (March 16). A male displayed in
response to a recording of the female call at this location on March 17.
One was observed along Opeongo Road, well north of the locked gate
(March 20).


Areas to search include: Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.5 on Highway
60); the black spruce area south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog
Boardwalk; and Opeongo Road (located at km 46.3) near the locked
gate, and farther north in black spruce bog area on the right (east) side.



American Three-toed Woodpecker:
A male was observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (March 14).

Listening for the relatively quiet tapping sounds made by the American
Three-toed as it flakes off bark is the best way to find them.



Black-backed Woodpecker:
Birds were at Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and Km 8 (March
16).

Spruce Bog Boardwalk, along Opeongo Road, and utility poles at km 8
on Highway 60 are good areas to search. Check all conifer sites where
de-barked trees are in evidence. Imitations of Barred Owl calls, and
pishing, may elicit calls or movements by this woodpecker, helping to
locate them.


Gray Jay:
Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot and Opeongo Road are still the best
places to look.


Boreal Chickadee:
One was encountered on the "back end" of Bat Lake Trail (March 15).
Three were seen and heard along Opeongo Road, north of the locked
gate (March 20).



Red Crossbill:
Numerous along Highway 60, especially in the morning when finches
flock to sand and salt on the road. Several Red Crossbills were singing.



White-winged Crossbill:
Abundant, many males singing and performing display flights. Often on
the highway pavement and shoulder, seeking sand and salt.



Evening Grosbeak:
Over 100 still coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeder this week, and
others are being reported elsewhere along Highway 60.


Purple Finch, Pine Siskin (abundant) and American Goldfinch (scarce)
were reported again this week. Watch for flocks along the highway.
You need to slow down and blow your horn to avoid hitting them.


Note: both the Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road are posted CLOSED
TO PUBLIC TRAVEL this winter, and should not be used by birders.
On weekdays, log hauling trucks are frequent on the Rock Lake Road.

As always, please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is stored in the
Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help us to assist other birders
visiting the Park. Thanks.

Good luck.

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 free Algonquin 2006
Information Guide has a map showing the location of sites mentioned in
this report.

The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Recent
bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found there. Contact
staff via the Visitor Centre service entrance during working hours on
weekdays for access to view the feeders.

 

 

Great Blue Heron
Posted on March 22, 2007 at 05:00:37 PM by Goodyear

Our first of the year - flying over the MeadowHeights subdivision in Bracebridge this afternoon at 3:20.

 

 

Spring migration...hawk watch reports
Posted on March 21, 2007 at 02:41:54 PM by Barbara Taylor

I forgot to include the Hawk Watch reports in my earlier Spring Migration post. Here's the updated list of websites:

Hawk Watch reports

Hummingbird Migration Map

Purple Martin Migration Map

Chimney Swift Migration Map

Recent Posts from ONTBIRDS

Other Regional Email Lists

Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (Leslie St. Spit)

Long Point Bird Observatory sightings

Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch (Beamer)

Journey North

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network

Migration of Birds

 

 

Toronto trip
Posted on March 21, 2007 at 07:53:23 AM by mmcanally

Yesterday I drove to Toronto and back and saw some interesting sightings. Two Red-winged Blackbirds and a Grackle just south of Orillia. Three sightings of a total of 12 Wild Turkeys. One Great Blue Heron just south of Gravenhurst and numerous Red-tailed Hawks once we got south of Newmarket.

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on March 20, 2007 at 02:25:48 PM by Barbara Taylor

Earlier today there was a Red-tailed Hawk circling over our yard. It was soon joined by three crows which divebombed it repeatedly. Eventually the hawk made a beeline retreat towards the east.

Yesterday's stormy weather brought about a dozen Dark-eyed Juncos back to our yard - they had all left a couple weeks ago. There are still many Purple Finches coming to our feeders and singing from the treetops...perhaps 30 birds in total. One of our suet cages disappeared during last week's warm spell - guess the raccoons must be up and about. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Evening Grosbeak - Bay Lake
Posted on March 20, 2007 at 02:48:58 PM by J. Gardner

We have had three grosbeaks since January, 2 males l female. This week we picked up l male and 2 females to add to our little group. Hurdville is at the bottom end of Lake Manitouwabing.

 

 

Evening Grosbeak - Bay Lake
Posted on March 20, 2007 at 09:13:03 AM by Kip Daynard

This morning a female Evening Grosbeak visited our feeder (black oil sunflower). This is the first Evening Grosbeak I've seen all winter (just squeaked onto the winter list!). Aside from the Algonquin sightings, this is only the second report made to the board this year. Has anyone else seen any outside the park?

 

 

Bald Eagle - Bay Lake
Posted on March 19, 2007 at 03:44:28 PM by Kip Daynard

Yesterday (Sunday) around noon an adult Bald Eagle flew over Bay Lake heading northwards. This is just the second time I've seen one here in 5 years and the first in winter (last one was 5 years ago in November).
Bay Lake is 5kms south of Kearney and 19kms west of Algonquin park.
Kip Daynard

 

 

Common Goldeneye
Posted on March 18, 2007 at 06:30:06 PM by Dave Wright

March 17/07 Saw a female Common Goldeneye in Muskoka R just above Bass Rock

 

 

Algonquin Birds
Posted on March 17, 2007 at 06:44:15 PM by Carol Wagg

We took a drive to Algonquin Park today, wondering if we might see any of the birds mentioned on the report of Mar 15th. There was a huge flock of evening grosbeaks (60-100) at the feeders at the visitor centre, and numerous white-winged crossbills on the road (Hwy 60) plus dozens of pine siskins.

 

 

Re(1):Largest Gray squirrel
Posted on March 20, 2007 at 08:51:37 PM by Al Johnston

A couple of weeks ago, here in Whitchurch-Stouffville, I saw the largest, road-kill grey squirrel I had ever seen. It's body length was 12" and it's tail the same (I carry a tape measure in the car). Exacty 24"long!

 

 

Re(1): Gray squirrel
Posted on March 19, 2007 at 03:37:53 PM by Kip Daynard

Gerry, We've had several fairly regular gray squirrels this winter here on Bay Lake about 8kms south of you. I'm certain there have been at least two because we've had both black and gray morphs - although never at the same time. Until this winter I'd not seen one here for at least 3 years.
Kip Daynard
Bay Lake

 

 

Re(5): Gray squirrel
Posted on March 18, 2007 at 09:14:40 AM by jim griffin

anybody want some? I have a resident/breeding population here in Port Sydney; they are always around my bird feeders and are taking over nesting cavities and even bird houses that I have put up; will trade a couple for a fisher or great horned owl, I keep hoping for a good predator!

 

 

Re(4): Gray squirrel
Posted on March 17, 2007 at 08:46:56 PM by gerald willmott

We have a grey squirrel running around our property. We also have the new two tone variety - black body & red tail.

Gerald Willmott
Beaumaris, Hw 118 between Bracebridge and Port Carling.

 

 

Re(3): Gray squirrel
Posted on March 17, 2007 at 12:46:39 PM by Dave Hawke

I look after about 1,000 acres of land on the edge of Gravenhurst, and in 8 years have seen only 1 grey grey squirrel. However, we also had a 'cinnamen' coloured one seen a few times in 2002.(same colour as a red squirrel, but body shape and behaviours of a grey squirrel.)

 

 

Re(2): Gray squirrel
Posted on March 17, 2007 at 10:36:55 AM by Alex MIlls

I saw my first gray squirrel in this area near Magnetawan in the mid-70s (a black one), and it was a while before I saw another. In the past decade or so, however, I have seen a few there, including a gray one once. They do seem more wild in demeanour than the city ones I am familiar with in Barrie.

 

 

Re(1): Gray squirrel
Posted on March 16, 2007 at 08:29:13 PM by Barb Staples

Could it be the squirrel was "dropped off" by someone? That is the case here for the half dozen over the past seven years. They don't hang around 'tho; once drove past one running like the devil on the Doe Lake Road/Hwy. 11 overpass, heading back to Gravenhurst.

 

 

Gray squirrel
Posted on March 16, 2007 at 12:37:23 PM by Gerry Lannan

I saw a gray (black) squirrel this morning in our yard.Red squirrels are very common here,2k ne of kearney,but this is only the 3rd or 4th gray sighting in 20 years.We also saw our winter resident grackle yesterday

 

 

Algonquin Park Bird Report: 15 March
Posted on March 15, 2007 at 09:23:54 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 15, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


The following is an overview of the birding situation in Algonquin
Provincial Park during the past week. Mild temperatures and spring
break resulted in increased numbers of birders visiting the Park.


NEW INFORMATION SINCE LAST WEEK IS PRESENTED
AT THE START OF EACH SPECIES ACCOUNT BELOW.


Spruce Grouse:
Two or three birds were found along Opeongo Road, including:
300 m north of the locked gate; and along the start of the Cameron
Lake Road, that begins at the locked gate. More people looking, and
the birds becoming more active, probably combined to improve results
for this species. Multiple extensive searches of the Spruce Bog
Boardwalk area produced no grouse, according to reports.


Areas to search include: Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.5 on Highway
60); the black spruce area south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog
Boardwalk; and Opeongo Road (located at km 46.3) near the locked
gate, and farther north in black spruce bog area on the right (east) side.



American Three-toed Woodpecker:
One was reported between Posts 8 and 9 on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.
A female was observed near the steel gate to the Harkness Fish Lab, at
the north end of Opeongo Road, beyond the Access Point office. Getting
to this site requires walking up Opeongo Road (plowed) from the locked
wooden gate.

Listening for the relatively quiet tapping sounds made by the American
Three-toed as it flakes off bark is the best way to find them.



Black-backed Woodpecker:
Observations were made at: 100 m northwest of the washrooms at Spruce
Bog Boardwalk (March 10); km 8 on Highway 60 (March 11); near Leaf
Lake Ski Trail, but well away from Highway 60 (March 11); almost at the
north end of the black spruce on the east side of Opeongo Road, well north
of the locked gate (March 12); and south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

Spruce Bog Boardwalk, along Opeongo Road, and utility poles at km 8
on Highway 60 are good areas to search. Check all conifer sites where
de-barked trees are in evidence. Imitations of Barred Owl calls, and
pishing, may elicit calls or movements by this woodpecker, helping to
locate them.


Gray Jay:
Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot and Opeongo Road are still the best
places to look.


Boreal Chickadee:
There were several observations of persistently vocalizing birds along the
Opeongo Road, from the locked gate northward. Also reported at Post 5
on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.


Pine Grosbeak:
The Visitor Centre received at least three reports this week, but in all
cases the provided details were not unequivocal, unfortunately. The
onset of warmer March weather is often when Pine Grosbeaks are
observed, apparently moving back north, in an irruption year. However,
this species has been almost totally absent in southern Ontario this winter.



Red Crossbill:
Numerous along Highway 60, especially in the morning when finches
flock to sand and salt on the road. Several Red Crossbills were singing.



White-winged Crossbill:
Abundant, many males singing and performing display flights. Often on
the highway pavement and shoulder, seeking sand and salt.


Common Redpoll:
I saw and heard two birds along the Old Railway, 500 m west of Pog
Lake Dam on March 11. I had gone to the area on snowshoes in search
of two pairs of Gray Jays (neither of which were found). There is no
reason to think that these redpolls would remain at the site, but it
indicates that the species is not totally absent. However, this was only
the third confirmed record in Algonquin this winter. Sixty-three people
out all day on the CBC found only one Common Redpoll, so they are
apparently very scarce.


Evening Grosbeak:
Over 50 still coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeder this week, and
others are being reported elsewhere along Highway 60.


Purple Finch, Pine Siskin (abundant) and American Goldfinch (scarce)
were reported again this week. Watch for flocks along the highway.
You need to slow down and blow your horn to avoid hitting them.


Note: both the Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road are posted CLOSED
TO PUBLIC TRAVEL this winter, and should not be used by birders.
On weekdays, log hauling trucks are frequent on the Rock Lake Road.

As always, please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is stored in the
Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help us to assist other birders
visiting the Park. Thanks.

Good luck.

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 free Algonquin 2006 Information Guide has a map showing the
location of sites mentioned in this report.

The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be
open daily from March 10 to 18 (inclusive). Recent bird sightings and
information, plus feeders, can be found there. Contact staff via the Visitor
Centre service entrance during working hours on weekdays for access to view
the feeders.

 

 

Ivory-billed Woodpecker - Florida updates
Posted on March 15, 2007 at 06:33:41 PM by Barbara Taylor

Wilf Yusek has suggested this link for those interested in the Ivory-billed Woodpeckers in the Florida Panhandle.

 

 

Goose back
Posted on March 14, 2007 at 04:31:06 PM by Dave Hawke

March 14 - single Canada goose over Hoc Roc River (Gravenhurst); first noted for 2007.
When I worked at Tiny Marsh (Elmvale) the average return date for the big wave of waterfowl was March 26... will be interesting to see when the big flocks return this year.

 

 

Re(2): Wild Turkey melee
Posted on March 15, 2007 at 08:20:16 AM by sam robinson

Turkey number three returned this morning with his 'pals'.

 

 

Re(1): Wild Turkey melee
Posted on March 14, 2007 at 04:33:10 PM by Dave Hawke

Great shots! When I was with MNR in the 1980s and we were reintroducing turkeys to Ontario, I never dreamed such photo ops would be possible.

 

 

Wild Turkey melee
Posted on March 14, 2007 at 04:03:38 PM by Sam Robinson

Three male turkeys of the 29 member rafter that was spending time in our garden on Dill Street last season continued to visit over the winter. Now that silly season is approaching, their behaviour over the past few weeks has changed considerably culminating in a battle between the two less dominant birds this past Monday. The bird which lost the encounter left the garden and flew off but re-joined the other two later in the day not visibly worse for wear with the exception of a few feathers left behind. It was here yesterday but has not been seen up to this point to-day. He may have taken the hint, succumbed to his injuries or lost the re-match. Photos of the melee attached. (Bracebridge)  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Spring !!
Posted on March 14, 2007 at 04:00:31 PM by Ted Gardner

A Redwing Blackbird and 3 chipmunks appeared this morning!! is it really spring?  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Chipmunk
Posted on March 14, 2007 at 04:35:59 PM by Dave Hawke

Hi Barb... On March 13 I was leading a hike at Taboo Resort and the ground was "seething" with chipmunks. Kinda weird to see so many (easily seen against snow) but delightful to watch. European visitors very excited to see Muskoka wildlife up close.

 

 

Chipmunk
Posted on March 14, 2007 at 03:11:47 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon our first chipmunk of the year came out to inspect the snow conditions in our back yard. Also today, a pair of crows have started carrying sticks to their old nestsite. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Saw-Whet calling
Posted on March 14, 2007 at 08:50:46 AM by Doug Smith

Had a Saw-Whet Owl calling in the backyard last night at approx. 10:30. There was a Barred Owl calling in the distance at the same time -- very nice. It must have been a good night for serenading -- the neighbour's cat came over later and started caterwauling, too!

 

 

Re(1): grackle
Posted on March 14, 2007 at 01:06:46 PM by Dave Hawke

Yep, another ONE at Taboo Resort (Gravenhurst) today the 14th.

 

 

grackle
Posted on March 13, 2007 at 02:28:20 PM by J. Gardner

Well, it is a spring bird. One grackle turned up today. Hooray. (Hurdville)

 

 

Bald Eagle near Bracebridge
Posted on March 13, 2007 at 12:50:38 PM by Doug Smith

An immature bald eagle flew over the 118 east near Tretheway's Falls Road, flying north, at approx. 11:30 this morning.

 

 

Algonquin - Sun Mar 11 - mostly regulars, no Am 3-toed
Posted on March 12, 2007 at 08:51:29 AM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Frank Pinilla on ONTBIRDS (March 11, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Hi All,
Norm Murr and I spent the day searching, as best we could, for Am.
Three-toed Woodpeckers, to no avail! We found most of the regulars
today, except Spruce Grouse, tried hard at Spruce Bog, across Hwy 60
from Spruce Bog and Opeongo Rd.

Black-backed Woodpecker - 1 female in the area of Black Spruce on
Opeongo Rd (km45?), drive up Opeongo and park at the winter gate, go
past the winter gate and beyond where Costello Creek runs under the
road, almost at the North end of the spruces on the right side, about
100m south of where the road curves a little to the right (about a 1km
walk?), the road has been plowed for the first time I remember.

Gray Jays - 2 at winter gate on Opeongo, 2 at Spruce Bog Tr. Parking
lot, 2 in Black Spruce area along Opeongo Rd.

Boreal Chickadee - 1 heard and well seen in the same Black Spruce area
along Opeongo Rd. I know that Ian Cannell & Jim Fairchild had 3 in this
area as well as another 3 near the winter gate.

Red Crossbill - PLENTY! All along Hwy 60 in early morning, picking up
grit and salt - various spots (beep your horn & slow down!), also at
Spruce Bog Tr. Parking lot and along Opeongo Rd. (nice male singing
here).

White-winged Crossbill - even more than Red Crossbills, display flights
& songs by males in many places.

Evening Grosbeak - at least 50 at Visitor Centre feeders, also some over
and near Spruce Bog trail & parking lot.

Pine Siskins - everywhere, picking up grit along Hwy 60 and at almost
every place we stopped!

Purple Finch - various spots where other finches were picking up grit on
Hwy, also West Gate.

Common Raven - several along Hwy 60 and on Opeongo Rd.

Pileated Woodpecker - 1 calling loudly near same area on Opeongo Rd. as
Black-backed, Boreal Chickadee, etc.

Am Goldfinch - 2 on Hwy 60 near West Gate, only ones of the day.

Ruffed Grouse - 1 on Hwy 60 west of park, 3 along Opeongo Rd.

Good birding,
Frank Pinilla

 

 

Re(1): red winged black bird
Posted on March 22, 2007 at 05:45:14 PM by Wendy Fletcher

Your blackbird arrived 10 days earlier than ours - first of the season spotted March 21 @ noon - Hillman Lake/Houston Road, Muskoka Lakes Township.

 

 

red winged black bird
Posted on March 11, 2007 at 05:42:41 PM by janice house

Just returned from a walk with the dogs, heard then spotted a red winged black bird - Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst.  Turkeys have been back for a week on the Tavener Rd where the horses are kept (first right when you have taken the Doe Lake Rd overpass driving east)

 

 

Red Bellied Woodpecker
Posted on March 22, 2007 at 05:42:19 PM by Wendy Fletcher

Moira has the photos I took. We still have our two red-bellied woodpeckers, although they are not coming to the feeders or suet everyday now. They never come together, or when there are too many other birds around. Seem to be making their home close to the Hillman Lake Marsh. 

 

 

Re(1): Red Bellied Woodpecker
Posted on March 11, 2007 at 04:38:50 PM by janice house

Moira and I were talking to her neighbours today, they still have the pair of red bellied woodpeckers coming to their feeders, they come in to feed one at a time, they have been shooting lots of pictures, when done they will give Moira the copies. On the way in to her house I saw a pair of red crossbills picking at the sand on her road. She had 4 moose cross her driveway this last week. Houston Rd off Falconburg Rd north of Bracebridge.

 

 

Re(1): Red Bellied Woodpecker
Posted on March 18, 2007 at 09:48:01 AM by Burke Korol

Brian Pfrimmer and I saw this bird on Saturday, 17 March 2007 around 1100 hrs.

 

 

Red Bellied Woodpecker
Posted on March 11, 2007 at 07:23:28 AM by jim griffin

Jack Van Der Meer, who lives out at Fox Lake, north west of Huntsville has had a red bellied woodpecker at his feeder area both friday and saturday mornings. It appears to be picking sunflower seed out of the snow. Jack has provided a photo that I hope I am attaching to this posting: here goes..... photo

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on March 10, 2007 at 04:07:33 PM by mmcanally

Mature adult Bald Eagle seen near Riverside School on Brunel Road in Huntsville on Friday, March 9/07.
Also, a pair of Common Goldeneyes below lock on Brunel Road, Huntsville.
Lots of snow fleas out today, Saturday, March 10/07.

 

 

gulls back
Posted on March 10, 2007 at 03:26:06 PM by Dave Hawke

On March 9 I saw a Herring Gull over Hoc Roc River, Gravenhurst. On March 10 a smaller gull (ring-billed?) same area.

 

 

Algonquin Park Bird Update: 8 March
Posted on March 9, 2007 at 06:26:47 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 9, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


The following is an overview of the birding situation in Algonquin
Provincial Park during the past week. Abnormally cold temperatures,
and unusually windy conditions resulted in relatively little birding and
fewer reports of observations. The Visitor Centre will be open daily
(10 to 5) this coming week, for March Break.


NEW INFORMATION SINCE LAST WEEK IS PRESENTED
AT THE START OF EACH SPECIES ACCOUNT BELOW.


Spruce Grouse:
No reports this week.

Areas to search include: Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.5 on Highway
60); the black spruce area south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog
Boardwalk; and Opeongo Road (located at km 46.3) near the locked
gate, and farther north in black spruce bog area on the right (east) side.



American Three-toed Woodpecker:
Single birds were reported between Posts 9 and 10 on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, and left (west) of the locked gate on Opeongo Road, on
March 3; and one was observed in the area behind the washroom at the
entrance of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on March 4. There have been at
least 35 reported sightings of this northern woodpecker here so far this
winter.

Listening for the relatively quiet tapping sounds made by the American
Three-toed as it flakes off bark is the best way to find them.



Black-backed Woodpecker:
No reports, but probably due primarily to the lack of birders out looking
for them.

Spruce Bog Boardwalk, along Opeongo Road, and utility poles at km 8
on Highway 60 are good areas to search. Check all conifer sites where
de-barked trees are in evidence. Imitations of Barred Owl calls, and
pishing, may elicit calls or movements by this woodpecker, helping to
locate them.


Gray Jay:
Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot and Opeongo Road are the best
places to look. Most pairs are involved with nesting now, which may
reduce your chances of having them seek you out for food.


Boreal Chickadee:
No reports this week.

Birders should also try Spruce Bog Boardwalk; the bog south of
Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk; and Opeongo Road.



Red Crossbill:
Still widespread in small numbers this week.



White-winged Crossbill:
Abundant and vocal. Often on the highway pavement and shoulder,
seeking sand and salt.



Evening Grosbeak:
Over 50 still coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeder this week.


Purple Finch, Pine Siskin (abundant) and American Goldfinch were
reported again this week. Watch for flocks along the highway.


As predicted in Ron Pittaway's winter finch forecast, redpolls and
Pine Grosbeaks have been almost completely absent this winter in
Algonquin Park.


Fisher:
Not seen at the Visitor Centre feeder this week.


Note: both the Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road are posted CLOSED
TO PUBLIC TRAVEL this winter, and should not be used by birders.
On weekdays, log hauling trucks are frequent on the Rock Lake Road.

As always, please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is stored in the
Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help us to assist other birders
visiting the Park. Thanks.

Good luck.

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 free Algonquin 2006 Information Guide has a map showing the
location of sites mentioned in this report.

The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be
open daily from March 10 to 18 (inclusive). Recent bird sightings and
information, plus feeders, can be found there. Contact staff via the Visitor
Centre service entrance during working hours on weekdays for access to view
the feeders.

------------------------------------------------------
*ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For instructions to join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdshow.htm
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Bird Board Update
Posted on March 5, 2007 at 11:11:08 AM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks to everyone for all your reports. All posts for January thru February are now available in the Archived Reports. The complete set of posts from 2000-2006 are also available as a zip file download.

Need help posting photos? Find instructions and do a test post on the Nature Photos Board.
New to the Bird Board? See the Posting Guidelines for helpful tips about using the board.

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

 

 

Spring Migration
Posted on March 4, 2007 at 05:24:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning I heard Mourning Doves cooing and Dark-eyed Juncos trilling for the first time this year. That got me thinking of spring migration so I checked some websites. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have already started to arrive on the Gulf Coast and today five Turkey Vultures were seen at Beamer hawkwatch!

Here are a few websites that will help us follow the spring migration as it gets underway in the next few weeks.

Hummingbird Migration Map

Purple Martin Migration Map

Chimney Swift Migration Map

Recent Posts from ONTBIRDS

Daily reports of Hawks

 

Other Regional Email Lists

Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station (Leslie St. Spit)

Long Point Bird Observatory sightings

Niagara Peninsula Hawkwatch (Beamer)

Journey North

Canadian Migration Monitoring Network

Migration of Birds

 

 

Raven Love-in
Posted on March 2, 2007 at 02:32:42 PM by J. Gardner

2.30 p.m and there are now 12 ravens on the beaver pond, all exhibiting the same billing and cooing and bathing in the snow.

 

 

Rolling Ravens
Posted on March 2, 2007 at 02:19:37 PM by J. Gardner

I was fortunate to see for the fourth time this winter snow bathing ravens. There were four ravens on our beaver pond all exhibiting the same behaviour. It may have been part of courtship as the birds (separate pairs) canoodled a bit and then proceeded with the rolling behaviour. Interesting stuff to watch. We are in Hurdville, on Lake Manitouwabing.

 

 

Algonquin Park Bird Report: March 1
Posted on March 1, 2007 at 09:58:54 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 1, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The following is an overview of the birding situation in Algonquin
Provincial Park during the past week.

NEW INFORMATION SINCE LAST WEEK IS PRESENTED
AT THE START OF EACH SPECIES ACCOUNT BELOW.

Spruce Grouse:
Reports from Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.5 on Highway 60) were:
one in the vicinity of the trail register box on February 25; and a male at
post 9 on February 26. The best time for locating Spruce Grouse here will
soon begin, from April to mid-May, when displaying males and calling
females are more conspicuous. However, flutter flights by males have been
observed as early as early March in Algonquin Park.

Other areas to search include: black spruce area south of Highway 60
opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and Opeongo Road (located at km 46.3)
near the locked gate, and farther north in black spruce bog area on the
right (east) side.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:
One was reported near Post 1 on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 24,
and two were observed in the area behind the washroom at the entrance
of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 25. Another was seen in Hermit
Creek Bog, far to the west of Opeongo Road. The latter site is inaccessible,
but I include it here to reinforce the fact that these woodpeckers are still
being seen regularly in Algonquin.

Listening for the relatively quiet tapping sounds made by the American
Three-toed as it flakes off bark is the best way to find them.

Black-backed Woodpecker:
One was observed near km 2 on the Leaf Lake Ski Trail. Birders must
use cross-country skis to access this groomed trail.

Spruce Bog Boardwalk, along Opeongo Road, and utility poles at km 8
on Highway 60 are good areas to search. Check all conifer sites where
de-barked trees are in evidence. Imitations of Barred Owl calls, and
pishing, may elicit calls or movements by this woodpecker, helping to
locate them.

Gray Jay:
Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot is the best place right now for this
species.

Boreal Chickadee:
Calling birds were encountered in black spruce habitat in the vicinity of
Opeongo Road this week.

Birders should also try Spruce Bog Boardwalk; and the bog south of
Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Red Crossbill:
Described as widespread in small numbers this week.

White-winged Crossbill:
Abundant and vocal.

Seen frequently at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and seeking recently applied
sand and salt on Highway 60

Evening Grosbeak:
Over 75 still coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeder this week, and
often reported from nearby Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot as well.

Purple Finch, Pine Siskin (abundant) and American Goldfinch were
reported again this week.

Fisher:
The big male returned to the Visitor Centre suet feeder again at about
4:30 p.m. on February 28. It appears to be making periodic visits, several
days apart. The chances of seeing it are slim, but it could happen!

Note: both the Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road are posted CLOSED
TO PUBLIC TRAVEL this winter, and should not be used by birders.
On weekdays, log hauling trucks are frequent on the Rock Lake Road.

As always, please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is stored in the
Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help us to assist other birders
visiting the Park. Thanks.

Good luck.

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 free Algonquin 2006 Information Guide has a map showing the
location of sites mentioned in this report.

The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be
open daily from March 10 to 18 (inclusive). Recent bird sightings and
information, plus feeders, can be found there. Contact staff via the Visitor
Centre service entrance during working hours on weekdays for access to view
the feeders.

 

 

MFN meeting - Gray Jay presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Posted on March 1, 2007 at 02:46:15 PM by Barbara Taylor

Sam Robinson asked me to post this change in the agenda. Due to the approaching winter storm, tonight's meeting will be kept short. Dan Strickland will give his presentation at the beginning of the meeting at 7:30 p.m. and the business part of the meeting will be deferred.

 

 

Varied Thrush photo
Posted on March 1, 2007 at 02:22:14 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Varied Thrush was visiting Diana Jenkin's feeders in Kearney earlier this year and she managed to get this photo. Diana says the bird showed up after a bad snowstorm and stayed around for about 2 1/2 weeks. It hasn't been seen since Feb. 8.

 

 

Barred Owls...calling frequently now
Posted on February 28, 2007 at 09:53:45 PM by Al Sinclair

I hadn't heard the Barred Owls here since Jan 31. When I went out at 10:30 PM Feb 20 I thought that it seemed like a good owl night, calm and quiet (later I noted in a post on the bird board that Saw-whet Owls were calling in Algonquin the same night). A few minutes later I heard Barred Owls doing their cackling duet, something I don't hear very often. Not sure what it means but it sounds like they are having fun. They did it once and didn't call again. I posted a recording of a Barred Owl duet similar to what I heard at this link. The file size is 160K. Barred Owl Duet The following night, Feb 21, at 9:30 the male did the who-cooks-for-you call twice. This week they were calling during the day. The male called at 4pm on Feb 27th and he called again at 1pm on the 28th and the female answered. He called again at 4pm but got no reply. From all this calling I assume they are planning to nest somewhere nearby.

Weather:
Feb 20, 23:00
Clear
Temp -12
Humidity 90
Wind calm
Pressure 100.8

Feb 21, 21:00
Mainly Clear
Temp -2
Humidity 66
Wind SE 13
Pressure 101.1

 

 

Saw-whet owl
Posted on February 28, 2007 at 08:25:24 PM by mmcanally

Tonight at 6:40 p.m. on my evening walk with my dogs, I heard a Saw-whet owl calling. I started calling and kept walking through the woods, and the owl flew in to about 30 feet from me, still calling. I couldn't see the details of the owl but I watched it for about 30 seconds and then it flew away and started calling again. Pretty exciting, especially in a moonlit woods with no wind. I live in Huntsville on Britannia Road, and have heard a Saw-whet twice in the last week from my house.

 

 

woodpeckers
Posted on February 28, 2007 at 07:20:29 AM by janice house

Moira's neighbours have reported seeing various species, there are a pair of red-bellied woodpeckers at Hillman Lake and a black backed woodpecker was seen recently. (Houston Rd off Falconburg Rd north of Bracebridge)

 

 

Black-backed Woodpecker
Posted on February 25, 2007 at 09:03:17 PM by mmcanally

Black-backed Woodpecker at km 2 of the Clarke Lake ski trail in Algonquin Park. I also saw one swan at the bridge in Huntsville. I assume this would be a Trumpeter?

 

 

Purple Finch
Posted on February 25, 2007 at 12:14:41 PM by Don Clement

Male Purple Finch at my feeder this morning, near Germania.

 

 

Re(1): Bluebirds are associated with sumac
Posted on February 26, 2007 at 06:29:20 AM by Alex Mills

As you probably know Al (but didn't say), bluebirds frequently feed on sumac in the winter.

 

 

Bluebirds in February?
Posted on February 23, 2007 at 11:10:01 AM by Al Sinclair

I just had a call from Lisa Fitzmaurice who lives on Falkenburg Rd near the Milford Bay Trout Farm. She reports that this morning she had 4 birds with blue backs and rusty chests feeding in a Sumac at her house. Early for Bluebirds but what else could they be? She will try to get a photo if they return.

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting March 1
Posted on February 23, 2007 at 09:37:18 AM by Barbara Taylor

From the WAKEROBIN - Newsletter of the Muskoka Field Naturalists
March 1, Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Gravenhurst

"Gray Jays - The Impossible Bird of the Boreal Forest" by Dan Strickland.
Dan is the retired Chief Naturalist of Algonquin Park (1970-2000). Over 35 years ago, Dan began a private study of one of Algonquin's most characteristic permanent inhabitants, the Gray Jay. He has carried on with his research and has compiled the most complete records available of the Gray Jay life cycle. His slide presentation will show nesting jays and details otherwise not known to a casual observer. Dan's best loved bird is on the decline and should raise concerns. Join us for the rest of the story!

Visitors welcome to attend. Meetings from February thru June will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in Gravenhurst, corner of First and Brock Streets (across from Giant Tiger). Membership Information & Program Updates: MFN website

 

 

Algonquin Park Bird Report: February 22
Posted on February 22, 2007 at 07:21:20 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 22, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


The following is an overview of the birding situation in Algonquin
Provincial Park during the past week, with some general comments
on bird occurrence and habits as well.

NEW INFORMATION SINCE LAST WEEK IS PRESENTED
AT THE START OF EACH SPECIES ACCOUNT BELOW.

Fisher:
The large male was observed to make only one brief appearance at the
Visitor Centre suet feeder this week, in mid-afternoon on February 21.
Probably not much chance of seeing this impressive individual, given
the infrequency of its visits.


Spruce Grouse:
The only report was from an unusual location for this species, at the
Little Madawaska pullout, km 21.3 on Highway 60, on February 21.
It may have been on the move, since the immediate area lacks suitable
habitat but there is black spruce close by. There were no reports of
success from the usual sites this week.

Areas to search include: Spruce Bog Boardwalk (located at km 42.5 on
the highway), the black spruce area south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce
Bog Boardwalk, and Opeongo Road (located at km 46.3) near the locked
gate, and farther north in black spruce bog area on the right (east) side.


Sharp-shinned Hawk:
One scattered a flock of Purple Finches that were feeding on tamarack
cones near the locked gate on Opeongo Road on February 20. This hawk
is rare in Algonquin during winter, being present only when abundant
finches provide a food source.


Northern Saw-whet Owl:
Two of these owls started calling steadily in response to a vocal imitation
of wolf howling at Spruce Bog Boardwalk around 8 p.m. on February 20.
These were probably owls that have spent the winter here, rather than early
migrants. The somewhat milder temperature that night, plus apparently
plentiful small mammal prey this winter, may have contributed to their
urge to vocalize so early in the year.


American Three-toed Woodpecker:
One was heard calling from the bog south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce
Bog Boardwalk on February 19; and a male and a frequently-calling female
were seen in the extensive black spruce habitat of Davies Bog on February
21. These sightings suggest that this northern woodpecker is still present
in some numbers, despite the recent lack of observations. Readers will
recall that 10 were seen on the Algonquin CBC of 30 December 2006.

Davies Bog covers a large area between Bat Lake Trail and the Summer
HQ/Wildlife Research Station road (closed to public vehicular traffic). The
areas is likely best accessed by going backwards on the Bat Lake Trail (km
30.8) and then exploring adjacent black spruce areas east of the trail.
Snowshoes will be required when off the Bat Lake Trail itself.

Listening for the relatively quiet tapping sounds made by the American
Three-toed as it flakes off bark is the best way to find them. Its call is
more musical than the harsher call of the Black-backed. Don Sutherland has
described it as reminiscent of the "cluck" call of the American Robin, and
unlike the sharp "crick" call of the Black-backed Woodpecker.


Black-backed Woodpecker:
A male and a female were seen in the extensive Davies Bog area (see
American Three-toed above for location) on February 21.

Spruce Bog Boardwalk, along Opeongo Road, and utility poles at km 8
on Highway 60 are good areas to search. Check all conifer sites where
de-barked trees are in evidence. Imitations of Barred Owl calls, and
pishing, may elicit calls or movements by this woodpecker, helping to
locate them.


Gray Jay:
Spruce Bog parking lot and Opeongo Road at the locked gate are the
best spots. These colour-banded birds will land on your hand for bread
and other treats, which will then be carried off and stored.

Right on time, the earliest Gray Jay pairs have started to construct their
nests. Dan Strickland found this year's first one on February 18. The
first nest being built was located on February 19 last year. Dan's long
term research has shown that the Gray Jay's breeding season now begins
about a week earlier than it did twenty-five years ago in Algonquin Park.
The apparent cause is climate warming.


Boreal Chickadee:
This week's reported sightings were: near Post 8 on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk; from the bog south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog
Boardwalk; and near the locked gate on Opeongo Road.

Listen for vocalizations, and check carefully within dense trees for this
species when Black-capped Chickadees are encountered in spruce habitat.
Musical and trilled calls by males increase as spring approaches and reach a
peak immediately before winter flock disintegration, typically beginning in
March but occasionally by late February.

Spruce Bog and Opeongo Road are likely the best areas to try.


Red Crossbill:
Still numerous. Seen frequently at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and seeking sand
and salt on Highway 60. Singing birds in pairs and small flocks are regular.


White-winged Crossbill:
No change. Still lots of them being seen and heard.

Singing birds in pairs and small flocks are widespread and numerous.


Evening Grosbeak:
Over 75 came daily to the Visitor Centre feeder this week.


Purple Finch, Pine Siskin (numerous) and American Goldfinch are
widespread. Often at Visitor Centre feeders.


Note: both the Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road are posted CLOSED
TO PUBLIC TRAVEL this winter, and should not be used by birders.
On weekdays, log hauling trucks are frequent on the Rock Lake Road.

As always, please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is stored in the
Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help us to assist other birders
visiting the Park. Thanks.

Good luck.

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 free Algonquin 2006 Information Guide has a map showing the
location of sites mentioned in this report.

The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and recent
bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found there. Contact
staff via the Visitor Centre service entrance during working hours on
weekdays for access to view the feeders.

 

 

Red Crossbills - Bay Lake
Posted on February 21, 2007 at 10:35:24 AM by Kip Daynard

This morning from 9:30-10am, four Red Crossbills visited my yard. Three adult males and an adult female, they were mainly interested in the sand/salt in my carport but also spent some time feeding in the spruce next to my driveway. A Purple Finch and several Pine Siskins were accompanying them. This is a new yard record for me and only my second for Muskoka/Parry Sound!

Kip Daynard
RR1 Emsdale

 

 

Northern Shrike at Henry marsh
Posted on February 20, 2007 at 03:23:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 2:30 p.m. today there was an adult Northern Shrike perched high in a tree at the west edge of Henry marsh.


Directions: from traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr. and Wellington St. in Bracebridge, head west on Beaumont Dr. to Henry Rd. There is a parking area by the pile of woodchips at the trailhead. When you come to the T in the trail, turn right to head west towards the marsh.

 

 

Goldeneyes, Bald Eagle - Port Sydney
Posted on February 19, 2007 at 12:30:44 PM by Bob Burt

This morning there were 12 Common Goldeneyes on the open water by the bridge in Port Sydney. Two Common Mergansers were near the dam and a Bald Eagle flew overhead.

 

 

Indian River, Port Carling
Posted on February 18, 2007 at 04:46:33 PM by gerald willmott

Just below the locks in Port Carling there were 25 Common Golden-eyes and two Male Mergansers.

 

 

backyard bird count
Posted on February 18, 2007 at 04:41:12 PM by gerald willmott

And from the windy yard of Beaumaris, the following birds were observed: 35 Goldfinches, 3 American Tree Sparrows, 2 Hairy Woodpeckers, 1 Downey Woodpecker, 4 Chickadees, 3 Blue Jays (who are often more interested in the compost than the feeders) 1 Crow, 1 Starling, and 1 White-breasted Nuthatch.

It has been really interesting to see the birds that everyone gets. FYI we have 3 Niger feeders, one cage with fat from the butcher, two Sunflower feeders, 1 shelled peanut feeder and some cracked corn on the ground. It is fairly open here (minimal shelter from the wind) with a swamp across to which most birds retreat.

 

 

Song Sparrows
Posted on February 18, 2007 at 08:52:14 AM by Anne Lewis


Six Mile Lake, Twp GBay:Feederbirds this year include 3 song sparrows. Has anyone else seen song sparrows in the winter?
Dominating feeder birds this year are 150 gold finches and 60 Blue Jays. last couple of years my feeders were dominated by Evening Grossbeaks, 100+. This year not even one. Is anyone seeing EGB? BJ remain consistent with other years.

 

 

Trumpeter Swans Port Severn
Posted on February 18, 2007 at 08:44:31 AM by Anne Lewis

There are about 30 t-swans at the dam in Port Severn. The g bay side is now frozen. seen Feb.16. There are a large number of cygnets but was hard to count them in the snow storm.

 

 

Backyard Feeder List
Posted on February 17, 2007 at 03:39:17 PM by J. Gardner

Very snowy day brought 52 plus Tree Sparrows, 34 Blue Jays, 3 Starlings, l Snow Bunting, 4 Dark-eyed Juncos, 3 Evening Grosbeaks, 4 Mourning Doves, 3 Hairy Woodpeckers. The feeders are in Hurdville, at the bottom end of Lake Manitouwa bing.

 

 

Re(1): White-Winged Crossbills
Posted on February 17, 2007 at 07:18:04 AM by janice house

on Feb 16th Moira reported a female white-winged crossbill hitting her patio doors, it flew away after a few minutes.(Houston Rd, off Falconburg Rd north of Bracebridge)

 

 

White-Winged Crossbills
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 07:11:03 PM by Don Clement

Male and female pair of white-winged crossbills sighted on Germania Road at Kahshe River about 3 PM today.

 

 

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 02:51:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 2 p.m. an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk hit a Mourning Dove that was sitting in a birch tree near our birdfeeders. The two birds fell to the ground as many feathers drifted down like large snowflakes. After a struggle, the hawk managed to lift the dove and carried it a short distance to a sheltered spot on the snow under some pine trees. The hawk is still feeding on the dove as I post this at 2:50 p.m.  (addendum: the hawk finally finished its meal and left at 3:45 p.m. - that must have been one hungry hawk!)

(I've updated my earlier yard list to include the hawk. If the hawk sticks around I probably won't be counting many birds in the yard tomorrow...)

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 19, 2007 at 10:31:30 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007, Bala
Purple Finches, 3 M, 1 F
Dark-eyed Juncos 6
American Goldfinch 12
Hairy Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 4
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 4
Black-capped Chickadees 10
Blue Jays 3
Raven 1

Tree Sparrows 2

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 18, 2007 at 08:35:04 AM by Anne Lewis

Six Mile Lake, Twp Georgian Bay
Feb.18 Backyard count, 150 Goldfinch, 5 Purple Finch, 5 White-breasted Nuthatch, 12 Junco, 15 Chickadees, 3 Hairy Woodpeckers, 2 Downy Woodpeckers, 3 Song Sparrows, 30 Blue Jays

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 18, 2007 at 05:01:02 PM by janice house

Here is my list for Feb 18th, Doe Lake Rd
Blue Jay 8
Black capped chickadee 12
White breasted nuthatch 1
Red breasted nuthatch 1
Downy woodpecker 2
Hairy woodpecker 4
American goldfinch 22
Dark eyed junco 10
American tree sparrow 4
European starling 4

 

 

Re(2): Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 18, 2007 at 06:11:11 AM by janice house

My list for Feb 17th, Doe Lake Rd.
Blue Jays 6
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 4
American Gold Finch 19
Black capped Chickadee 7
Red-breasted nuthatch 2
White-breasted nuthatch 1
American tree sparrow 6
European Starling 6
Dark eyed junco 3

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Backyard Bird Count ...Uffington
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 01:51:33 PM by Al Sinclair

Yard list from near Uffington, 8km east of Bracebridge on Hwy 118E.

SPECIES SEEN
From 2/16/2007 to 2/16/2007

Wild Turkey 6
Mourning Dove 7
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Black-capped Chickadee 1
Blue Jay 2
American Tree Sparrow 14
Dark-eyed Junco 2
Purple Finch 24
White-winged Crossbill 2
American Goldfinch 6

Species seen - 11

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 17, 2007 at 06:11:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

Fewer birds than yesterday and they were very skittish so the hawk must still be in the area. Two additional species today - a creeper at the suet and a raven flew overhead.


Here is our yard list for Feb. 17 (Bracebridge):
Brown Creeper 1
Common Raven 1
Purple Finch 5
Dark-eyed Junco 7
American Goldfinch 1
European Starling 1
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Mourning Dove 5
Blue Jay 2

 

 

Muskoka Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 12:37:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Great Backyard Bird Count has begun (Feb. 16-19). If you want to participate in our unofficial Muskoka count, just post your yard list for any of those days in a reply to this message. If you're in an area near Muskoka, we'd like to hear from you too. Please include your location - the nearest town will do.

Here is our yard list for Feb. 16 (Bracebridge):
Purple Finch 22
Dark-eyed Junco 18
American Goldfinch 3
European Starling 1
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 3
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Black-capped Chickadee 10
Northern Cardinal 2
Mourning Dove 12
Blue Jay 7

Sharp-shinned Hawk 1

 

Other: 1 deer, 4 red squirrels, 6 gray squirrels (3 with black fur)

 

View the 2007 GBBC results by location or by species as reports come in.

 

 

Re(1): Two male Eastern Towhees
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 11:08:35 AM by ron tozer

Two Eastern Towhees at one feeder during winter is quite unusual for anywhere in southern Ontario, and especially in Parry Sound district. The second male has undoubtedly been wintering at some other feeder, and now has moved from there to your place, for whatever reason. Perhaps the food was cut off there, or competition from other birds increased, or a predator scared it away.

 

 

Two male Eastern Towhees
Posted on February 15, 2007 at 05:21:39 PM by Stan Fairchild

A second male Eastern Towhee showed up at my feeder today. Where are they coming from this time of year?  (Hurdville)

 

 

Algonquin Park Update: February 15
Posted on February 15, 2007 at 04:41:41 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 15, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


The following summary is an overview of the birding situation in
Algonquin Provincial Park during the past week.

NEW COMMENTS SINCE LAST WEEK ARE PRESENTED
IN THE FIRST LINE FOR EACH SPECIES BELOW. Once again,
cold temperatures seemed to have limited the birding activity, but a few
reports were received.

Fisher:
A large male came to eat suet at the Visitor Centre feeder for extended
periods during the mornings of February 13 and 14. There may be a
chance to see this infrequently observed mammal. Weekday visitors
should contact staff via the service entrance about viewing opportunities.


Spruce Grouse:
No reports this week.

Areas to search include: Spruce Bog Boardwalk (located at km 42.5 on
the highway), black spruce area south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce
Bog Boardwalk, and Opeongo Road (located at km 46.3) near the locked
gate, and farther north in black spruce bog area on the right (east) side.


American Three-toed Woodpecker:
A male was observed near Post 1 at the start of Spruce Bog Boardwalk
trail on February 13.

Spruce Bog and Opeongo Road are likely still the best areas to try.
Listening for the relatively quiet tapping sounds made by this species
as it flakes off bark is the best way to find them.


Black-backed Woodpecker:
This woodpecker was reported from Whiskey Rapids Trail (km 7.2 on
the highway) and the Leaf Lake Ski Trail (located at km 53.9).

Spruce Bog Boardwalk, along Opeongo Road, and utility poles at km 8
on Highway 60 are other areas to search. Check all conifer areas where
de-barked trees are in evidence. Imitations of Barred Owl calls, and
pishing, may elicit calls or movements by this woodpecker, helping to
locate them.


Gray Jay:
Spruce Bog parking lot and Opeongo Road at the locked gate are the
best spots.


Boreal Chickadee:
One was reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 13.

Listen for vocalizations, and check carefully within dense conifers for this
species when Black-capped Chickadees are encountered. Spruce Bog and
Opeongo Road are likely the best areas to try.


Red Crossbill:
Still numerous. Often seen getting sand and salt on the highway.

Widespread in conifer areas.


White-winged Crossbill:
No change. Still lots of them being seen and heard.

Numerous, and widespread in conifer areas, with males often singing
from tops of spruce trees. Flocks getting sand and salt on highway.


Evening Grosbeak:
Over 100 continued to come to the Visitor Centre feeder this week.


Purple Finch, Pine Siskin (numerous) and American Goldfinch are
widespread. Often at Visitor Centre feeders.


Note: both the Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road are posted CLOSED
TO PUBLIC TRAVEL this winter, and should not be used by birders.
On weekdays, log hauling trucks are frequent on the Rock Lake Road.

As always, please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is stored in the
Algonquin Visitor Centre database, and will help us to assist other birders
visiting the Park. Thanks.

Good luck.

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 free Algonquin 2006 Information Guide has a map showing the
location of sites mentioned in this report.

The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open weekends, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and recent
bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found there. Contact
staff via the Visitor Centre service entrance during working hours on
weekdays for access to view the feeders.

 

 

Thanks
Posted on February 15, 2007 at 12:04:54 PM by Bert Filemyr

The six of us from the Philadelphia area would like to express our sincere thank you for all the help and hospitality extended to us before and on our recent Ontario trip. We are grateful for everything everyone did for us. Our trip reports, species list, and pictures are at http://www.thefilemyrs.com/Birding/Ontario2007/default.htm
Looking forward to next year already
Ontario 2007

 

 

The Great Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 14, 2007 at 09:27:20 AM by Barbara Taylor

The Great Backyard Bird Count starts this Friday from Feb. 16-19. If you want to participate in our own unofficial Muskoka count, just post your yard list for any of those days.


Excerpt from the GBBC website (a joint project of Cornell Lab of Ornithology & Audubon):
"The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes. It’s free, fun, and easy and it helps the birds.

Participants count birds anywhere for as little or as long as they wish during the four-day period. They tally the highest number of birds of each species seen together at any one time. To report their counts, they fill out an online checklist at the Great Backyard Bird Count web site.

As the count progresses, anyone with Internet access can explore what is being reported from their own towns or anywhere in the United States and Canada. They can also see how this year's numbers compare with those from previous years. Participants may also send in photographs of the birds they see."

 

 

Re(2): Where are robins coming from?
Posted on February 14, 2007 at 12:00:21 PM by Barbara Taylor

I suspect the recently seen Robins have been here all winter, just not observed earlier.  Over the past few years there have been sightings in Muskoka in January, but not in 2007. Perhaps it took the much colder temperatures in February to get them moving around the area, since they would need more food sources to keep them going.

I found two Robin reports on the Bird Board from December, 2006:
1 in Bracebridge - Gravenhurst-Bracebridge Christmas Bird Count, Dec. 17
1 in Magnetawan - Burk's Falls Christmas Bird Count, Dec. 20th

 

If anyone is interested, there is a map of "first seen" Robin sightings at Journey North: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/robin/index.html

 

 

Re(1): Where are robins coming from?
Posted on February 14, 2007 at 08:58:39 AM by Alex Mills

I am visiting Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia until April, and here, Robins sometimes arrive in February, at which point people comment that “they’re back early this year.”

Apparently what is really happening is that those that have spent the first part of the winter in Newfoundland have run out of food there and have consequently crossed the Gulf of St. Lawrence and have arrived here on a southbound trajectory.

I wonder if these recent Muskoka Robins have been in Muskoka (undetected) all winter, or if they, too, have come from somewhere else (even further north?) where they recently ran out of food.

 

 

Re(1): Robin...seen in Gravenhurst
Posted on February 15, 2007 at 09:47:03 PM by Al Sinclair

Al Gibson reports that a Robin was seen today Feb 15 in a sumac on Greavette St in Gravenhurst.

 

 

Robin
Posted on February 13, 2007 at 09:04:23 PM by Barb Staples

Noonish Feb. 6 & 7, believe female robin casually dining on sumac. On both occasions left within minutes. Not spotted since then. Mid-point north shore Sunny Lake.

 

 

Pileated Woodpeckers
Posted on February 13, 2007 at 08:59:10 PM by Barb Staples

Today at 1:47 the male who has visited daily for months, arrived with a female. While he is seldom alarmed by the dogs or me, they both flew away when I went outside just before 3:00. Location: mid-point north shore of Sunny Lake, backing onto Trans Canada Trail below Doe Lake Road.

 

 

Goldeneye
Posted on February 13, 2007 at 03:50:49 PM by mmcanally

One male Goldeneye below locks off Brunel Road in Huntsville.

 

 

goshawk
Posted on February 13, 2007 at 10:28:58 AM by gerry lannan

an adult male goshawk not far from the house about 9oo am for a few minutes.Too far for pictures.2 km ne of Kearney.Gerry lannan

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swans - Port Severn
Posted on February 16, 2007 at 05:28:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

Anne Lewis reports there were about 30 swans today, seen from the locks at Port Severn. She said you can sometimes see them from the dining room of the Inn at Christie's Mill which is just past the lock on Port Severn Rd. N. - often there are a few pairs in the water between the island above the dam and in front of the Mill.

 

 

Trumpeter Swans - Port Severn
Posted on February 13, 2007 at 09:15:10 AM by Barbara Taylor

Anne Lewis reports there were about 50 swans on the bay side of the 400 bridge at Port Severn yesterday. They were also seen there two weeks ago in the same location.

 

 

Robins, Bala
Posted on February 12, 2007 at 05:01:04 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

5 pm, Monday, Feb. 12th. 4 Robins just landed in trees beside my house and another dozen flew SW from the house!

 

 

feeders
Posted on February 12, 2007 at 04:02:13 PM by gerald willmott

Hello all I feel remiss for not posting this earlier, but last week driving to Bracebridge from Beaumaris, there was a Red-Tailed Hawk sitting in a tree at Leonard Lake Road 2 and a Bald Eagle flying west down 118 at Kerrydale Stables. That alone made it a good drive. Kudos to my wife, Heddie Lee who spotted them both. 2-0.

However at the feeders we have about 35 gold finches devouring food at a manic rate. Also 3 Blue Jays and 2 Starlings have popped up after being absent for along time. Also we have a Brown Creeper creeping down tree trunks and three American Tree Sparrows.

Regards
Gerald.

P.s. now that Bracebridge is getting a new sewage treatment plant, what does this mean for the ducks?

 

 

Pine Siskins
Posted on February 12, 2007 at 01:07:35 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning along the Henry Rd. trail there were several Pine Siskins, Purple Finches, and American Goldfinches. More were seen along the snowmobile trail that heads east before you get to the T at the marsh.

Directions: from traffic lights at Eccelstone Dr. and Wellington St. in Bracebridge, head west on Beaumont Dr. to Henry Rd. There is a parking area by the pile of woodchips at the trailhead.

 

 

Eastern Towhee in Parry Sound
Posted on February 12, 2007 at 01:03:56 PM by Stan Fairchild

The Eastern Towhee is still a regular visitor to my feeder in Hurdville. It is a male and eats sunflower seed and cracked corn

 

 

Cooper's Hawk - Huntsville
Posted on February 11, 2007 at 08:13:25 PM by Kip Daynard

Yesterday around 12:30pm I saw a Cooper's Hawk flying southwards across Hunter's Bay near West End Motors. I am unsure if it was an adult or 1st-year bird, but based on apparent size and proportions I would guess it was an adult female. The bird was soaring/gliding with closed tail and exhibited the expected traits of a Cooper's including: protrusive head, rounded longish tail, cleanly tapered wings with perfectly straight leading wing-edge. It was obviously larger than a Sharpie and lacked the heavy-set body/tail/head and bulging secondaries of a Goshawk. This is the first Cooper's Hawk I've seen in Muskoka.
Kip Daynard
Emsdale, ON

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on February 10, 2007 at 08:23:28 AM by janice house

Moira has a barred owl that sits on the edge of her deck and drops down on mice and ground feeding birds. She managed to get a picture. (Houston Rd off Falconburg Rd north of Bracebridge)

 

 

Waxwings
Posted on February 9, 2007 at 07:50:54 PM by David Hatch

A small flock of Waxwings (only six this time) were back at the high bush cranberries today. These ones were definetly Cedar Waxwings. Clevelands House at Minett off Dr. Rd # 7.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birds: Update of February 8
Posted on February 9, 2007 at 09:05:05 AM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 9, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


The following summary reflects currently situation for birders who
might be planning a visit to Algonquin Provincial Park.

There is relatively little new information to report. Cold temperatures
and snow seem to have reduced the number of birders here this past
week. NEW COMMENTS SINCE LAST WEEK ARE PRESENTED
IN THE FIRST LINE FOR EACH SPECIES BELOW.

Spruce Grouse:
Reporting birders continued to have no success finding this bird.

Areas to search include: Spruce Bog Boardwalk (located at km 42.5),
black spruce area south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk,
and Opeongo Road (located at km 46.3) near the locked gate, and farther
north in black spruce bog area on the right (east) side.


American Three-toed Woodpecker:
The few birders reporting were unable to locate this species.

Spruce Bog and Opeongo Road are likely still the best areas to try.
Listening for the relatively quiet tapping sounds made by this species
as it flakes off bark is the best way to find them.


Black-backed Woodpecker:
Two birds were seen on the utility poles along Highway 60 at km 8 this
week, a favoured location for many years. This species is often seen
exploring old cavities in poles during late winter and very early spring.

Spruce Bog, and along Opeongo Road are other areas to search. Check
all conifer areas where de-barked trees are in evidence. Imitations of
Barred Owl calls and pishing may illicit calls or movements by this
woodpecker, helping to locate them.


Gray Jay:
Spruce Bog parking lot was reliable this week.

The best locations are still Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot, and Opeongo
Road at the locked gate.


Boreal Chickadee:
One was reported at the start of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 3.

Listen for vocalizations, and check carefully within dense conifers for this
species when Black-capped Chickadees are encountered. Spruce Bog and
Opeongo Road are likely the best areas to try.


Red Crossbill:
Still numerous. Often seen getting sand and salt on the highway.

Widespread in conifer areas.


White-winged Crossbill:
No change. Still lots of them being seen and heard.

Numerous, and widespread in conifer areas, with males often singing
from tops of spruce trees. Flocks getting sand and salt on highway.


Evening Grosbeak:
Over 100 continued to come to the Visitor Centre feeder this week.


Purple Finch, Pine Siskin (numerous) and American Goldfinch are
widespread. Often at Visitor Centre feeders.

Note: both the Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road are posted CLOSED
TO PUBLIC TRAVEL this winter, and should not be used by birders.
On weekdays, log hauling trucks are frequent on the Rock Lake Road.

As always, please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is stored in the
Algonquin Visitor Centre database, will help us to assist other birders
visiting the Park. Thanks.

Good luck.

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.,
and recent bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found there.

 

 

Re(1): American Robin
Posted on February 8, 2007 at 09:13:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

Barb Staples reports there was a Robin feeding on sumac yesterday near Sunny Lake, just east of Gravenhurst.
Has anyone else seen any Robins recently?

 

 

American Robin
Posted on February 8, 2007 at 02:04:19 PM by jim griffin

I have been watching several clumps of ilex bushes with berries on the island in the muskoka river just south of the road 10 bridge in port sydney. Today there was a Robin sitting in the alder bushes near the ilex, but not many berries left.

 

 

Re(1): quiz answers...
Posted on February 8, 2007 at 11:19:13 AM by Barbara Taylor

1. Wild Turkey - photo by Eleanor Kee Wellman

2. Red-bellied Woodpecker - photo by Arlene Brazeau

3. Boreal Owl - photo by Jane Marshall

4. Carolina Wren - photo by Jack Hutton

A special thanks to the photographers for sharing these photos with us on the board at some point in the past.

 

 

Bird Quiz
Posted on February 8, 2007 at 11:17:31 AM by Barbara Taylor

I thought it was time for another bird quiz - this one is different though - a photo quiz! The older multiple choice quizzes are still available here.
Try to identify the four different birds shown in the pictures below. Each picture is a small cut-out taken from a photo of the whole bird. All four birds can be found in Muskoka...if you're lucky.

Photos:   1.   2.   3.   4.

 

 

Flying Squirrels
Posted on February 7, 2007 at 11:06:33 AM by goodyear

I know they're not birds, but they do fly! Last night I went out to refill our bird feeders and I saw three Flying Squirrels at the feeders feasting on sunflower seeds and peanuts. They ran off up a tree while I filled the feeders. Minutes later they "flew" back into the tree where we hang the feeders from about 20-30 feet away. It's been about two years since our last yard sighting of Flying Squirrels. All three had dark tipped tails, white undersides, and a dark line running the length of their patagium/fold of skin. Northern Flying Squirrels?  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Snow Buntings at Arrowhead PP
Posted on February 7, 2007 at 09:51:27 AM by B. Korol

This morning a flock of 15 SNOW BUNTINGS have been hanging around the Ontario Parks Central Zone office in Arrowhead Provincial Park, which is on Hwy. 11 about 10 km north of Huntsville. This is only the third record of this species for the park. photo

 

 

Re(1): Invitation to Wye Marsh - Trumpeter Swans
Posted on February 7, 2007 at 08:58:01 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

These magnificent swans are wintering in various Ontario locations. There is a group of up to 8 at the town dock in Washago on some fast moving open water there. Here is a shot of 3 of the Trumpeters taken 2 weeks ago.
Trumpeter Swans at Washago

 

 

Invitation to Wye Marsh - Trumpeter Swans
Posted on February 5, 2007 at 04:05:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

Anne Lewis, President of the Six Mile Lake Conservationists Club, has kindly extended an invitation to anyone interested in swans to join the club in their winter outing at the Wye Marsh on Saturday, March 3 at 10:00 a.m. If you wish to attend, please contact Anne asap by email at sixmiler@yahoo.com or by phone at 705-756-8425.

Here is Anne's description of the outing:
Visit with JJ the Trumpeter swan and learn about the Trumpeter Swans in Ontario
Chris who is looking after the Trumpeter Swans at Wye Marsh will take us through the rehab. area for the swans and a visit with JJ (an injured swan) before she goes out into the pond. We will also see a half hour DVD presentation on the Trumpeter Swan reintroduction program in Ontario. We will feed the swans that are wintering at the Wye Marsh on our visit to the the pond. Anyone who wants to stay the day can cross country ski or snowshoe. The fee gets you into the marsh for the day as well as our outing.

The outing will cost $10 for adults and $5 for children. All proceeds will go to JJ's care and the swan rehab. Contact Anne for a schedule for the day - it should be about 3 hours.



This is a quote from the article Anne wrote for the Georgian Bay Today newspaper: "Trumpeter Swans represent the romance and serenity of a time gone by. These magnificent birds have inspired poets and masters of the arts for thousands of years. Until the reintroduction of the Trumpeter swans in the 1990’s, they were extinct in Ontario due to over hunting and the use of feathers in fashion. The reintroduction program’s success is due to the diligent monitoring of the Trumpeter Swans by hundreds of committed people in Ontario. There are over 500 Trumpeter Swans in Ontario. The Wye Marsh in Midland is the home for and birth place for many of the trumpeter swans. Anyone who is privileged to see or have a relationship with a trumpeter swan will always be in awe of their beauty and strength."

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding
Posted on February 4, 2007 at 09:42:42 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Bruce Di Labio on ONTBIRDS (February 4, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Hi Everyone
Birded various areas of the park today. There was lots of finch activity, White-winged Crossbills were singing along Hwy. 60 and a number of trails including Spruce Bog, Opeongo Lake Road and Mizzy Lake Trail. Red Crossbills were heard and seen at the parking lots of both Spruce Bog and Mew Lake, while a few small groups were observed along Hwy. 60. We had no success with Spruce Grouse or Three-toed woodpecker but located 1 female Black-backed Woodpecker opposite the Mizzy Lake Trail parking lot. There was 1 Boreal Chickadee observed along Spruce Bog Trail and Evening Grosbeaks (100+) were present at the Visitor Center feeders and Spruce Bog parking lot. Pine siskins were scattered around in small numbers. Gray Jays were observed at Spruce Bog, Opeongo Lake Road at the located gate and Mizzy Lake Trail parking lot. Probably the rarest bird was an American Crow eating peanuts at the Spruce Bog parking lot.
good birding
Bruce

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.,
and recent bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found there.
Directions courtesy of Ron Tozer.
_______________________________________________
*ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For instructions to join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdshow.htm
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Re(2): juvenile Red Crossbill?
Posted on February 12, 2007 at 11:28:38 AM by Kip Daynard

Thanks, Ron.
This information makes me fairly certain this was an immature Red Crossbill likely fledged sometime last year.
Kip

 

 

Re(1): juvenile Red Crossbill?
Posted on February 5, 2007 at 10:48:51 AM by ron tozer

White-winged Crossbills nest during two main periods in Algonquin Park: (1) The main nestings are in late December to mid-March with fledged juveniles seen from late March to late May. (2) July and August nestings produce young seen in early August to mid-October.

Red Crossbills also nest during two main periods in Algonquin: (1) Adults with dependent young have been seen in late April to mid-June from nestings in January, February and probably March. (2) Adults with dependent young seen from mid-August to late October are from nestings in June and probably July.

I suspect that you may have seen a Red Crossbill, since the white wingbar would likely have been visible (even without binoculars) on a White-winged. The mandibles of young crossbills become crossed after fledging. However, it is often not easy to see whether the mandibles are crossed, and I think this would be especially difficult without binoculars.

Another complication in evaluating the age of the bird you saw is that second year crossbills are often still heavily streaked. Your bird may have been hatched last year, at a location far from here.

The feathers that you found may have been from the carcass of a White-winged Crossbill, but not necessarily from the streaked bird that you saw earlier. Many crossbills and other finches are being hit by vehicles now, as you know.

Bottom Line: If the bird you saw was a Red Crossbill, I suspect that it may not have been a recently fledged young.

Thanks for posting this interesting sighting, Kip.

 

 

juvenile Red Crossbill?
Posted on February 4, 2007 at 09:40:56 PM by Kip Daynard

This morning while driving along Bay Lake Rd. I came across a couple of birds sitting on the road, apparently feeding on the fresh sand laid after our big dump of 20+cms snow yesterday. Indeed, I have come across quite a few groups of finches doing this of late including Purple Finch, White-winged Crossbill and numerous Pine Siskin (including one flock of over 100). I was kicking myself for not having my binos in the car (I usually don't go out of the house without them) particularly since something about one of the birds in front of me struck me as a bit different from the birds I'd been seeing. The two birds showed no signs of moving and so I edged the car closer and closer until they were literally a few feet in front of the bumper.

Once I got to this close range the bird furthest from me I easily identified as a Purple Finch (female/1st-yr male), its stocky build, stout bill and bold white supercilium evident even with the naked eye. The Purple Finch flew off leaving the closer bird, which had so caught my attention, by itself on the road. It was also streaky, so my first thought was that it must be another Purple Finch, but it lacked the bold patterning on the face/head and I could now make out a longish, deeply decurved upper mandible which most definitely narrowed it down to one of the Crossbills. The bill size and length seemed more-or-less consistent with White-winged Crossbill, but viewed in profile at least it showed little or no crossing. The only Crossbill species I've seen around here is the White-winged variety, but I felt pretty certain that this was not a White-winged Crossbill because there were no prominent white wingbars. There was so little contrast in this bird that I'm quite sure I could not have missed the bold white wing bars of a White-winged (are there cases in which they are not nearly so prominent?) I knew the Red Crossbill female is not streaky so I found myself asking myself could this be a juvenile Red Crossbill? I'm not sure how likely that is... is it too early in the season to find a fledged individual?

At that moment a car approached from the opposite direction and another appeared in my rear-view mirror so I decided I needed to flush this bird. I edged the car forward and the bird appeared very reluctant to move, so much so I was worried it would be hit, but it flew away safely at the last moment. As I accelerated, I noticed a patch of colour on the road just a few feet from where it had been sitting and had the sudden realisation that it was feathers. Remembering this on my way back past this spot a couple of hours later, I slowed the car and took a careful look for the remains of a bird. At the exact spot, I found the remains of a male Crossbill (clearly a hit and run victim) and although I did not see any white on this individual either I am unable to say for certain if it was Red or White-winged. Again, a car approached and as I also had young children in the car I continued on my way with the plan to return in 5 or 10 minutes to take a closer look.

When I returned I was most frustrated to find that the carcass was gone, apparently removed by some scavenger and all that remained were a few feathers. I'm no expert, but my impression was that the feathers were more the pinkish colour of a White-winged than the dull reddish of a Red.

Once home, a quick look in my limited literature revealed the following:
My Audubon Field Guide says that Red Crossbills "may breed anywhere, and at any season, so long as the food supply is adequate". Sibley's lists the expected period for presence of juveniles as "Jan-Sep". The 1981-85 Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas mentions several reports of nest building in Algonquin including 4 reports in February 1985 and one on Jan 30th, 1983. The earliest report of dependent young in the first Atlas was March 2nd.

I'd be interested in any comments on this ID, and information on the reliability of wingbar prominence in separating juveniles of these species as well as early report dates for fledged Red & White-winged Crossbills.

Kip Daynard
Emsdale, ON

 

 

Re(1): another dove gone....
Posted on February 3, 2007 at 04:49:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around 4 p.m. I noticed lots of freshly strewn dove feathers all over the yard. This time I was able to find the hawk - an adult Cooper's Hawk. It flew off to the west...hope the Goodyear's birds watch out!

 

 

Brown Creeper, Purple Finches
Posted on February 3, 2007 at 01:07:40 PM by Barbara Taylor

The number of Purple Finches coming to our feeders has grown to 15 now, including three colourful males. A Brown Creeper was feeding at the suet this morning. Other regulars: a few American Goldfinch, a dozen Dark-eyed Juncos, three Downy and two Hairy Woodpeckers, a pair of Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatches, five Blue Jays, about ten Chickadees, one Starling, and twenty-five Mourning Doves. Oops, make that only 24 doves - forgot one was a hawk's lunch yesterday. Didn't see the hawk, but might have been the Northern Goshawk I saw fly overhead last week.  A pair of Northern Cardinals make sporadic visits to our yard, but must have another favourite feeding spot in the neighbourhood. (96 Glendale Rd., Bracebridge)

The Great Backyard Bird Count is going to be February 16-19 this year. As in past years, let's have our own Muskoka Backyard Bird Count on those same days, and report our species lists on the Bird Board. I'll post a reminder of the dates in a later message.

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren update
Posted on February 4, 2007 at 11:40:45 AM by Dave Wright

Feb 4/07 The C. Wren has been back a couple of times this morning. Also a flock of Purple Finches for the first time this winter.

 

 

Carolina Wren update
Posted on February 3, 2007 at 12:20:21 PM by Dave Wright

Feb 3/07, The Carolina Wren is back. It has not been seen for two weeks, however, just minutes ago it was in my feeder. (3 Queen St., Bracebridge)

 

 

Bird Board Update
Posted on February 2, 2007 at 11:58:27 AM by Barbara Taylor

Thanks to everyone for all your reports. All posts for January are now available in the Archived Reports. Just a reminder to bookmark the back-up webpage. Important notices will be posted there in the event of any major problems with the Bird Board hosting service.

Need help posting photos? Find instructions and do a test post on the Nature Photos Board.

New to the Bird Board? See the Posting Guidelines for helpful tips about using the board.

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(3): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on February 8, 2007 at 09:07:33 PM by Bert Filemyr

That was us outside your house this morning. We did not get a chance to say hello but thanks for the courtesy of letting us park in the driveway.  Great feeders!!

 

 

Re(2): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on February 2, 2007 at 04:39:06 PM by goodyear

Yes it is. It is in our front yard, next to our driveway. We also have several feeders that are in our back/side yard that are visible from the end of our driveway. We have had Purple Finches, Goldfinches, Juncos, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Starlings, and Chickadees for the last week or so.

 

 

Re(1): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on February 2, 2007 at 09:19:08 AM by Bert Filemyr

I will be with a group of Pennsylvania birder in the Bracebridge area the middle of next week.
http://www.thefilemyrs.com/Birding/Ontario2007/default.htm
Is your crabapple tree visible from Meadow Heights Drive?

 

 

Cedar Waxwings
Posted on February 2, 2007 at 08:42:18 AM by goodyear

As I was backing out of my driveway leaving for work this morning a small flock of Cedar Waxwings (approx.6-8) landed in the miniature Crabapple tree in our front yard. I didn't see any Bohemians, but then again I was late as usual and had to hurry off! We are at 117 MeadowHeights Drive, at the bottom of the loop. Our crab tree is full, so they might stick around for a while. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl hoot pitches
Posted on February 1, 2007 at 05:45:48 PM by goodyear

In his book, The Singing Life of Birds: The Art and Science of Listening to Birdsong (2005), Donald Kroodsma references the accounts in Birds of North America of the females having higher-pitched hoots. He also proposes another way to distinguish the hoots of male and female Barred Owls. His research suggests that not only is the female higher-pitched, but she "also has more of a drawl, a you-alllllll, with an extended vibrato on the end." (compared to the male's abbreviated you-all in the who-cooks-for-you-all part of the hoot)

 

 

Barred Owl hoot pitches
Posted on February 1, 2007 at 03:09:21 PM by Alex Mills

I tried to find out more about the pitch differences in the hoots of Barred Owls. In The Birds of North America account, two references are given as authority for the female being higher-pitched. I could only check one, a note in a 1977 issue of The Canadian Field-Naturalist, where the authors only say:

“As we approached the nest vicinity, the female owl, identified by her higher-pitched voice as compared to that of the male heard on earlier occasions, made her presence known …”

With respect to the Great Horned Owl, female vocalizations are reported to be higher in pitch because of a smaller syrinx (the bird substitute for a larynx) in the larger sex (which is the female in most owls, including barred).

 

 

Algonquin Park Update: February 1
Posted on February 1, 2007 at 02:49:24 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 1, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


The following summary reflects currently available information for birders
who might be planning a visit to Algonquin Provincial Park:

Spruce Grouse:
Most birders who looked did not find this bird last weekend. Areas to
search include: Spruce Bog Boardwalk (located at km 42.5), black spruce
area south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and Opeongo
Road (located at km 46.3) near the locked gate, and farther north in black
spruce bog area on the right (east) side.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:
Two were observed by some birders, but not others, along the Spruce Bog
Boardwalk trail this past weekend. The birds were seen in black spruce
behind the washroom building at the parking lot, and in the forest past Post
9 before the return trail reaches Highway 60. Of course, they could be in
different areas by now. Listening for the relatively quiet tapping sounds
made by this species as it flakes off bark is the best way to find them.
Obviously, a calm day helps in this regard.

Black-backed Woodpecker:
This species was reported near the start of the Western Uplands Backpacking
Trail at km 3 on Highway 60, at Spruce Bog, and along Opeongo Road
during last weekend. Check all conifer areas where de-barked trees are in
evidence. Imitations of Barred Owl calls and pishing may illicit calls or
movements by this woodpecker, helping to locate them.

Gray Jay:
The best locations are still Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot, and Opeongo
Road at the locked gate.

Boreal Chickadee:
Most birders reported that they could not locate any of these inconspicuous
birds last weekend. Listen for vocalizations, and check carefully within
dense conifers for this species when Black-capped Chickadees are
encountered. Spruce Bog and Opeongo Road are likely the best areas to try.

Red Crossbill:
Flocks still being seen on the highway, especially after sanding and salting
operations. Widespread in conifer areas.

White-winged Crossbill:
Numerous, and widespread in conifer areas, with males often singing from
tops of spruce trees. Flocks getting sand and salt on highway.

Evening Grosbeak:
The flock at the Visitor Centre feeders still fluctuates from 50 to 100.
Morning is best for seeing the highest number. Others are being seen
along the highway.

Purple Finch, Pine Siskin (numerous) and American Goldfinch are
widespread. Often at Visitor Centre feeders.

Note: both the Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road are posted CLOSED
TO PUBLIC TRAVEL this winter, and should not be used by birders.
On weekdays, log hauling trucks are frequent on the Rock Lake Road.

As always, please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. This information is stored in the
Algonquin Visitor Centre database, will help us to assist other birders
visiting the Park. Thanks.

Good luck.

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.,
and recent bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found there.

 

 

Re(3): Barred Owls calling...a pair
Posted on February 1, 2007 at 12:00:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

I found a short audio clip of a pair calling on the Barred Owl multimedia page at Owling.com
excerpt:
This set begins with the lower pitch male call and then is joined by the higher pitch female: http://www.owling.com/barred2a.wav

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owls calling...a pair
Posted on February 1, 2007 at 10:50:18 AM by Al Sinclair

Believe it or not, the female calls are higher pitched as in homo sapiens, easy to detect if you hear them calling together. I suppose this has never been proven, perhaps it is the male that has the higher pitch.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owls calling...a pair
Posted on February 1, 2007 at 06:59:58 AM by mmcanally

Al,  How do you tell the difference in the calls?

 

 

Barred Owls calling...a pair
Posted on January 31, 2007 at 09:22:53 PM by Al Sinclair

At 8pm tonight Jan 31, near our house 8km east of Bracebridge, a male Barred owl called about 4 times and then a female responded, the male called again, the female answered and then they stopped. All this took about 10 minutes. This is the most calling they have done so far this year and the first time I've heard a female.

The weather was:
Light Snow mostly cloudy
Temp -9
Humidity 83
Wind S 15
Pressure 101.3
Visibility 15
It was a quiet evening (no dogs barking in the distance like we usually have near Uffington) but I could hear the train going through Bracebridge 8km away.

 

 

Re(4): Bald Eagle
Posted on February 2, 2007 at 05:10:38 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I drove by the deer carcass today. There were about 6 ravens on it that flew off when I turned around and stopped on the other side of the road. It is on the Rebecca side between Pineland and Eveleigh Rd.
Not much left now!

 

 

Re(3): Bald Eagle
Posted on February 2, 2007 at 08:43:25 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I drove that area yesterday and didn't see a carcass or any eagles but then I didn't know to look!

 

 

Re(2): Bald Eagle
Posted on February 2, 2007 at 07:16:17 AM by ann hansen

Sorry, all I know is that it was on Hwy118 past Port Carling going towards 169

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagle
Posted on January 31, 2007 at 09:26:30 PM by Al Sinclair

It may come back tomorrow, can you tell us more about the location of the carcass?

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 31, 2007 at 08:23:44 PM by ann hansen

My husband reports that he saw a large Bald Eagle, feeding on the carcass of a deer, on Hwy 118 outside Port Carling, today, Jan 31/07

 

 

Re(1): Northern Goshawk at Arrowhead PP
Posted on January 31, 2007 at 06:57:54 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

WOW, that is cool! Lucky you!!

 

 

Northern Goshawk at Arrowhead PP
Posted on January 31, 2007 at 01:08:37 PM by B. Korol

This morning (31 January 2007) at 1000 hrs an adult NORTHERN GOSHAWK swooped into the feeders at our office and caught, killed and ate an American Crow. We are located at the Ontario Parks Central Zone office in Arrowhead Provincial Park, just north of Huntsville. In over six years of working here, this was the coolest natural history observation I have ever witnessed in the park. photo

 

 

Waterfowl in Huntsville
Posted on January 30, 2007 at 06:02:50 PM by ron tozer

Further to recent comments here about duck numbers on the river in Huntsville, the following were observed at the relatively small area of open water near the Swing Bridge today: Mallard (est. 400), American Black Duck (est. 50), American Wigeon (female; first seen December 14), Hooded Merganser (male; first seen January 7), and a swan (likely an untagged Trumpeter, but its head remained hidden in its scapulars as it roosted on the ice, preventing certain identification).

 

 

Purple Finch, Bala
Posted on January 30, 2007 at 10:12:08 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have just been blessed by the sight of a beautiful male Purple Finch at my feeder.
Winter, for me, has gone on long enough and this sighting has brightened my outlook!

 

 

Bald Eagle seen in Gravenhurst
Posted on January 29, 2007 at 09:10:10 PM by Al Sinclair

On Friday afternoon, Jan 26, an adult Bald Eagle was seen by Jinny Weekes as it flew south down Gravenhurst Bay and over their house on Hughson St. in Gravenhurst. This report was forwarded to me by Allan Aubin.

 

 

Trumpeter Swan at the Washago dock
Posted on January 29, 2007 at 08:56:36 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

 

About 6-8 Trumpeter swans are wintering on the open water near the Washago docks. Took this shot last Saturday morning 1/17/07 in bright sun light. Terry & Marion
Trumpeter Swan

 

 

Jan 27 Barrie MFN Outing
Posted on January 28, 2007 at 07:50:30 PM by janice house

Weather was terrible but highlights were 2 rough legged hawks, 1 northern shrike, a red-bellied woodpecker and cardinals. We were taken to a birdfeeder hotspot and toured around the Minesing floodplains. The Brereton Field Naturalists have an outing planned when the waterfowl are migrating, I am planning to tag along.

 

 

Large flock of Redpolls
Posted on January 27, 2007 at 05:25:53 PM by Ron Stager

There was a large group of redpolls, 150 or so, today in a clearing back in our woods. There were very vocal and split up into groups of about 50 as some of them flew off. In the same clearing was a group of 15-20 pine siskins.

We are on Merkley Rd east of Barkway.

 

 

Re(1): Crossbills
Posted on January 26, 2007 at 08:11:41 AM by ron tozer

Finches, including crossbills, are attracted to roads to consume both the sand particles and salt. There are many references to this in the literature (e.g., Tozer, R. 1994. Red Crossbills feeding at mineral sources. Ontario Birds 12(3): 102-108). There is discussion of this behaviour in Bent (1968) and Terres (1982).

 

 

Crossbills
Posted on January 25, 2007 at 08:51:23 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Does anyone know if it is the sand the crossbills eat on the road or the salt?

 

 

Re(1): Huntsville Ducks
Posted on January 26, 2007 at 08:27:57 AM by ron tozer

There were 324 Mallards counted on the Huntsville Audubon Christmas Bird Count of December 14, but the total was only 67 on the Huntsville Nature Club winter bird count of January 7. On December 14, these ducks were widespread due to the open water conditions, with relatively few on the river. By January 7, most of the 67 Mallards were on the river in town, with very few on the still open lakes. In previous winters, it has been normal to see 400 to 500 Mallards on the river in Huntsville during late December and January, concentrated there due to the lack of other open water. Perhaps the remaining Mallards this year are frequenting some part of the river where they are being fed.

 

 

Huntsville Ducks
Posted on January 25, 2007 at 08:49:52 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I have been quite surprised not to find any mallards etc. on the river in Huntsville. Other winters there have been lots. Anyone know why they aren't there?

 

 

Re(3): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on January 25, 2007 at 04:15:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

If anyone sees any Waxwings of either species this winter, please let us know. A small flock of Cedar Waxwings was reported at Ottawa on Jan. 21, so there may still be some lingering in our area too. Most Bohemian Waxwings are expected to stay close to the boreal forest this winter since there's a very good crop of Mountain Ash berries (according to Ron Pittaway's winter finch forecast).

Here's a quick comparison of the two species: http://www.sdakotabirds.com/diffids/cedarbohemian.htm

 

 

Re(2): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on January 25, 2007 at 03:32:02 PM by David Hatch

They could have been Bohemian Waxwings, I was quite close to them (about 25 feet) but it was snowing hard at the time. I have tried to check since but I haven't seen them again. Sorry about that.

 

 

Re(1): Cedar Waxwings
Posted on January 23, 2007 at 06:57:51 PM by J. Gardner

Cedar or Bohemian Waxwings? Most winters we see the odd flock of Bohemians here, though not this year, thus far.

 

 

Cedar Waxwings
Posted on January 23, 2007 at 03:49:10 PM by David Hatch

There was a flock of about one dozen cedar waxwings eating berries of what I call highbush cranberries at Clevelands House at one o'clock today. The first ones I have seen this year. Clevelands House is just off Dr. # 7 at Minett.

 

 

Re(3): Barred Owl...weather
Posted on January 23, 2007 at 12:47:04 PM by Al Sinclair

As far as I know it's unpredictable. It would be interesting to compile all the reports of owls calling for a season and compare the weather at the time. One thing I have noticed is that they call when it is a very quiet night, that is when sounds like highway noise are not travelling very far. This occurs when there is a temperature inversion that bends sound upward ie cold air below with warm above.

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl...weather
Posted on January 23, 2007 at 10:38:22 AM by Barbara Taylor

Al, have you been able to determine any consistent weather indicators for when owls should be calling?

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl...weather
Posted on January 23, 2007 at 10:29:26 AM by Al Sinclair

Weather conditions from Muskoka Airport weather station at 6pm last night:
temp: -10C
Clear visibility 15km
press 101.2 steady
winds calm
humidity 88%

http://weatheroffice.ec.gc.ca/forecast/24_hour_conditions_e.html?yqa&unit=m

Weather when I heard the owl last week:
Temperature -17.2C
sky clear
pressure 103.3 rising
humidity 61%
wind NNW 11km/hr.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on January 22, 2007 at 06:13:39 PM by mmcanally

I heard a Barred Owl calling in my back forty this evening here on Britannia Road in Huntsville.

 

 

many birds
Posted on January 22, 2007 at 11:47:11 AM by gerry lannan

At our feeders this morning about 10.00a.m.--9 blue jays,6 eve. grosbeaks,6+junco,8+goldfinch,5+ tree sparrow,2 downy woodpecker,2 hairy,2 purple finch, 6+ chickadee,2 red br nuthatch,1 pine sisken, 1 grackle(here all winter).2 km n.e. of kearney.

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on January 22, 2007 at 06:52:18 AM by mmcanally

On Sunday, January 21, 2007 I went for a ski on the Leaf Lake trail at Algonquin Park. On the way over along highway 60 at the Cannisbay Campground road, I stopped and watched a Red-tailed Hawk soaring. On the ski trail there were large flocks of Pine Siskins, Crossbills singing, saw one Ruffed Grouse, two Hairy Woodpeckers and some Blue Jays. One Gray Jay in the parking lot. The trail was in fair condition with some icy spots.

 

 

Re(1): Rose-breasted Grosbeaks...still being seen in Gravenhurst
Posted on January 22, 2007 at 02:53:23 PM by Al Sinclair

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak in Gravenhurst was seen yesterday, but not yet today when I called. When it first arrived it had no tail feathers but it grew a complete new set in about 2 weeks. It is coming to Lemoine's feeders at 350 Lorne Street. They have a total of 7 feeders that are very active. They currently also have a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers coming regularily feeding on suet.

 

 

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks in Winter
Posted on January 21, 2007 at 07:52:16 PM by Bob Bowles

Today, I visited the home of David and Mary Wilkens on the 8th Line of Oro-Medonte to photograph a Rose-breasted Grosbeak which was coming to their feeder and eating sunflower seeds. There was another more immature male also coming to the feeder but he has not been seen in the last few days. This is certainly a very good winter record of a species that is usually far south on January 21st. I would be interested to know if the Rose-breasted Grosbeak that was coming to a feeder in Gravenhurst has been observed recently.

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Algonquin woodpeckers etc. Jan.19-21
Posted on January 21, 2007 at 06:20:22 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Margaret Bain on ONTBIRDS (January 21, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


With a lot of walking and quite a bit of luck, Hugh Currie, Richard Pope, and I
managed to find most of the Algonquin specialities this weekend, but it took
from noon Friday, Jan 19th to noon Sunday, Jan 21st to do so.

2 female Ruffed Grouse - 1 right beside the road
1 male Spruce Grouse - 15m up in a mature spruce beside the Spruce Bog trail,
200m north of the causeway over the bog - our last find on Sunday
N. Saw-whet Owl calling north of the gate on the Opeongo Road - Saturday - heard
by Hugh only.
1 male Am. Three-toed Woodpecker right behind the washrooms at the Spruce Bog
parking lot - stellar views at head height and 3m distance - our second-last
find on Sunday morning. Many km travelled looking for this bird and then it just
appeared! NO other birders to show it to!
1 female Black-backed Woodpecker just north of the gate on Opeongo Road on
Saturday.
Gray Jays, Red-breasted Nuthatches - numerous
1 Boreal Chickadee just north of the Opeongo Road gate Saturday, just south of
the gate Sunday - probably the same bird, with a small group of Black-cappeds.
10+ Purple Finches at the Visitor Centre feeders and a few other spots
Red Crossbills - numerous and widespread, a few at Vistor Centre feeders
White-winged Crossbills - large numbers everywhere, singing beautifully
redpolls - one small flock of 15 birds south edge of bog at Spruce Bog Trail on
Friday only - not found again
Pine Siskins - numerous and vocal, many at Visitor Centre feeders
Evening Grosbeaks - huge flock, 80-100, at Visitor Centre feeders - these
feeders were definitely most active fairly early in the morning.
No Great Gray Owl, no Pine Grosbeaks, but we could hardly complain!

 

Re(4): Tree Sparrows...more than usual?
Posted on January 30, 2007 at 11:06:41 AM by Kip Daynard

We had 11 at our feeder on Jan. 20th and one or two daily since then. This is more than usual for us as well. (5kms south of Kearney on Bay Lake)

 

 

Re(1): Tree Sparrows...more than usual?
Posted on January 27, 2007 at 10:23:38 AM by Nancy Thompson

Five tree sparrows in our yard this morning. First I have ever seen in Bent River in January.
Many blue jays, juncos, chickadees, mourning doves,2 nuthatches and a grouse.
Also have a pileated woodpecker as a regular visitor.

 

 

Re(3): Tree Sparrows...more than usual?
Posted on January 24, 2007 at 07:16:40 AM by janice house

We had 2 here mixed in with the juncos (Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst)last weekend

 

 

Re(2): Tree Sparrows...more than usual?
Posted on January 21, 2007 at 04:32:13 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Jack Jennings has 6 at his feeder in Glen Orchard, along with juncos and starlings.

 

 

Re(1): Tree Sparrows...more than usual?
Posted on January 21, 2007 at 02:27:41 PM by J. Gardner

Yep, far more tree sparrows than in a normal (What's that?) winter. We have between 40 and 50 coming regularly, and normally we are lucky to have 5. (Hurdville)

 

 

Tree Sparrows...more than usual?
Posted on January 21, 2007 at 11:45:15 AM by Al Sinclair

We had 15 Tree Sparrows at our feeder this weekend, more than usual in January for our location 8km east of Bracebridge. I notice there is one other report on the board of a single bird in town. Are others getting Tree Sparrows. Photo taken yesterday.

 

 

Shrike
Posted on January 21, 2007 at 09:52:37 AM by janice house

spoke to Moira yesterday, shrike at her feeders, all the other birds disappeared. (Houston Rd north of Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Ravens Snow Bathing
Posted on January 21, 2007 at 06:49:01 PM by J. Gardner

Thanks Barbara and Ron for the information confirming that I am not going nuts. I knew that ravens had a lot of behaviours, but this was a new one to me.

 

 

Re(2): Ravens Snow Bathing
Posted on January 28, 2007 at 07:36:01 PM by janice house

ravens snow bathing is in Bernd Heinrich's book Mind of the Raven pages 284 - 288, seems they just like to have fun

 

 

Re(1): Ravens Snow Bathing
Posted on January 21, 2007 at 05:01:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

I emailed Bernd Heinrich (author of Ravens in Winter) about ravens snow bathing and his reply was: "yes, they do it all the time." Since he spent a long time studying ravens in the winter, he would have had ample opportunities to see this behaviour. I've never seen ravens snow bathing, but last winter there were several chickadees enjoying snow baths in the snow that collected high in the pine trees in our back yard. I couldn't find much information online, except for this article about ravens "snow romping".

 

 

Re(1): Ravens Snow Bathing
Posted on January 21, 2007 at 04:54:01 PM by ron tozer

In my experience, snow bathing by Common Ravens is infrequently seen. However, it has been reported in the literature. For example:

Bailey, D. 1993. Snow bathing in Common Ravens. Ontario Birds 11(1): 1.

Hooper, D.F. 1984. Snow bathing in January. Blue Jay 42: 53-54.

Hooper, D.F. 1986. Ravens snow bathing! Blue Jay 44: 124.

I think Bernd Heinrich mentions it in Ravens in Winter, also. However, it isn't listed in the index, and I can't quickly find the page(s).

 

 

Ravens Snow Bathing
Posted on January 20, 2007 at 06:33:14 PM by J. Gardner

Never saw it before this winter and now I have seen it twice. Three ravens, bathing, very much like a dog would, in the snow. Head, neck and shoulders first, and then rolling over in the snow. Does anybody know this action in ravens.

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 19, 2007 at 06:39:18 PM by Herman J Koeslag

http://www.eyeinsky.ca/photocart/index.php?do=photocart&viewGallery=1119
Found this guy just east of Mcarthurs Mills Ontario Canada January 18th on Hwy 28.
In talking to a local road worker he said he spotted two last week.
He has not seen Eagles for some 20 years.

 

 

Purple Finch song, W.W. Crossbills on the nest?
Posted on January 18, 2007 at 01:26:55 PM by Kip Daynard

I hiked the abandoned railline east of Scotia near Clear Lake this morning and tallied the following:

12 White-winged Crossbill
24 Purple Finch
48 Pine Siskin
3 American Goldfinch
11 Red-breasted Nuthatch
30 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Common Raven
3 Blue Jay
1 Brown Creeper

In contrast to 2 weeks ago when the White-Winged Crossbill males and females seen near here were flying about and foraging together in groups, today's sightings were pairs (2) and individual males (8) singing from the tops of trees. The males were quite vocal and stationary suggesting to me that the females are now on the nest. I did not see any evidence of young yet however.

Also of note, a purple finch was observed singing. The plumage was either first-year male or female and the song was a shortened version of the full male song. Birds of North America references "Stratton 1967" in describing female Purple Finch song as "finch-like but quite different from that of the male, lasting 1-2 min and given from the nest." Since this was similar to male songs I've heard, well shorter than 1 min, and definitely not from the nest, I'm assuming this singing bird was a first-year male. If anyone has any additional information on this I'd be most interested.

Thanks,
Kip Daynard
Emsdale, ON

 

 

Algonquin Park birds: 17 January 2007 update
Posted on January 18, 2007 at 09:00:40 AM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 18, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Status of frequently sought Algonquin Park birds, for those planning
to visit this weekend:

Spruce Grouse:
There appears to have been limited success in finding any this week, but
Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road near the locked gate are still
the best places to search.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:
There were at least two, and possibly three birds seen on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk last weekend. Two were near the trail entrance, behind the
washroom area, and one of them was on the same stump as a Black-
backed Woodpecker. A Three-toed was seen 100 m west of the Leaf
Lake parking lot last Saturday, but not found there on Sunday by
some who looked for it.

Black-backed Woodpecker:
Many birders have succeeded in seeing this bird. Spruce Bog is a good
place to look, including the side trails north of the trail past the end of
the first short boardwalk section. Both three-toed woodpeckers are often
first detected by their quiet tapping, so listen carefully. Watch for de-
barked conifers.

Gray Jay:
The best locations are Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot and trail, and
Opeongo Road near the gate.

Boreal Chickadee:
Really nothing new to report on these. Some success at Spruce Bog
and on Opeongo Road, but they can be difficult to detect if they are
not vocalizing.

Red Crossbill:
Flocks may be seen on the highway, especially after sanding and salting
operations. Unfortunately, a number are being killed by vehicles.
Widespread in conifer areas.

White-winged Crossbill:
Numerous, with males often singing from tops of spruce trees. Breeding
is apparently underway, so flocks are less often noted than previously.
Widespread in conifer areas.

Evening Grosbeak:
The flock at the Visitor Centre feeders fluctuates from 50 to 100.
Morning is best for seeing the highest number. Others are being seen
along the highway.

Purple Finch, Pine Siskin and American Goldfinch are regular, in
small numbers. Fairly regular at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Note: both the Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road are posted CLOSED
TO PUBLIC TRAVEL this winter. On weekdays, log hauling trucks are
frequent on the Rock Lake Road.

Good luck. As always, please let us know the birds you observe when you
visit Algonquin Park. Thanks.

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 4 p.m.,
and recent bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found there.
_______________________________________________
*ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For instructions to join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdshow.htm
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Goldeneyes in Port Carling
Posted on January 17, 2007 at 06:39:36 PM by Doug Smith

There may be as many as 20 Common Goldeneyes in the open water opposite Duke's, on the Indian River in Port Carling. A scope is a good idea, (I didn't have one today) as they are often across the bay. There were also 4 Common Mergansers there this afternoon, along with 3 mallards.

 

 

Red-tail at Muskoka Highlands
Posted on January 17, 2007 at 06:35:50 PM by Doug Smith

This morning I saw a redtailed hawk perched on what is probably an old sign post structure, across from the Golden Beach Rd. exit off of the 118 west.

 

 

Re(3): Carolina Wren update
Posted on January 18, 2007 at 09:37:55 PM by Al Sinclair

Got it this afternoon at 3:00pm, showed up 5 min after I arrived. Fed on some fat that Dave had rubbed on the trunk of a tree at the back of his lot. When it left it went north to another lot and disappeared into some conifers.
The people that first saw and identified the bird were Roy and Karen Harvey. It was first seen in their yard just after New Years day.

 

 

Re(2): Carolina Wren update
Posted on January 18, 2007 at 12:25:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today at 11:10 a.m. we saw the wren come in to feed under the suet feeder by the Wright's driveway. A Starling was assisting by dropping bits of suet down to it. Lots of other birds were at the main feeding station, including many goldfinches, juncos, and both nuthatches. (location: 3 Queen St., Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren update
Posted on January 17, 2007 at 06:33:15 PM by Doug Smith

When I looked for it this morning about 9:30 I couldn't find it, but when I went back later this afternoon it was there, right under the suet feeder near the driveway at Dave's. It was methodically picking up the suet scraps on the ground beneath the suet feeder, while a male downy worked at the suet.

 

 

Carolina Wren update
Posted on January 17, 2007 at 10:57:24 AM by Dave Wright

The Carolina Wren is quite active this morning. We've seen it several times at our feeders and fat and in the small trees and bushes around the house. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Carolina Wren
Posted on January 17, 2007 at 10:46:09 AM by jim griffin

I thought the wren I saw in december had moved on, but I have had one at my suet feeder jan 12,13,15,and 17. It seems to be handling the cold weather ok. (Port Sydney)

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 17, 2007 at 09:23:07 AM by Brian Smart

Not sure of it's stage of maturity, but definitely saw one Jan 15 at 11am and around noon on the east side of McVittie Island just south of the Heritage Foundation banner which faces our house. Unmistakable wingspan and we watched via binoc's for a while.

 

 

Barred Owl calling...temp -17.2 C
Posted on January 16, 2007 at 08:38:28 PM by Al Sinclair

The local Uffington Barred Owl called twice at around 8pm tonight. Temperature was -17.2C, sky clear, pressure 103.3 rising, humidity 61%, wind NNW 11km/hr.

It is a mystery why owls call some nights and not others. Looks like cold temperature doesn't stop them.

 

 

tree sparrow
Posted on January 16, 2007 at 02:41:45 PM by sam robinson

A lone tree sparrow has been hanging around our backyard on Dill Street this afternoon. It is feeding on black-oiled sunflower seed being sprayed about by a small flock of goldfinches. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): pine grosbeaks
Posted on January 15, 2007 at 12:19:01 PM by Barbara Taylor

This winter most "winter finches" are staying further north since natural food sources are abundant. Last winter many winter finches moved south as they searched for food. Pine Grosbeaks were being seen from Nov. 2005 thru Jan. 2006, but so far this winter there has only been one earlier report of a Pine Grosbeak seen Dec. 14 on the Huntsville CBC.

Ron Pittaway posted his Winter Finch Forecast on ONTBIRDS a few months ago. So far it seems to be right on the money. You can find it here: http://mailman.hwcn.org/pipermail/ontbirds/Week-of-Mon-20060904/013468.html

 

 

Re(1): pine grosbeaks
Posted on January 15, 2007 at 10:47:46 AM by Al Sinclair

Did you consider the possibility that they could be Crossbills? I think it would be unusual for Pine Grosbeaks to be eating spruce seeds. White-winged Crossbills are fairly common this year where there are good spruce cone crops. A few Red Crossbills are around also.

 

 

pine grosbeaks
Posted on January 15, 2007 at 09:26:37 AM by Nancy Thompson

Sighted a flock (7-9)of pine grosbeaks picking through spruce cones just west of Rosseau at Watson Lake.
I've not seen them around here this time of year. Is this common?

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists - next meeting Feb. 1
Posted on January 14, 2007 at 02:07:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

(note: This program was originally scheduled for January's meeting but was switched to February to accomodate an unexpected event that Dr. Ford had to attend.)


From the WAKEROBIN - Newsletter of the Muskoka Field Naturalists
February 1, Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Gravenhurst

"Karst Landscapes in Canada" by Dr. Ford. He will explain their origins and components (karrens, alvars, sinkholes, caverns, caves, etc.) giving a slide tour of the principal karst areas in Canada and comment on their individuality and finish up by putting the Ontario karst areas in the national and international context. Dr. Ford is a retired McMaster University professor.

Visitors welcome to attend. Meetings from February thru June will be held at Calvary Baptist Church in Gravenhurst, corner of First and Brock Streets (across from Giant Tiger). Membership Information & Program Updates: MFN website

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker drumming
Posted on January 14, 2007 at 12:29:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a Pileated Woodpecker was drumming loudly east of Henry marsh in Bracebridge. It's the first time this winter we've heard any woodpecker drumming. We found him drumming on a dead tree just east of the dip in the trail. After he flew off we could still hear him drumming from different locations as he roamed around his territory.

Here's a website that has some Pileated calls and drumming sounds (#3 & 4) and at the very bottom of the page there are links to other woodpeckers: http://weaselhead.org/profile/index.php?s=191

 

 

Re(1): Purple Finches
Posted on January 14, 2007 at 04:46:05 PM by janice house

15 purple finches Friday at our feeders, 1 here Sunday  (Doe Lake Rd., Gravenhurst)

 

 

Purple Finches
Posted on January 13, 2007 at 11:45:54 AM by Barbara Taylor

Seven Purple Finch are visiting our feeders today. These are the first we've had in our yard all winter. There has been one pair east of Henry marsh near the dip in the trail, but those are the only ones we've seen until today. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Carolina Wren update
Posted on January 14, 2007 at 04:52:24 PM by Dave Wright

C Wren was here 8:30 this am. Seen by neighbour.
Brian Pfrimmer & I saw it this afternoon at 3:40.

 

 

Re(1): Carolina Wren - photo
Posted on January 13, 2007 at 08:34:45 PM by Al Sinclair

David sent me this frame grab from a video taken at 4pm today by the owners of the property where the wren is visiting (didn't get their names). The wren is picking up bits of suet dropped on the ground by the woodpeckers. The feeder is at the side of the house on the lot directly behind #3 Queen Street in Bracebridge.

http://www.muskoka.com/~sinclair/birds/photos/carolina_wren2.jpg

 

 

Carolina Wren - update
Posted on January 13, 2007 at 04:57:54 PM by Dave Wright

Jan 13/07 The Carolina Wren returned today at 4:03 this afternoon. It came this time yesterday too. My neighbours captured it on film. It came as yesterday with 2 cardinals and a bunch of Juncos.

 

 

Carolina Wren
Posted on January 12, 2007 at 01:19:38 PM by Dave Wright

1:00 pm Jan 12/07 Have just seen a Carolina Wren. It lives under my neighbour's back deck and feeds off the ground under their feeder. It's been their for several days but I was just told yesterday.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

American Three-toed Woodpeckers in Algonquin Park:Update
Posted on January 11, 2007 at 12:50:51 PM by ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 11, 2007) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Several groups of birders have searched for American Three-toed
Woodpecker in Algonquin since ten were found by 63 observers on
our December 30 CBC. Reports suggest that most of these birders have
not been successful. However, a few people have found one. I hope the
following may be helpful for those who still intend to visit Algonquin in
search of this elusive species, and to see the numerous finches.

Recent successful locations for American Three-toed include the second
boardwalk section (at the kettle bog) on Spruce Bog Boardwalk (km 42.5),
Opeongo Road (km 46.3) just north of the locked gate, and the last few
hundred metres on the return portion of the Bat Lake Trail (km 30.8).

The best strategy is to search all de-barked spruce carefully. A calm day is
best, since the tapping of the American Three-toed is considerably quieter
than that of the Black-backed Woodpecker. Squeaking and Barred Owl
imitations seem to work well in discovering Black-backed Woodpeckers,
but American Three-toeds appear to be less responsive to those sounds,
unfortunately. The Three-toed frequently feeds lower, often on downed
trees, compared with the Black-backed Woodpecker.

A pair of White-winged Crossbills at a nest, with the female observed to
remove a fecal sac, was reported on January 5 at the kettle bog section of
Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Compared with previous data concerning breeding
during the winter by this species in Algonquin, this date is early for young
in the nest. However, the huge cone crop and very mild temperatures to date
probably encouraged earlier onset of nesting activity. Widespread singing
males suggest White-winged Crossbills are likely breeding across the Park.

Northern Saw-whet Owls have been heard calling twice during the day
and twice during the night at four different park locations, and once at
night in Dwight, since December 30. These are probably over-wintering
birds that may be inspired to vocalize by the recent mild temperatures and
high small mammal populations. The earliest calling by this owl in Algonquin
Park previously known was in mid-February. Birders should listen for these
owls on calm, milder evenings, near conifer-dominated areas bordering rivers
(e.g., Oxtongue, Madawaska).

Good luck. As always, please let us know the birds you observe when you
visit Algonquin Park. Thanks.

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 4 p.m.,
and recent bird sightings and information, plus feeders, can be found there.

------------------------------------------------------
*ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
For instructions to join or leave ONTBIRDS visit http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdshow.htm
ONTBIRDS Guidelines may be viewed at http://www.ofo.ca/ontbirdsguide.htm

 

 

Ivory-billed Woodpecker...new sightings in Florida
Posted on January 10, 2007 at 11:02:49 AM by Al Sinclair

Check this website for the latest on the Ivory-billed search.
http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/cosam/departments/biology/faculty/webpages/hill/ivorybill/Updates.html
Ornithologists are terrible photographers, in one report the guy had one right in front of him and couldn't get a photo because his autofocus didn't work. They should hire Wilf Yusek to go over and get a photo! (Wilf is in Florida for the winter.)

 

 

Purple Finches
Posted on January 9, 2007 at 06:44:40 PM by janice house

Moira has had a flock of approx 20 coming to here feeder for quite some time. She lives on the Houston Rd which is located off Falconburg Rd north of Bracebridge, I am on Doe Lake Rd in Gravenhurst and have not had any this year.

 

 

White-winged Crossbills - Perry Township
Posted on January 9, 2007 at 04:43:54 PM by Kip Daynard

A hike along the abandoned rail line between Scotia and Kearney around midday today produced two flocks of White-winged Crossbills. A flock of 8 and a flock of 12 with much courtship song heard.

Also seen: Pine Siskin (12), Black-capped Chickadee (22), Red-breasted Nuthatch (4), Common Raven (2).

Further east on Kearney Rd. on Sunday afternoon, with a light sleet falling, in addition to more of the above I also found Golden-Crowned Kinglet (1), American Goldfinch (1), Brown Creeper (1), White-breasted Nuthatch (5).

 

 

American Crow - Bay Lake
Posted on January 8, 2007 at 04:57:01 PM by Kip Daynard

Yesterday (Jan 7th) I found a crow on Bay Lake Rd. at the west end of Bay Lake. This is the first one I've seen during the month of January in my 6 winters on the lake.
Bay Lake is 19kms NNE of Huntsville and 5kms south of Kearney.

 

 

Re(1): Snow Buntings
Posted on January 9, 2007 at 06:25:57 PM by janice house

Moira and I saw 7 snow buntings at Allport Marina on Sunday, flock of 60 flying across the road at Fenner Dunlop too

 

 

Snow Buntings
Posted on January 7, 2007 at 12:46:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

We found two small flocks of Snow Buntings at noon today along Beaumont Dr. in Bracebridge. There were 11 birds by Allport Marina, and another 10 by the parking area before Pride's Marina.

 

 

GB Heron
Posted on January 6, 2007 at 09:33:02 PM by gmray

GB Heron E of County Rd 6 at Horseshoe Valley Rd today at 3:30

 

 

Adult Bald Eagle at Milford Bay
Posted on January 6, 2007 at 07:32:06 PM by Doug Smith

At approx. 4 pm this afternoon I saw an adult bald eagle at the small bay/beach that is at the bottom of the rock cut, west of Milford Bay, along the 118 west, (#2606 118 west). It seemed to be checking out a floating object in the water. It first flew down to it, then circled back and above it before continuing westwards.

 

 

Re(2): Bald Eagle
Posted on January 9, 2007 at 06:29:29 PM by janice house

Moira and I saw 2 eagles on Sunday, flew over us at the dock at Pride of Muskoka Marina, one was an adult. Also saw 10 common mergansers at Allport Marina.

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagle
Posted on January 8, 2007 at 10:10:05 PM by Doug Smith

This may have been the same eagle that I saw later, further west on the lake, and reported as an adult. I may have been mistaken, as the all white tail made me think it was an adult. The sun was setting behind it, and I didn't get a good look at the head, so it could have been a 2nd year bird, as Barbara said.

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 6, 2007 at 04:12:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

At 2:30 p.m. today we found an immature Bald Eagle standing on some ice a short ways out from Allport Marina on Beaumont Dr., Bracebridge. Eventually it flew up and circled overhead several times before soaring off towards Kirby's Beach/Stephens Bay.

Birding with one eye closed made it very difficult to tell the age of the bird...probably a second year. ;)

 

 

Northern Saw-whet Owls calling
Posted on January 6, 2007 at 09:05:25 AM by ron tozer

A Northern Saw-whet Owl was calling along the Oxtongue River opposite Spring Lake Road in Dwight last evening (January 5). Another was heard by Doug Tozer near Jack Lake in Algonquin Park during the evening of January 4. In my experience, it is unusual for this owl to be calling here in January, but then it is unusual for January to be this mild, too. Some Northern Saw-whet Owls may be present in Muskoka and Algonquin Park during most winters, but they are infrequently detected. Young birds often predominate among Northern Saw-whet Owls banded during fall migration in southern Ontario. Perhaps those that remain in the north are mainly adults.

 

 

Re(1): Rose-breasted Grosbeak...Gravenhurst
Posted on January 19, 2007 at 10:17:05 AM by David Hawke

of interesting note: an adult male and an immature male rose-breasted grosbeak have shown up at a feeder Jan 15-18 near Horseshoe Valley.

 

 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak...Gravenhurst
Posted on January 5, 2007 at 04:09:24 PM by Al Sinclair

An adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak has been coming regularly since New Years to a feeder at 350 Lorne Street St. in Gravenhurst. It has lost its tail and is just starting to grow a new one, perhaps one of the reasons it has stayed well north of their normal range in January. Lorne Street runs east-west in the north end of town.

 

 

Barred Owl...Uffington
Posted on January 4, 2007 at 02:03:59 PM by Al Sinclair

Had my first Barred Owl of 2007 today. At 8:30am it was sitting in a tree beside Hwy 118E about 200 meters east of the Cottage Country store near Uffington. This is probably the same bird that has been seen and heard around this area since mid December.

 

 

Re(6): Did anyone see a Purple Martin in 2006
Posted on January 5, 2007 at 07:29:56 PM by Al Johnston

The martin colonies at Glen Orchard and Sugar Bush Bay both failed which makes one wonder if there are any active martin colonies in Muskoka. I can remember when, 50 years ago, they nested under the eaves of the pavillion at Bigwin Inn on Lake of Bays. Al

 

 

Re(5): Did anyone see a Purple Martin in 2006
Posted on January 5, 2007 at 11:12:19 AM by goodyear

No, we didn't see any Purple Martins either. David and Regan

 

 

Re(4): Muskoka Big Year - Did anyone see a Purple Martin in 2006
Posted on January 5, 2007 at 10:56:41 AM by wilf yusek

I had one flying over the ponds on September3/06

 

 

Re(4): Did anyone see a Purple Martin in 2006
Posted on January 5, 2007 at 09:38:13 AM by Barbara Taylor

I didn't see any. I searched the Bird Board archives, and the only report for 2006 was the following:

Purple Martin ...
Posted on May 1, 2006 at 10:59 AM by Paul Smith
One Purple Martin was checking out the old house at the Glen Orchard General Store this morning.

 

 

Re(3): Muskoka Big Year - Did anyone see a Purple Martin in 2006
Posted on January 5, 2007 at 09:09:28 AM by Al Sinclair

As Al Johnson noted Purple Martin was not on my year list. Did anyone see one in Muskoka last year and where was it? I think there was a couple seen at the Bracebridge Ponds during migration, can anyone confirm that?

 

 

Re(2): Muskoka Big Year - Results
Posted on January 3, 2007 at 12:59:43 PM by Al Johnston

Congratulations, Al. Although, it's too bad that not one purple martin was available to make it on to your list. Do you know if David, Regan or Barbara saw one? Good luck with your list in 2007. Al

 


Re(2): Muskoka Big Year - RESULTS UPDATE
Posted on January 5, 2007 at 08:45:30 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here's an updated checklist with David & Regan's sightings added: 2006 Muskoka Checklist
Combining all three lists gives us 178 species in total.

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Big Year - Results
Posted on January 5, 2007 at 09:48:38 AM by Barbara Taylor

I ended up with 166 species. The fall "warbler bonanza" helped a lot since I'd missed so many in spring migration. I should have had a Rough-legged Hawk (arrived 5 minutes too late) and some Snow Geese (left 5 minutes too soon) over at the Bracebridge Ponds - good thing the Baileys weren't competing. :)

Here's my list alongside Al's for comparison: 2006 Muskoka Checklist
(David and Regan...if you want the Excel file send me an email and I'll attach it back to you.)

 

 

Re(1): Muskoka Big Year - Results
Posted on January 3, 2007 at 12:15:30 PM by Al Sinclair

I did my final total today: 156 species seen in the Regional Municipality of Muskoka in 2006, list below. The competition was tough, I think I'm 3rd, anyone else out there beside Barbara and David who beat me?

The good list of species we all had was in large part due to the information posted on the Muskoka Bird Board. Thanks Barbara for all the work you do in keeping it up and running smoothly.

My list was not as good as I had hoped, had a few bad misses like Brown Thrasher and Northern Harrier that I'm sure I could of had if I had taken the time to go look for them. My best bird was the Black-crowned Night-Heron that was on Silver Lake Rd near Gravenhurst for several days. I found it interesting that my 2006 list for the Bracebridge Ponds was 77 species, this location is definitely our best birding hotspot.

So it's time to start a new list, just yard birds on mine yet, total of 6 species (behind already!). I've analyzed my mistakes last year and I'm planning on a much bigger list in 2007! Hope I have lots of competition.

SPECIES SEEN
From 1/1/2006 to 12/31/2006 ~ All Places ~ 156 seen
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
American Bittern
Tundra Swan
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
American Wigeon
Green-winged Teal
Mallard
American Black Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Long-tailed Duck
Common Goldeneye
Bufflehead
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Merlin
Wild Turkey
Ruffed Grouse
Virginia Rail
Sora
American Coot
Killdeer
American Woodcock
Wilson's Snipe
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Dunlin
Wilson's Phalarope
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Black-billed Cuckoo
Barred Owl
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Alder Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Cedar Waxwing
Winter Wren
House Wren
Gray Catbird
Eastern Bluebird
Veery
Swainson's Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Black-capped Chickadee
Boreal Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Northern Shrike
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
European Starling
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Golden-winged Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Cape May Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Pine Warbler
Palm Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Ovenbird
Northern Waterthrush
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Canada Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
American Tree Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Snow Bunting
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Bobolink
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Rusty Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
White-winged Crossbill
Common Redpoll
Hoary Redpoll
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
Evening Grosbeak
House Sparrow
////---- STATISTICS ----/////
Species seen - 156

 

 

Muskoka Big Year - Results
Posted on January 2, 2007 at 09:06:48 AM by Goodyear

After far too many hours spent walking around the Sewage Lagoons, enjoyable day trips to the four corners of Muskoka where we might not otherwise have ventured, moments of luck, and repeated visits to Henry Marsh to find a not so cooperative Boreal Chickadee, our year's total for species of birds seen in Muskoka (barring any last minute A.O.U. splits) stands at 162. Our most embarrassing miss for the year would be Swainson's Thrush. Best bird of the year - hearing and then finding a Marsh Wren behind us as we were looking at a Wilson's Phalarope at the Lagoons. Thanks to Al and Barbara and Bob for a year of friendly competition. If we do this again for 2007 I think we will have to discuss a handicap for birders who hold down full time jobs, and Barbara has to bird with one eye closed. Barbara, as this years winner (I think?) you are responsible for hot chocolate and donuts.(By the way, our 2007 list currently stands at 7 species.)

David and Regan

 

 

grackle
Posted on January 1, 2007 at 05:16:00 PM by gerry lannan

For the past few weeks a grackle has been coming to our feeders every morning.2 Km N.E. of kearney.

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on January 1, 2007 at 11:04:24 AM by Don Clement

A Pileated Woodpecker was spotted in flight yesterday on my property near Germania, about 2PM.

 

 

2006 Highlights
Posted on January 1, 2007 at 11:29:48 AM by Barbara Taylor

The year began with the sighting of a Northern Shrike in Bracebridge. Mild weather seemed to convince some birds to stay longer than they should. In January a Hermit Thrush was feasting on Mountain Ash berries in Gravenhurst, a Brown Thrasher visited a Bracebridge feeder, and a Red-winged Blackbird was seen in Algonquin Park. There were several reports of Barred Owls, but only one Snowy Owl, and no repeat irruption of Great Grays. Instead, there was a more colourful irruption as many winter finches moved south in their search for food. Bird feeders were visited by Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Siskins, Common Redpolls, and American Goldfinches, although Purple Finches were scarce and most of the Pine Grosbeaks had moved on by mid-January.

A Boreal Chickadee spent the winter near Henry marsh in Bracebridge, challenging many birders to find it. In April an European Goldfinch (most likely an escapee) was seen in Huntsville, and a Great Egret was seen in May near Hurdville. In August a Blue-winged Warbler was photographed east of Bracebridge, on the photographer’s hand no less. This is a very rare bird for our area and a rare pose too! Another nice surprise in August was a Black-crowned Night-Heron in Gravenhurst. In September a Le Conte's Sparrow was reported at Torrance Barrens.

There seemed to be more sightings than usual of Bald Eagles and Sandhill Cranes, perhaps a hopeful sign of their growing populations.  For several days in November, three Tundra Swans could be found at the Bracebridge Ponds as well as three Bonaparte’s Gulls and three Pectoral Sandpipers – guess things do happen in threes. In December a Carolina Wren was seen at Port Sydney, and a Gyrfalcon was spotted at Barkway. A Harlequin Duck was found during the Christmas Bird Count in Huntsville.

Other notable bird sightings included Wilson’s Phalarope, Marsh Wren, Hoary Redpoll, House Finch, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Ruddy Duck, Eastern Towhee, Red Crossbills, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebes, Red-headed Woodpecker, Black-backed Woodpeckers, Ruddy Turnstone, Long-tailed Duck, Dunlin, Golden Eagles, Clay-colored Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Rusty Blackbirds, and Great Black-backed Gull.

There were several other nature sightings including Pine Marten, Moose, Map Turtle, Red-spotted Newts, Eastern Hognose Snake, Scarlet Hood mushroom, Promethea Moth, Broad-winged Skipper, Silver-spotted Skipper, Harvester butterfly, and many dragonflies and damselflies, the most notable being an Amber-winged Spreadwing.

Very good tree seed crops have kept most winter finches in the north this winter. Might be time to visit Algonquin Park where there seems to be a good variety of these birds and a relative abundance of Black-backed Woodpeckers and American Three-toed Woodpeckers too!


The complete set of posts for 2006 can be found in the Archived Reports. Thanks for all your reports.

Happy New Year,
Barbara