Muskoka Bird Board - Archived Reports from January - March 2015
 
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Canada Geese along Muskoka River
Posted on March 31, 2015 at 01:14:51 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were 9 pairs of Canada Geese strung out along the Muskoka River west of Henry Rd. No ducks were seen. The river is now open all the way out to the mouth but still iced in there. (Bracebridge)

 

 

red tailed hawk
Posted on March 30, 2015 at 05:59:34 PM by Peter

we saw a red tailed hawk circling over Echo Creek Marsh in Fraserburg  photo

 

 

Great Blue Heron
Posted on March 30, 2015 at 01:15:11 PM by janice house

A GBH just flew over hwy 11 by the Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst overpass at 12:45 today. Two turkey vultures were having trouble with the wind gusts in the same area.

 

 

Re(1): Turkey Vulture
Posted on March 31, 2015 at 10:39:28 PM by Barb Staples

First over my end of Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst was last Tuesday. He's been doing his daily thermals since. The exciting thing is, on Sunday I glanced out my window and not 30' away here was the same character (I assume...) in a maple, occasionally watching the birds at the suet. I've never seen anything like it, wonder if he is lonely or hungry enough to eat whatever can be taken! I read years ago they don't return until their second year but clearly this one is no more than a year judging by what I've observed in the past. And I love seeing the chicks each year, they resemble fluffy Dalmation puppies. Any knowledge to pass on to me?

 

 

Turkey Vulture
Posted on March 30, 2015 at 06:14:01 AM by TheCardys

First Turkey Vulture of the year for us. Seen in flight, at the juncture of hwy #60 and Limberlost Rd. being harassed by Ravens.

 

 

Re(1): American Robin
Posted on March 29, 2015 at 12:58:42 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were two Robins feeding on crabapples across from the school on Tamarack Trail, Bracebridge. First we've seen this year.

 

 

American Robin
Posted on March 29, 2015 at 10:17:49 AM by janice house

I did a sweep of my neighbourhood this morning and found a robin in an apple tree eating the shriveled fruit. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Snow Bunting
Posted on March 27, 2015 at 09:40:29 PM by edieov

We feel that we have been very lucky to have had 6 snow buntings hanging around our place for the past few days. They are eating oats left over from deer feed.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 26 March
Posted on March 27, 2015 at 02:20:20 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 26, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The Algonquin Visitor Centre (including the bookstore, exhibits, restaurant,
viewing deck and access to feeders) is closed for maintenance work from
Wednesday (March 25) to Tuesday (March 31), inclusive.

The moose carcass placed in the Sunday Creek valley off the Visitor Centre
deck has been almost totally consumed this week by up to five wolves, two
foxes, a large fisher, three Bald Eagles, and several ravens and crows.
Hundreds of people got to see some of these in person or on the webcam:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/virtual/webcam/index.php

Spring migrants have arrived very slowly this week due to cold temperatures,
deep snow and virtually no open water. First sightings included: Red-tailed
Hawk (March 17), Red-winged Blackbird (March 20), Golden Eagle (March 21),
Dark-eyed Junco (March 24), and Hooded Merganser and Common Grackle (today).

Interesting sightings included: a Northern Goshawk at Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on March 20; six Bohemian Waxwings briefly in trees near the Visitor Centre
feeders on March 20; and three Northern Shrikes on March 20 and one on March
25.

Two or three Ruffed Grouse came to the Visitor Centre feeders. Pine martens
were reported at the suet feeder on Spruce Bog Boardwalk and at the
refuse/recycling containers in Mew Lake Campground.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: A male was up in a spruce on the right side of the trail just
before the long boardwalk on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on March 25.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road
in the black spruce section north of the locked gate.

Gray Jay: Observed at Mew Lake Campground, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Trailer
Sanitation Station, and Opeongo Road at Cameron Lake Road this week.

Boreal Chickadee: From three to an incredible twelve were reported around
the trail entrance and the suet feeder at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

WINTER FINCHES:
Purple Finch: Two on March 19 and one on March 21 were reported at the
Visitor Centre feeders, but were not seen again.

Common Redpoll: Up to 100 were at the Visitor Centre feeders early in the
week but the number dropped to 40 or 50 later. The 40 individuals at seed
provided at the entrance of Spruce Bog Boardwalk were likely from the
Visitor Centre flock.

Hoary Redpoll: Three were seen daily at the Visitor Centre feeders early in
the week and usually two later in the week. The third bird probably went
across the highway to Spruce Bog Boardwalk where one was seen on March 25.

Pine Siskin: One (and sometimes two) visited the Visitor Centre feeders all
week.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Mink
Posted on March 26, 2015 at 03:03:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday afternoon a Mink ran through our yard and crossed the road heading west towards Beaver Creek. Earlier in the day a Fox trotted past. The abundance of Squirrels and now Chipmunks running around all day must be very tempting. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Northern Goshawk
Posted on March 25, 2015 at 03:51:09 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports they had a Northern Goshawk in their yard this morning. Hmm...maybe that's why the Crows looked so nervous at our place just down the street. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Purple finch
Posted on March 25, 2015 at 03:49:17 PM by GayleCarlyle

We have a male purple finch (gorgeous!) at our feeder this afternoon. Poor thing, it's getting soaked. Washago.

 

 

Red Shouldered hawk
Posted on March 23, 2015 at 07:56:47 PM by John Challis

We were quite excited to see a hawk fly up from the middle of the road while we were driving along Cambrian Road, just south of Washago, on Sunday. We managed to track it for a few minutes, and I was able to grab one photo of it while hanging out the passenger window of the car. A bit fuzzy, as the camera was on its maximum zoom and I was probably wobbling. Anyway, the orange dappled chest (which we got a good look at), white bar along the bottom of a fairly short tail, and what looks like reddish shoulders helped ID it.   photo
We also found some skunk cabbage poking their flowerheads out of the ground while walking along the hydro cut just past where we spotted the hawk. Fascinating plants.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on March 23, 2015 at 12:49:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning the Barred Owl was back at a favourite perch along the trail between the Bracebridge Ponds and Henry Marsh...high in a Maple east of "the dip" near the beaver dam.

 

 

Re(2): swans
Posted on March 23, 2015 at 05:00:12 PM by GayleCarlyle

No, the swans are pretty much gone from the town dock now that the ice is melting. There are still a few in the Green River near our home in Washago. But they'll soon be gone.

 

 

Re(1): swans
Posted on March 22, 2015 at 04:49:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

We haven't visited Washago recently, but reports on eBird show only 4 Trumpeters seen March 21 and only 1 seen March 19. They may have dispersed as more water is opening up and they are moving to their breeding sites. Or they may have found another spot along the river where they are getting fed more often.

According to eBird reports, there were still 80 Trumpeters this weekend at LaSalle Park/Marina in Burlington where they get fed all winter. And on March 20, there was a report of 142!
 

 

 

swans
Posted on March 21, 2015 at 04:47:51 PM by lmcx46

Are there still several swans at the dock in Washago??

 

 

Bohemian Waxwings
Posted on March 21, 2015 at 02:33:31 PM by Barbara Taylor

About 40 Bohemian Waxwings were resting in a tree near 85 Meadow Heights Dr. around 2 p.m. today. There are a few ornamental crabapple trees in the area which still have some fruit. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Wolf having lunch
Posted on March 22, 2015 at 08:54:21 AM by Debbie Adams

Great photos!
I've been watching that carcass on their live stream webcam and yesterday afternoon 5 wolves showed up for dinner.
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/virtual/webcam/index.php

 

 

Wolf having lunch
Posted on March 20, 2015 at 07:59:27 PM by michaelhatton

Saw the wolf today, enjoying the moose carcass approx. 400 metres WSW(?) from the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre's viewing platform. Also easily spotted were the siskin and hoary redpolls reported by others.  wolfphoto  siskinphoto  redpollphoto

 

 

northern saw-whet owl
Posted on March 19, 2015 at 08:35:51 PM by John Challis

8:10 p.m. A saw-whet let out a few drawn out whines while I was walking the dog; the damn dog actually chased the owl away from among some tag alders by the side of the road. I only had a glimpse of some underwing as it disappeared into the trees. There might have been a second, as the calls started up again, farther away but seeming to be from two locations. Right now, 8:30, one is calling with the classic beeping across the swamp behind our house. Washago, by the Green River.

 

 

Re(1): Redwing Blackbird
Posted on March 21, 2015 at 04:26:29 PM by missyinmuskoka

One young male feeding in my yard today Kahshe Lake Road, Kilworthy

 

 

Re(1): Redwing Blackbird
Posted on March 20, 2015 at 10:07:46 AM by janice house

Geoff heard one yesterday in our yard, this morning 4 were feeding with the regulars. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
 

 

 

Redwing Blackbird
Posted on March 19, 2015 at 07:41:00 PM by TheCardys

Male Redwing Blackbird observed perched at top of Pine tree at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, east of Rosseau. Two of us saw this individual, and first one of the year for both of us. Reported to e-birds.

 

 

SongbirdSOS
Posted on March 19, 2015 at 04:09:45 PM by janice house

Tonight on CBC the documentary will be on the Nature of Things narrated by David Suzuki, I believe it starts at 8pm

 

 

Re(1): Canada Geese
Posted on March 19, 2015 at 08:38:02 PM by John Challis

There have been a few starting to get noisy on the Green River today, too. David Hawke told me he had seen his,first turkey vulture in Carden Twp yesterday.

 

 

Canada Geese
Posted on March 19, 2015 at 03:26:38 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there were 8 Canada Geese standing on the ice next to some open water by the Wellington St. bridge. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 19 March
Posted on March 19, 2015 at 03:04:46 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 19, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The moose carcass placed in the Sunday Creek valley off the Visitor Centre
deck over five weeks ago was visited by an Eastern Wolf yesterday morning
and evening, and a Bald Eagle landed near the carcass in the evening. Three
wolves and a Bald Eagle have been feeding this morning. The carcass can be
viewed at: http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/virtual/webcam/index.php

First-of-spring sightings this week included a Snow Bunting at the Visitor
Centre on March 14, a singing Brown Creeper on March 16 (30-year average is
March 18) and a Rough-legged Hawk on March 17.

The male American Three-toed Woodpecker seen well at the parking lot of the
Trailer Sanitation Station at km 35.6 on March 12 has not been observed
since despite several searches.

The Visitor Centre and restaurant is open daily (9 am to 5 pm) during Spring
Break (March 14 to 22).

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: One was reported on March 14 at Mew Lake Campground,
where there is adjacent black spruce habitat.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
March 14.

Gray Jay: Observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Trailer Sanitation Station, and
Opeongo Road this week.

Boreal Chickadee: Up to four continued to visit the suet feeder on Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

WINTER FINCHES:
Common Redpoll: Numbers were higher again this week at the Visitor Centre
feeders, reaching 80 to 100 birds. Other locations included 20 on Opeongo
Road and 25 at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on March 17.

Hoary Redpoll: Two or three continued at the Visitor Centre feeders daily
this week.

Pine Siskin: One visited the Visitor Centre feeders from March 12 onward.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways
400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs which start in Toronto on Highway 400.
From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the
park. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the
West Gate (km 0) to near the East Gate (km 56).

In winter, the Visitor Centre exhibits and restaurant at km 43 are open on
weekends from 9 am to 5 pm. There is access with limited services on
weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm.

Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding
locations mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate.
Locations are also described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

 

 

Re(4): Bobcat, Eagles (and Wolves), Snowy Owl
Posted on March 25, 2015 at 04:48:05 PM by Peter Mills

Hi Al,
This is the one I have:
Moultrie A-5 5 MP Low Glow Infrared Game Camera
Product #75-5745-0

I am not entirely sure why that other Moultrie model is $70 more expensive. I think because it uses an LED flash at night which allows the photos to be in colour. This one uses an infrared flash at night which allows only for black and white at night. But, I'm not sure.

I am pleased with the one I have. It takes 4 C batteries, but runs on remarkably little power and these last for (sometimes) months.

 

 

Re(3): Bobcat, Eagles (and Wolves), Snowy Owl
Posted on March 22, 2015 at 06:57:56 PM by Al Sinclair

Thanks for the info, just downloaded the gif converter
Do you have the camera model number handy?
Canadian Tire sells this one: Moultrie M-880C 8 MP Colour Game Camera

 

 

Re(2): Bobcat, Eagles (and Wolves), Snowy Owl
Posted on March 22, 2015 at 04:38:35 PM by Peter Mills

Al: those are "animated gif files"--a file type that you can move around quickly and easily like an image file, but that moves like a video. They are a fraction of the size (usually) of the original video, and are handy to upload here. I downloaded this piece of software and it has been great:

http://video-gif-converter.com/

Eleanor: I use a Moutrie camera which you can buy at Walmart or Canadian Tire. They are a bit cumbersome to use for a number of reasons (no LCD screen), but they work remarkably well and can take video or stills.

The quality of the videos taken by the camera at the carcass is much higher than what you see. When I convert them to gifs I downsize the file size so it is easier to upload.

 

 

Re(1): Bobcat, Eagles (and Wolves), Snowy Owl
Posted on March 20, 2015 at 12:36:47 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

What motion camera did you use, Peter?

 

 

Re(1): Bobcat, Eagles (and Wolves), Snowy Owl
Posted on March 20, 2015 at 12:22:29 PM by Al Sinclair

Very interesting, thanks for posting it.
Animated photos are cool. How did you do that?

Saw this story and photo recently of a "rescued" Bobcat

Starving Bobcats in Atlantic Canada

 

 

Re(1): Bobcat, Eagles (and Wolves), Snowy Owl
Posted on March 19, 2015 at 02:22:30 PM by J. Gardner

A week of wonderful observations... thanks for sharing. J. Gardner

 

 

Bobcat, Eagles (and Wolves), Snowy Owl
Posted on March 19, 2015 at 02:06:54 PM by Peter Mills

On Monday March 16th while out showshoeing along the shores of Ahmic Lake (near Magnetawan) I happened upon some interesting look tracks. The were fairly large, overall round, with a trapezoidal foot pad and large toe pads. Canines (fox, coyote, etc) have a decidedly triangular foot pad and smaller toe pads. I wondered if it could be a bobcat, but of course assumed that it would largely remain a mystery.  photo

 

When I woke up on Tuesday (the 17th), I looked out my window and immediately saw a bobcat prowling along the shoreline. It was a little larger than the average house cat, and much stockier. The tail was short and the ears had small black tufts at their tips. Otherwise, the body was coloured in warm earthy hues. We looked at each other for a few seconds (it could see me through the window; it had frozen as I looked out), then it bolted. I dashed for my camera, but as it turned on I saw it slink under the foundation of our boathouse (the water is very low). I never saw it again.

However, I spent a good amount of time tracking it down the shore from where it had come. It appeared to have loosely followed the shoreline for four-or five hundred metres before I lost the trail.

If you are like me, perhaps you are a skeptic of wild cat sightings in Ontario, many actually being attributed to fisher, marten, foxes, feral cats, etc. If so, I offer you this picture; a photograph from earlier this winter of a bobcat taken at Poverty Bay on the Magnetawan River about 10km NW of my observation this week. This image is not mine, but comes from an acquaintance of my brother. I do not mean necessarily to suggest it is the same animal.  photo

 

On Wednesday (the 18th) morning I woke to a lot of activity out on the frozen lake. In the night a pack of wolves had taken down a deer about 700m out from shore. A study has shown the canines in this Wildlife Management Unit are a near-even hybrid mix of Eastern Coyote, Eastern Wolf, and Gray Wolf. I never saw the perpetrators, but a group of seven bald eagles and two dozen ravens were feasting on the leftovers from the carcass.  photo

 

I snowshoed out, and left my motion-activated camera there for the day.  photo  photo2  photo3

 

Note the date is incorrect on my motion camera information bar.

On Monday the 16th and again today (the 19th) I observed a small, immaculately white SNOWY OWL along Highway 520 just outside of Burk's Falls.

Also on the Monday, a FISHER was in the northbound lanes of Highway 11 near Gravenhurst, dead.

Bird-wise, little excitement other than a single RED CROSSBILL and a brave CANADA GOOSE and HOODED MERGANSER at the locks in Magnetawan.

 

 

Re(1): Snow buntings
Posted on March 18, 2015 at 05:24:51 PM by tedthevideoman

A flock of 20 or so last week at Washago. One pic (photo) the others can be see at www.t-boneimages.blogspot.com

 

 

Snow buntings
Posted on March 17, 2015 at 10:24:43 AM by GayleCarlyle

Saw a small flock of about 6 snow buntings yesterday afternoon along the McArthur Sdrd. just outside of Washago.

 

 

American Three-toed Woodpecker in Algonquin Park
Posted on March 17, 2015 at 10:23:21 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 16, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

I learned today of a male American Three-toed Woodpecker that was observed
by Gray Jay researchers on Thursday, March 12, at the parking lot of the
Trailer Sanitation Station located at km 35.6 on Highway 60. Unfortunately,
the bird was not seen when the area was checked on the weekend.

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting March 31, 2015
Posted on March 16, 2015 at 06:26:57 PM by BevEaston

On Tuesday, March 31, the Huntsville Nature Club meeting will feature a talk about Massasauga Rattlesnakes at Killbear Park, by Head Naturalist Kenton Otterbein. Kenton will present an overview of 23 years of research, including preliminary results on the effectiveness of barrier fencing and ecopassages that the park has installed to try and reduce roadkill. The meeting is at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall on West Street, starting at 7 pm. Guests are always welcome. A $3 donation is appreciated.

 

 

Pileateds Return
Posted on March 16, 2015 at 12:39:06 PM by michaelhatton

I haven't seen these birds on the property recently, but today two were in attack mode on yet another tree.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Chaga mushrooms
Posted on March 16, 2015 at 07:04:38 PM by FrancesGualtieri

Oops. My husband took another look today, and concluded the fungi are NOT chaga mushrooms.

 

 

Chaga mushrooms
Posted on March 15, 2015 at 07:28:54 PM by FrancesGualtieri

I just noticed some chaga mushrooms (inonotus obliquus) on a white birch tree. According to Wikipedia, in some cultures it is used for medicinal purposes.

Frances Gualtieri
Vankoughnet

 

 

Common and Hoary Redpolls
Posted on March 15, 2015 at 03:09:38 PM by michaelhatton

Common and Hairy Redpolls continue at Leonard Lake. Today more than 50 Common Redpolls ( a new number where all were sighted and counted at one time) were providing cover for two Hoary Redpolls (hiding in common sight).  photo

 

 

A sign of spring - Rocky!
Posted on March 13, 2015 at 07:15:28 PM by FrancesGualtieri

I just noticed a raccoon by the edge of our just-starting-to-open-up pond, here in Vankoughnet. Also there are snow fleas around, but they're not as interesting!
Frances Gualtieri

 

 

Eagle vs Otter
Posted on March 13, 2015 at 12:16:15 PM by Jim Griffin

just witnessed an interesting interaction between an Otter and a mature Bald Eagle: I was observing an otter sitting on the ice eating a fish when a bald eagle came in at speed at ice level straight at the otter which disappeared quickly into the water as the eagle snatched up the fish and made off with it. The otter came back up to look for it, but went back to catch another I guess.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 12 March
Posted on March 13, 2015 at 09:22:06 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 12, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Beautiful sunny days and well-above-freezing temperatures this week made it
feel like more early migrants should be arriving despite the deep snow and
little open water. They didn't appear but it will happen soon.

The Gray Jay researchers had found fifteen nests by today. The first female
incubating was observed on March 10, and now there are three of them.

For the first time since the moose carcass was placed in the Sunday Creek
valley off the Visitor Centre deck four weeks ago, something finally visited
it! Two ravens fed on it occasionally during the morning of both yesterday
and today. Surely more will come; perhaps during March Break. The Visitor
Centre and restaurant will be open daily (9 am to 5 pm) from March 14 to 22.

Two Ruffed Grouse were fairly regular visitors below the Visitor Centre
feeders this week, and one was in the Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot on
March 7 and 8.

One or two American martens visited the suet feeder on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
regularly. One was briefly at the Visitor Centre yesterday also. It did not
make a dent in the eleven red squirrels present. This squirrel concentration
at the feeders likely reflects the scarcity of cones here this winter.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: No reports this week. However, one was seen at Spruce Bog
Boardwalk on March 3, so it is worth checking there.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One heard drumming was reported south and west
of the km 52 highway marker on March 7.

Gray Jay: Still being seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road
(such as at the closed gate at Cameron Lake Road). As more females start
incubating, there will be fewer Gray Jays around to see, however.

Boreal Chickadee: Up to three continued to visit the suet feeder on Spruce
Bog Boardwalk.

WINTER FINCHES:
Common Redpoll: Numbers increased, peaking at 60 birds at the Visitor Centre
feeders on March 10. A few were also seen getting seed put out by birders at
Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road near the closed gate.

Hoary Redpoll: Two and sometimes three (recognizable by plumage features as
continuing birds) were seen at the Visitor Centre feeders daily this week.

Pine Siskin: One was along Opeongo Road on March 8 and another showed
up at the Visitor Centre feeders today. They were likely on the move. Two
sightings of single birds in mid February are the only other 2015 records
for this finch here.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Juncos & Fox, Bala
Posted on March 12, 2015 at 12:44:57 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I saw my first junco here yesterday and a fox caught a chipmunk this morning.

 

 

Re(1): Turkey Vulture
Posted on March 20, 2015 at 01:18:26 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today two Turkey Vultures were soaring over Hwy. 118E near Hwy.11 -- they were headed south.

 

 

Turkey Vulture
Posted on March 11, 2015 at 07:23:26 PM by Goodyear

Late this afternoon we saw a very early TV while walking along the Henry Marsh Trail. The Turkey Vulture was heading in a SW direction. Maybe it hadn't bargained on this much snow!

 

 

Re(1): Trumpeter Swans at Washago - photos
Posted on March 10, 2015 at 09:17:07 PM by tedthevideoman

recently visited Washago too.... these and more waterfowl can be see at www.t-boneimages.blogspot.com

photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Trumpeter Swans at Washago - photos
Posted on March 10, 2015 at 12:42:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we counted 31 Trumpeter Swans plus 1 Mute Swan at the Washago docks on Quetton St. There was also a Common Merganser, an American Black Duck, several Mallards, and many Common Goldeneyes. There were a few Canada Geese and some Gulls way out on the ice but too far away to see much without a scope.  photo1  photo2  photo3  photo4

 

 

Red-bellied woodpecker
Posted on March 10, 2015 at 11:14:52 AM by GayleCarlyle

There was a red-bellied woodpecker calling and flying along the shore of the Green River here this morning. Washago. We had one here last fall but not since then.

 

 

Pileated pair
Posted on March 8, 2015 at 09:01:35 PM by dinnymccraney

Our resident female finally brought her boyfriend to introduce to us this morning! They did quite a bit of tree dancing and then he tried out the suet feeder and seemed to enjoy his meal.
Lots of other woodpecker, nuthatch, and finch activity today.
The barred owl is often on the feeder and I saw a bald eagle fly over the golf course a few days ago.
There is hope for spring!  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Spring migration underway
Posted on March 8, 2015 at 01:41:29 PM by Barbara Taylor

Although the snow we've had today doesn't make it feel very springlike, birds are on the move. This morning three American Crows have returned to our yard.

Keep an eye on the sky as we warm up with southerly winds in the forecast. Tussey Mountain Hawkwatch in Pennsylvania reported several Golden Eagles passed through yesterday and Turkey Vultures aren't too far behind. You can monitor the Hawk migration at hawkcount.org.

And even though we probably won't see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds until early May, at least you can watch their progress at hummingbirds.net.

 

 

Common Goldeneyes
Posted on March 7, 2015 at 05:55:29 PM by janice house

Today after "Tracking with Jack Jennings" in Glen Orchard we stopped at the park in Port Carling. 27 goldeneyes, mostly sitting on the thin ice.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 5 March
Posted on March 5, 2015 at 09:18:03 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (March 5, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

There were more signs of early spring this week as temperatures moderated
somewhat. A starling at the Visitor Centre on March 2 was the first spring
migrant. Gray Jay researchers had located eight nests under construction by
today.

Inexplicably, the moose carcass placed in the Sunday Creek valley off the
Visitor Centre deck has now gone three weeks without attracting mammals or
birds. Perhaps there will be something to see during March Break (March 14
to 22), when the Visitor Centre and restaurant will be open daily (9 am to 5
pm).

An American marten providing great views near the suet feeder on Spruce
Bog Boardwalk was a life sighting for some this week as they fed the Boreal
Chickadees. Also, one or two martens are reported to be almost daily at the
Visitor Centre feeders now, although not present all day.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: One was observed along the northern part of Opeongo Road
today. Males should be doing occasional flutter flight displays soon, which
may help in locating them.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Reported twice this week on Opeongo Road.
One of these woodpeckers was on a utility pole at km 52 on Highway 60 on
February 27. Males may initiate nest cavity excavation during March, and
utility poles are sometimes chosen. Watch for this woodpecker on these poles
in black spruce areas.

Gray Jay: Still being seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road
(such as at the closed gate at Cameron Lake Road).

Boreal Chickadee: Two were being observed at the closed gate on Opeongo
Road and three were around the Spruce Bog Boardwalk suet feeder this week.
Observers are again being thrilled by feeding Boreal Chickadees from the
hand near the suet feeder.

WINTER FINCHES:
Common Redpoll: Numbers increased to 45 birds at the Visitor Centre
feeders on March 2, but dropped back to about 15 by week's end.

Hoary Redpoll: Three individuals continued to be seen at the Visitor Centre
feeders on most days this week.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways
400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs which start in Toronto on Highway 400.
From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the
park. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the
West Gate (km 0) to near the East Gate (km 56).

The Visitor Centre exhibits and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends
from 9 am to 5 pm. There is access with limited services on weekdays from
9 am to 4 pm.

Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding
locations mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate.
Locations are also described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl, Bala, Success
Posted on March 8, 2015 at 09:04:06 PM by dinnymccraney

What a fabulous photo! Your patience (and his) finally paid off.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl, Bala, Success
Posted on March 7, 2015 at 12:55:47 PM by Doug Smith

What a great shot capturing the owl with the squirrel!

We have a Barred visiting our feeder and the neighbor's at dusk to hunt mice and shrews.  (Uffington)

 

 

Barred Owl, Bala, Success
Posted on March 5, 2015 at 08:30:44 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I watched a Barred Owl by the house for about 1 1/2 hours this morning. It sat in a large pine while a red squirrel ran back and forth, up and down past it in the same tree. Finally, the bird launched and caught one of the many that play tag here daily.

I have posted a picture of it departing with its lunch behind a tangle of branches. It caught the squirrel at the base of the pine on the left of the picture.  photo

 

 

Northern saw-whet
Posted on March 5, 2015 at 03:18:25 PM by Terry & Marion Whittam

I noticed a bird fly by our patio window late last Friday night after dark. I thought it was late for a feeder bird so I investigated. I found a northern saw-whet hanging out over our feeders. Hunting mice I assume. He returned last Saturday during the day and remained in the same location sleeping contently. I guess some saw-whets remain around all winter rather than migrating south. Cute little guy! (east of Washago)
photo:  Northern saw-whet

 

 

Brown Thrasher - Bracebridge
Posted on March 4, 2015 at 11:08:44 AM by Al Sinclair

This Brown Thrasher was coming to a feeder on Cedar Lane in Bracebridge from Dec 12, 2014 to Jan 18, 2015. This was its favourite tree but it was never seen eating any fruit, instead feeding on spilled seed under the feeder. Photo by Noreen Faulkner - photo1  photo2

 

 

Muskoka Field Naturalists March 5 meeting cancelled
Posted on March 4, 2015 at 10:53:41 AM by Al Sinclair

From John Challis - Newsletter Editor
2015 is not getting off to the best of starts for MFN meetings. For the second time exec has been forced to cancel our monthly meeting. This time it's because of flooding at the Muskoka Boat Museum. It's serious enough that the repairs will take longer than expected -- and with the short notice given, no alternate location for the meeting has been found.
We hope to be able to get Mark Peck back for June, but that depends on his availability.

 

 

Re(1): Flying Squirrel
Posted on March 5, 2015 at 07:31:10 AM by Debbie Adams

We used to have lots of flying squirrels and last winter one or two were trying to get under the siding on our home. I would see them on nights that it was bitterly cold so they seem to be able to cope with extreme temps. (Walkers Point)

 

 

Flying Squirrel
Posted on March 3, 2015 at 09:25:26 PM by ksmith

Port Sydney-Hood Road. On the coldest night of the Family Day weekend, February 15, my daughter heard a scratching noise in the dryer vent in the basement of our cottage. We disconnected the 6 foot vent (which was too smooth for any animal to crawl back up) fully expecting to be confronted by a crazy black squirrel. Much to our surprise a sweet, little flying squirrel emerged from the bottom of the dryer. He was very calm and easily caught. I felt bad releasing him outside at 1 AM with the mercury dipping to -30C!!! I read that flying squirrels do not hibernate and live in small colonies in the winter in hollow logs to keep warm and that they are exclusively nocturnal. Has anyone ever seen one in the winter before?

 

 

Re(1): Common Redpolls
Posted on March 9, 2015 at 04:18:44 PM by GayleCarlyle

We've still got about 20-40 here every day, do you want some? We're going through niger seed like crazy!  (Washago)

 

 

Re(1): Common Redpolls
Posted on March 6, 2015 at 11:12:25 AM by janice house

a flock flew over this morning at the corner of Hiram & Ann in Bracebridge

 

 

Common Redpolls
Posted on March 2, 2015 at 02:35:55 PM by janice house

Finally, 16 yesterday, 4 on Saturday. Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst

 

 

Great Horned Owl
Posted on March 1, 2015 at 06:23:15 PM by sylviaandjim

There is a Great Horned Owl hanging around the backyards on Hedgewood Lane in Pineridge Subdivision behind the houses just past the clubhouse on the right hand side of the street. (Gravenhurst)

 

 

Red-tailed Hawks
Posted on February 28, 2015 at 02:29:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports there were two Red-tailed Hawks near Sedore Rd. this morning in addition to the many Bald Eagles and Ravens at the Gravenhurst Landfill.

 

 

Re(1): Chipmunk
Posted on March 9, 2015 at 09:53:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Chipmunk came out from under our deck this afternoon, grabbed a few spilled sunflower seeds, and disappeared down a hole it had dug in the snow. First one we've seen this year. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Chipmunk
Posted on February 28, 2015 at 01:17:29 PM by Barb Staples

Just spotted a chipmunk dashing across the driveway and up a maple tree; last year first seen February 20. South end of Sunny Lake, Gravenhurst.

 

 

Re(3): Barred Owl near Henry Marsh
Posted on March 9, 2015 at 01:28:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Owl was back near the west feeder this morning.

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl near Henry Marsh
Posted on March 4, 2015 at 01:14:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today we found the Owl at the other end of the trail near the east birdfeeder where it was sheltered from the strong winds. A Brown Creeper was singing in the same area.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl near Henry Marsh
Posted on March 2, 2015 at 12:54:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

At noon today the Owl was perched in a tree overlooking the west birdfeeder along the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. There were wingprints in the fresh snow so hopefully it is catching some mice or shrews.

 

 

Barred Owl near Henry Marsh
Posted on February 28, 2015 at 01:13:11 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Barred Owl perched next to the trail just before the first birdfeeder as you walk east from the marsh. There were several Blue Jays in the area calling and chasing each other around as they vied for a mate. One Jay was seen feeding its mate away from the other raucous Jays. The usual friendly bunch of Chickadees and Nuthatches were looking for seed handouts. (Bracebridge)

 

 

BookSale with NatureBooks
Posted on February 27, 2015 at 09:20:07 PM by SylviaPurdon

Jim will be moving to a retirement residence and so he is selling his book collection of books he kept after The Book Store closed a decade and a half ago. The nature books we have might be of interest to naturalists. Bird Guides, an early copy of the Birds of Newfoundland by Roger Tory Peterson, Bent Life Histories of Birds, some bird guides,and and early copy of Bird Nests and an elephant folio of Audubon giant sized Audubon bird prints.

The Sale is this Sunday March 1 at 27 Pineridge Gate Gravenhurst from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The signs at #27 will guide you downstairs to Jim's former 'library'. There will be coffee and treats upstairs in the kitchen if you want to trade bird sightings and meet old friends.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 26 February
Posted on February 27, 2015 at 04:09:39 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 26, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Despite the continued very cold temperatures this week, the breeding season
is underway for two species. The first Gray Jay nest under construction was
found on February 22, and a Common Raven carrying a stick in its bill seen
today on Opeongo Road was nest-building. The average date of the first
observation of ravens building or re-lining nests in Algonquin is March 5,
so today's sighting was actually a little early.

Remarkably, the road-killed moose put out in the Sunday Creek valley
opposite the Visitor Centre over two weeks ago has still not attracted any
birds or mammals. Surely that will change soon.

An American Marten spent much of the morning below the Visitor Centre
feeders today, often listening intently for small mammals under the snow
that are attracted to fallen seed. This marten has become a little more
regular in its visits this week.

Tomorrow (February 27) is Bird Feeder Friday in Algonquin Park. The
Visitor Centre webcam will be pointed at the bird feeder from dawn until
dusk. You can tune in to see at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/virtual/webcam/index.php

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Birders should look and listen for this species
in black spruce areas along Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Gray Jay: Still being seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road
(such as at the closed gate at Cameron Lake Road).

Boreal Chickadee: One or two continued to be observed well at the suet
feeder on Spruce Bog Boardwalk this week. One was heard on Opeongo
Road on February 21. The parking lot of the Algonquin Logging Museum
is another site for this species; one was reported feeding from the hand
along with Black-capped Chickadees there last week.

WINTER FINCHES:
Common Redpoll: Up to 25 birds are still coming daily to the Visitor Centre
feeders.

Hoary Redpoll: Three individuals continued to be seen at the Visitor Centre
feeders on most days this week.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

The Friends of Algonquin Park is offering two birding workshops:
The "Demystifying Algonquin Park Bird Song Workshop² will be held on
May 30 & 31 and again on June 6 & 7, 2015. Join Lev Frid, Algonquin
Park Naturalist and international birding tour leader, as you learn about
bird song through this Experience Algonquin Workshop. For full details see:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/visit/programs/special_events.php


Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Mystery Gull
Posted on February 25, 2015 at 04:36:22 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday we were surprised to see a Gull fly over the Wellington St. bridge ahead of us. It turned south towards the Bracebridge Sewage Lagoons and then dipped down out of sight. The gull was large and appeared white until it turned and the tops of its wings looked light gray. Seems way too early for a Herring Gull, so a Glaucous Gull?

Haven't seen it since.

 

 

WB Nuthatch pair bonding
Posted on February 25, 2015 at 02:29:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning we observed a male White-breasted Nuthatch feeding its mate. Then the male sang his spring song. They were along the snowshoe trail near the edge of the woods coming from Kerr Park. The pair of Pileated Woodpeckers were in the same area again too. (Bracebridge)

sounds of the White-breasted Nuthatch:
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/white-breasted_nuthatch/sounds

 

 

Re(3): A Convocation of Bald Eagles (photo)
Posted on February 27, 2015 at 09:23:15 PM by SylviaPurdon

There is a picture of a mature Bald Eagle on Facebook on Paul Sprunt's page. He took it today at the landfill on Beiers Road.

 

 

Re(1): A Convocation of Bald Eagles (photo)
Posted on February 27, 2015 at 01:46:36 PM by Barbara Taylor

Wow! There had to be 15-20 Bald Eagles there this morning...counted 12 in the air all at once along Sedore Rd. and 5 perched in a tree south of Beiers Rd. A great chance to study the various plumages of immature and adult eagles.

There were also a lot of Ravens, some Pigeons, and a huge flock of Starlings. Three Wild Turkeys were running along Ure Lane near Beiers Rd.

 

 

Thanks for the directions
Posted on February 28, 2015 at 08:04:40 AM by garylane

Thanks for the directions - I hope to get up there early next week.

 

 

Re(2): A Convocation of Bald Eagles (photo)
Posted on February 27, 2015 at 07:57:36 AM by Debbie Adams

Gravenhurst landfill is just south of town on HWY #11, turn right onto Beiers Road.
Just past the entrance to the dump is Sedore Road, turn right and you can see inside the landfill.
The birds collect in trees on either side of Sedore Road as well as on the far side of the dump pit.

 

 

Re(1): A Convocation of Bald Eagles (photo)
Posted on February 27, 2015 at 07:26:04 AM by garylane

I wonder if you would be good enough to provide the address of the Landfill where you saw the Eagles - Cheers

 

 

A Convocation of Bald Eagles (photo)
Posted on February 25, 2015 at 02:19:16 PM by Debbie Adams

A Convocation of Bald Eagles photo1  photo2

At the Gravenhurst Landfill this morning we counted 8 Bald Eagles but there were many more flying around that we couldn't accurately count. We spotted at least 2 juveniles with brown feathers and 4 that had almost all of their adult coloured feathers.
As the roll off bin trucks backed up to the pit and the back-up horns sounded, it was like a dinner bell for them as they left their tree top perches to see what was on the menu.
There were plenty of other birds; Crows, Ravens and a whole bunch of white ones (a little smaller than pigeons) that I couldn't identify. Plus there were plenty of small birds singing in the trees and again aside from sparrows and chickadees I couldn't identify them all.
Gotta love a trip to the dump!

 

 

Re(2): Pileated Woodpeckers
Posted on February 24, 2015 at 08:02:08 AM by Debbie Adams

We've had 3 Pileated's all winter long. A male, female and juvenile female. A bold Chickadee sometimes dive bombs them when they're at the suet feeder. Such nerve!
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Re(1): Pileated Woodpeckers
Posted on February 23, 2015 at 09:55:56 PM by dinnymccraney

A female Pileated has been visiting the suet logs daily since Christmas. No sign of a male!  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Pileated Woodpeckers
Posted on February 21, 2015 at 03:59:52 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers were working on some poplars next to the snowshoe trail right where you enter the woods coming from Kerr Park. Both birds flew off as we walked by, but on our return, the male Pil was back excavating a large hole and wood chips were scattered over the fresh snow. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Common Goldeneyes
Posted on February 22, 2015 at 10:00:12 AM by Jim Griffin

There is usually a flock that size or larger in the fast water below the dam or by the bridge in Port Sydney.

 

 

Common Goldeneyes
Posted on February 20, 2015 at 04:12:08 PM by Barbara Taylor

This afternoon there were about a dozen Goldeneye at Port Carling in the remaining area of open water out from the LCBO.

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl
Posted on February 23, 2015 at 09:54:16 PM by dinnymccraney

We had one right outside the window most of the day on Saturday. He(she?)fell asleep at one point while perched on the feeder.(Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl - photo
Posted on February 25, 2015 at 02:15:33 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Bailey's Owl flew over to our yard as the sun was setting Feb. 22 and stayed through the next day. Here's a photo.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl
Posted on February 22, 2015 at 01:35:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports they had a Barred Owl in their yard today. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl
Posted on February 25, 2015 at 02:08:58 PM by Barbara Taylor

Around noon today the Barred Owl was perched on a branch overlooking the east birdfeeder along the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. Amazingly there were two Red Squirrels out in the open, practically right under the Owl...one was feeding on spilled seed on the ground and one was sitting on the feeder. I guess they knew the Owl was there and that it couldn't come straight down fast enough to catch them. The Owl must have realized this too, as it ignored the Squirrels and seemed to be focusing further away where there were mouse tracks in the fresh snow.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on February 20, 2015 at 01:03:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

We haven't seen the Barred Owl along the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds for a couple weeks, but this morning it was back. It was perched on the east birdfeeder! The Owl flew up to a nearby tree branch and stayed put as we walked along the trail right under it. It was still there around 11:30 a.m.

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagles
Posted on February 23, 2015 at 09:18:56 AM by bigchicken1957

Hello: Reporting from Severn Bridge. We have had two sightings in the last two weeks of a bald eagle. Also saw one up just north of Bracebridge.

 

 

Bald Eagles
Posted on February 20, 2015 at 09:05:15 AM by Jim Griffin

It seems that nothing changes the winter landscape like a wolf killed deer or two: I have been seeing one or two mature eagles daily for the last week and a half since that occurrence on the river, even though I have seen no further activity. I guess they keep checking.  (Port Sydney)

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 19 February 2015
Posted on February 19, 2015 at 08:10:36 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 19, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Just when deep snow and apparently endless cold temperatures seemed to
suggest winter would never end, one of Algonquin's earlier signs of spring
occurred right on time to lift our spirits this week: gathering of nest
material by Gray Jays was observed.

The road-killed moose put out in the Sunday Creek valley opposite the
Visitor Centre over a week ago has still not attracted any birds or mammals,
but likely will soon. A similar carcass in a previous year was present for
two weeks before anything starting feeding on it.

A first year Northern Shrike watched birds at the Visitor Centre feeders for
about 15 minutes before flying off when chased by a Downy Woodpecker on
February 13. Young bird-predators such as shrikes have a steep learning
curve.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Occasional displaying by
ever-hopeful males should soon make it easier to locate this boreal phantom.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Drumming was heard at Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on February 14 and one of these woodpeckers was seen there on February 15.

Gray Jay: Being seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Mew Lake Campground
and Opeongo Road (such as at the closed gate at Cameron Lake Road).

Boreal Chickadee: Up to four provided close-up photo opportunities at the
suet feeder on Spruce Bog Boardwalk this week. Two were seen on Opeongo
Road on February 14 and 18, and four were noted near Wolf Howl Pond on
February 15. The frequency of calling by males will increase in late
February and March and reach a peak just before winter flock breakup in
April, making the species easier to locate in the coming weeks.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Two were along the highway at West Smith Lake on
February 14.

Common Redpoll: The small flock of 10 to 20 birds continues at the
Visitor Centre feeders.

Hoary Redpoll: Two or three individuals were present daily at the Visitor
Centre feeders.

Pine Siskin: One was reported heard on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 15.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Saw whet
Posted on February 17, 2015 at 04:27:11 PM by DavidBywater

Found a saw whet sitting in a hemlock next to my house this morning. The mobbing blue jays gave it away. Second one I've seen and first time I've seen one around my house. I live just south of Parry Sound on Rankin Lake Road.

 

 

Re(1): Brown Creeper singing
Posted on February 17, 2015 at 10:01:09 PM by John Challis

You beat us. We were just speculating on the weekend about how soon it would be before we heard our first Creeper. The woods around Washago were sounding a bit like the birds are ready for spring. Redpolls trilling like crazy, hairy woodpeckers in groups of three doing squeaky toy calls at each other, pileated woodpeckers shouting out, chickadees blaming each other with their "hee did it" calls. It might have been cold, but the brilliant sunlight seemed to be enough to spark enthusiasm.

 

 

Brown Creeper singing
Posted on February 17, 2015 at 03:20:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Brown Creeper singing along the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds, near the east end. It didn't sing for long though...maybe it decided it was still too cold!

You can listen to a Brown Creeper at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/brown_creeper/sounds.
The Macaulay Library is another great online source of bird calls and songs.

 

 

Lake Huron freezing up....
Posted on February 17, 2015 at 03:10:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

With no warm spell in sight, we might have another episode of waterfowl having to move inland this year...keep an eye on any areas with some open water. Here are the current ice conditions:
http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/res/glcfs/glcfs-ice.php?lake=h&type=N&hr=00

 

 

Re(1): Cardinal singing
Posted on February 16, 2015 at 03:59:45 PM by AnnHansen

We have seen the cardinal twice in the past couple of weeks in our yard on Daleman.

 

 

Cardinal singing
Posted on February 16, 2015 at 09:40:12 AM by Barbara Taylor

This morning our neighbourhood male Northern Cardinal is singing...first I've heard this year. (Bracebridge)

P.S. - as usual in mid-February, the local deer have begun moving about and are frequently crossing Glendale Rd. south of Kevin Cres. even during daylight hours, so heads up when driving in the area.

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting February 24, 2015
Posted on February 16, 2015 at 08:45:28 AM by BevEaston

On Tuesday, February 24, the Huntsville Nature Club presents a talk by Algonquin Park Naturalist, David LeGros, featuring the Mojave Desert and Sierra Nevada Mountains. A road trip through the desert and camping in the mountains provided great opportunities to explore the unique landscape and its wildlife. The meeting is at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street, starting at 7 pm. Guests are always welcome. A $3 donation is
appreciated.

For further information, contact Ken Morrision at (705) 789-1407.

 

 

Re(1): Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 15, 2015 at 10:48:05 AM by janice house

My yard list for Feb 13, Doe Lake Rd Gravenhurst
American Tree Sparrow 5
Eastern Towhee 1
Black-capped Chickadee 11
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 4
Blue Jay 2
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Mourning Dove 1
Dark-eyed Junco 2

Feb 14
Raven 2 flew over
Blue Jay 12
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Eastern Towhee 1
American Tree Sparrow 4
Dark-eyed Junco 3
White-breasted nuthatch 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Mourning Dove 2
Downy Woodpecker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1

 

 

Backyard Bird Count
Posted on February 14, 2015 at 04:22:05 PM by Barbara Taylor

Here's our yard list for Feb. 14 (Bracebridge) - 9 species:

Downy Woodpecker 4
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Mourning Dove 12
Northern Cardinal 2
Black-capped Chickadee 10
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Blue Jay 4
Common Raven 1 (flyover)

 

 

Nuthatch Whisperer works magic near Henry Marsh
Posted on February 14, 2015 at 02:44:20 PM by michaelhatton

photo1  photo2

 

 

Redpolls
Posted on February 14, 2015 at 09:46:31 AM by michaelhatton

More than a dozen Common Redpolls hanging around Leonard Lake today, but have yet to see the resident Hoary Redpolls. But soon, I'm sure.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Lucky Friday the 13th at Algonquin Park
Posted on February 15, 2015 at 09:54:30 PM by Leslie

Nice photos - especially the boreal chickadee! Thank you!

 

 

Lucky Friday the 13th at Algonquin Park
Posted on February 14, 2015 at 08:43:43 AM by michaelhatton

Friday the 13th turned out to be a great day at the Algonquin Park Visitors' Centre where a Northern Shrike hung around till chased off by a Downy Woodpecker, and at Spruce Bog where at least three Boreals whizzed around the suet feeder occasionally posing for as long as one cared to watch.
And next month there is another Friday the 13th!  photo1  photo2

 

 

Downy Woodpeckers
Posted on February 13, 2015 at 07:48:56 PM by Barbara Taylor

Yesterday we had six Downy Woodpeckers come into our yard at the same time...three males and three females. I thought for sure there would be some territorial skirmishes, but I was wrong. It seems the extreme cold windy conditions convinced them that feeding was more important than fighting. Fortunately there are three suet cages, so all the males ate first, followed shortly by the females.  (Bracebridge)

 

 

Great Backyard Bird Count -- Feb. 13-16
Posted on February 13, 2015 at 07:34:13 PM by Barbara Taylor

The 2015 Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is now underway and will take place Friday, February 13 through Monday, February 16. As usual we will have our own informal bird count here on the Bird Board...just post your backyard bird list for any of those four days.

Information about the GBBC and how to participate: http://gbbc.birdcount.org/about

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 12 February
Posted on February 13, 2015 at 07:20:39 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 13, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A moose that was killed by a vehicle on Highway 60 in the Park has been
placed in the Sunday Creek valley where it is viewable from the Visitor
Centre viewing deck. It may soon attract ravens, Bald Eagles and wolves.

Martens have been observed this week at both the Visitor Centre and Spruce
Bog Boardwalk suet feeders.

As part of the Winter in the Wild Festival 2015, a Park Naturalist will
guide visitors to look for boreal birds along Spruce Bog Boardwalk in the
morning (10 to 11:30) and afternoon (2:30 to 4) on Saturday, February 14.
For details see:http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/news/winter_in_the_wild.php

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Birders observed one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 8
and 11.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No sightings were reported this week, but recent
drumming heard at Spruce Bog Boardwalk was thought to be by this woodpecker.

Gray Jay: Being seen at the Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Mew Lake
Campground and Opeongo Road (such as at the closed gate at Cameron Lake
Road).

Boreal Chickadee: Two or three continue to be seen at the suet feeder near
the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: One was along Highway 60 at km 8 on February 11. There have
been very few seen here this winter.

Common Redpoll: The small flock of up to 21 birds continues daily at the
Visitor Centre feeders.

Hoary Redpoll: Three individuals were present at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagles and this bird? (photo)
Posted on February 12, 2015 at 04:17:38 PM by Wilf Yusek

It's an immature Bald Eagle

 

 

Bald Eagles and this bird? (photo)
Posted on February 12, 2015 at 02:13:49 PM by Debbie Adams

At the Gravenhurst Landfill today we spotted 1 adult Bald Eagle, 3 juvenile baldy's and this bird sitting in a tree. At first we thought it was a Great Horned Owl because it was so huge but when we got closer could see it wasn't. What is it?   photo

 

 

Re(1): Port Sydney Activity
Posted on February 11, 2015 at 12:56:32 PM by Jim Griffin

Update on feeding on deer: right after posting, I checked and there were two adult eagles feeding and all morning and to this point there has been one eagle feeding at all times; one takes a break and is replaced by another almost immediately, there were three adult eagles in the area at one point. Lots of Ravens standing by to share as well.

 

 

Port Sydney Activity
Posted on February 11, 2015 at 09:18:13 AM by Jim Griffin

All of a sudden lots to report from my living room window view:

Yesterday afternoon a flock(rafter?) of wild turkeys walked across the river(had to fly over some open water).

Last night just before bed, I put my flashlight on the feeder and observed a flying squirrel feeding on sunflower seed.

As the light broke this morning I watched two wolves(wolf hybrids?) finishing off a deer kill on the river and leaving it for about 15 to 20 ravens that gathered until as anticipated a mature Bald Eagle showed up to take its turn and is still there as this I write this.

To top it off while I was watching events on the river the turkeys returned on the wing and landed/roosted in the big pines and oak trees in front of me.

Now I need a rest

 

 

Photo of Northern goshawk
Posted on February 7, 2015 at 08:54:59 PM by Michaellynch

In dead white pine in our back yard this morning.  photo

 

 

Northern Goshawk
Posted on February 7, 2015 at 08:31:41 AM by Michaellynch

In our back yard eround 8 am this morning. I got a few pics and will post as soon as I downloaded them. This is our second sighting but was unable to get a pic before it left to confirm what we saw.  (N Wasesa Lk Rd.)

 

 

Robin in Orillia
Posted on February 6, 2015 at 04:28:34 PM by GayleCarlyle

A friend of mine living near Bass Lk Woodlands has taken a photo of a robin at his feeder today. Poor thing; more snow on the way.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 5 February
Posted on February 6, 2015 at 09:07:05 AM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (February 5, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The female Mallard that had been in small areas of flowing water at the
outlet of Park Lake since December 9 was last seen on Thursday (January 29).
Predation appears to be the most likely reason for its disappearance.

Two Ruffed Grouse continue to come to get seed below the Visitor Centre
feeders.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Birders searching for Spruce Grouse and Black-backed Woodpecker this week
reported no success. Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road are still the
best places to try.

Gray Jay: Still being seen at the Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and
Opeongo Road (such as at the closed gate at Cameron Lake Road).

Boreal Chickadee: Two or three were observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on at
least four days this week. They are visiting the suet feeder near the
register box not far from the entrance of the trail. One or two were also
noted along the Bat Lake Trail this week.

WINTER FINCHES:
White-winged Crossbill: Six were observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
February 1. This was the first report since January 4.

Common Redpoll: Up to fifteen were at the Visitor Centre feeders
this week.

Hoary Redpoll: Three continued at the Visitor Centre feeders for most of the
week, with one reported still there today.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

 

Black-backed Woodpecker -- Bracebridge
Posted on February 5, 2015 at 12:41:49 PM by Barbara Taylor

Today around 11:30 a.m. we found a male Black-backed Woodpecker at the east end of the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. It was working on a dead poplar tree near the gate that leads to cell 4 from the snowmobile trail/pipeline. We first heard its tapping and then it came around the tree into the sunshine and we had a nice view of the splash of yellow on its head. It eventually flew across the snowmobile trail to the south-west and out of sight where there are several dead conifers.

If you go looking for the bird, instead of walking east from Henry Marsh, you could instead take the snowshoe trail that cuts through the woods from Kerr Park since it comes out onto the trail near the gate. Use caution if walking along the snowmobile trail since the sledders have a fast straight run there. See my Area trails map (click on trail sections and markers for info/photos; click Map or Satellite button at bottom left to switch views)

 

 

Re(1): red bellied woodpecker - photo
Posted on February 3, 2015 at 03:46:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

Darryl sent this photo of the Red-bellied Woodpecker taken through a window. It is probably the same bird that was reported in mid-December as the location is in the same general area, between Bracebridge and Gravenhurst. See Al Sinclair's post for a photo of that bird.  photo

 

 

red bellied woodpecker
Posted on February 3, 2015 at 11:43:19 AM by darryln

I just spotted what i believe is a red bellied woodpecker feeding on the ground below my feeders.

 

 

Goldfinch, Creeper, Kinglets
Posted on January 31, 2015 at 02:55:44 PM by Barbara Taylor

Two American Goldfinch showed up at our feeder this morning...first ones we've seen this year. (Bracebridge)

There was a Brown Creeper and a couple of Golden-crowned Kinglets this morning near the dip in the trail east of Henry Marsh. No sign of the Barred Owl this trip. Lots of friendly Chickadees and both Nuthatches looking for seed handouts. Trail is in good packed condition...snowshoes not needed.

 

 

Re(3): Hoary Redpolls every day at Leonard Lake
Posted on February 3, 2015 at 09:08:49 PM by michaelhatton

Thank you for your feedback. We haven't seen Goldfinches for weeks and weeks. And there haven't been Siskins or Crossbills ... at all! But the Redpolls, Hoaries and Commons, keep coming like clockwork.

 

Re(2): Hoary Redpolls every day at Leonard Lake
Posted on February 2, 2015 at 01:50:36 PM by GayleCarlyle

Goldfinches are back this afternoon at our place in Washago, still lots of redpolls too. Same house as John.

 

 

Re(1): Hoary Redpolls every day at Leonard Lake
Posted on February 2, 2015 at 12:11:57 PM by John Challis

Thank you for the side-by-side shots, and the others you've been posting. We have close to 40 redpolls at our feeders in Washago, and I keep looking for a hoary among them but still have trouble identifying them. This will be very helpful (along with the earlier shot so clearly showing the truncated bill).
The redpolls, by the way, seem to have run the goldfinches out of town. We did have a good sized flock of them coming to the feeders before the redpolls showed up.

 

 

Hoary Redpolls every day at Leonard Lake
Posted on January 31, 2015 at 01:59:24 PM by michaelhatton

The Redpoll flocks come at least three times daily. Almost always there is a Hoary in the group, usually two of them.
Common - Hoary Redpoll Comparison  photo

Hoary on its own (Hoary Redpoll exilipes)  photo

And the Common Redpoll.  photo

 

 

Re(1): Caught in the Act (Cooper's)
Posted on February 7, 2015 at 03:26:55 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Cooper's Hawk was back in our yard this afternoon, perched high in a pine tree. I wondered why it had become so "quiet" at the birdfeeder. The Coop finally flew off to the south after I gave my best imitation of an owl hooting. (Bracebridge)

Great photo Leslie!

 

 

Caught in the Act (Cooper's)
Posted on January 31, 2015 at 01:49:03 PM by Leslie

Here is a photo of the culprit right after his swooping assault on my platform feeder. You can see a bit of red around his beak; his catch is just out of sight in the snow. A little inspection of the feathers left behind reveals it to have been a mourning dove. I always feel a little badly about setting out a buffet for both the predators and the prey. However, that's how it is.  photo

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 29 January
Posted on January 30, 2015 at 04:27:29 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 29, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Unusual-here-in-midwinter sightings this week included: an adult male
Sharp-shinned Hawk photographed near the East Gate (January 27), a
Northern Shrike at the Visitor Centre (today), and seven Bohemian Waxwings
briefly attracted to trees near the Visitor Centre feeders by the presence
of other birds (January 27).

Especially for those who have contacted me about Super Mallard, this female
completed another week in the limited open water at the outlet of Park Lake.

Common Redpoll daily numbers at the Visitor Centre feeders since late
December have been highly variable, from four to sixteen. This may suggest a
change in individuals but definitely indicates a lack of feeder fidelity. In
contrast, one Hoary Redpoll has been present every day since December 30,
and a second bird has been with it every day since January 14. Interesting
that the Hoary Redpolls stay put and the Common Redpolls do not. There are
no other feeders for many kilometres around.

An American Marten was at the Visitor Centre suet feeder on a couple of days
this week, which may mean it will become more regular now.

The Algonquin Park Webcam will be aimed at one of the Visitor Centre feeders
all day tomorrow (Friday, January 30). To see some of the birds visiting,
take a look at: http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/virtual/webcam/index.php

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Ruffed Grouse were reported
there this week but not Spruce Grouse (although they are there!).

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
January 24 and 26.

Gray Jay: Still being seen at the Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and
Opeongo Road (gate closed at Cameron Lake Road).

Boreal Chickadee: Two were observed along Opeongo Road north of the gate
and two were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on January 26.

WINTER FINCHES:
Red Crossbill: Two females were down on the highway at Park Lake
(between the West Boundary and the West Gate) on January 23. This was
the first Algonquin sighting since January 3.

Common Redpoll: From eleven to sixteen were at the Visitor Centre feeders
each day this week.

Hoary Redpoll: Two continued at the Visitor Centre feeders all week, and a
third joined them today.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

Dwight, ON

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways
400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs which start in Toronto on Highway 400.
From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the
park. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the
West Gate (km 0) to near the East Gate (km 56).

The Visitor Centre exhibits and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends
from 9 am to 5 pm. There is access with limited services on weekdays from
9 am to 4 pm.

Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding
locations mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate.
Locations are also described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca
_______________________________________________
ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists - the provincial birding organization.
Send bird reports to birdalert@ontbirds.ca
For information about ONTBIRDS including how to unsubscribe visit http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/information.ontbirdssetup
Posting guidelines can be found at http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/information.ontbirdsguide

 

 

Re(3): Common Redpoll, Bala
Posted on February 1, 2015 at 09:55:33 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

I think there is still hope as I had two this morning!

 

 

Re(2): Common Redpoll, Bala
Posted on January 31, 2015 at 08:06:01 PM by missyinmuskoka

3 niger feeders hanging and not one redpoll! I sit at my window waiting since I had plenty two years ago. Is there still hope for me down here on Kashe Lake Road???

 

 

Re(1): Common Redpoll, Bala
Posted on January 31, 2015 at 10:25:25 AM by GayleCarlyle

We have between 20 to 40 redpolls here everyday and they are going through niger like crazy. (Washago)

 

 

Common Redpoll, Bala
Posted on January 30, 2015 at 10:32:02 AM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

There is a single Common Redpoll feeding on seed from Evening Primrose from the prairie meadow. It sits on a branch of the plant and sends the seed down to the snow where it hops down and eats the seed from ground level.

 

 

Barred Owl
Posted on January 29, 2015 at 03:55:46 PM by Barbara Taylor

A Barred Owl flew into our yard at 3:40 p.m. and is currently staring at the snow under the birdfeeder. Hopefully it manages to catch some of the mice and shrews that come out to feed on the spilled seed. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 29, 2015 at 08:30:30 AM by Jim Griffin

Forgot to mention the mature Bald Eagle that flew over Port Sydney yesterday afternoon; flying high so the golden eyes were safe!

 

 

Common Golden Eye
Posted on January 28, 2015 at 03:53:55 PM by Jim Griffin

There were about 30 Golden Eye "playing" in the fast water above and below the Road 10 bridge in Port Sydney today.

 

 

2 eagles near Milford Bay
Posted on January 28, 2015 at 08:36:17 AM by Doug Smith

an adult and sub-adult bald eagle were perched on a snag beside the 118 west just before the Butter & Egg Rd. this morning.

 

 

Hoary Redpolls at Leonard Lake
Posted on January 27, 2015 at 03:25:43 PM by michaelhatton

Sunday, Monday and again today there have been at least two Hoary Redpolls arriving in a flock of 9 to 16 Common Redpolls here at Leonard Lake. The Hoaries have visited several times each day. They are a bit larger, are whiter with less streaking on the sides and bottom, and have a whiter rump. Given the correct angle and a comparison bird, you can also get a sense of the stubbier bill and a somewhat pushed in face. They act more aggressively, or so it seems.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Barred Owl Photos - Henry Marsh
Posted on January 27, 2015 at 02:44:23 PM by michaelhatton

Barb's Barred Owl was easy to spot today (thanks to her directions) between the second and third feeders, numbering east on the trail from Henry Marsh. I observed it from several angles for about 15 minutes before it dropped off its perch, headed almost directly overhead me, and stopped in a fairly dense coniferous tree much closer to the water. At that point it hooted several times, then moved further south to the other side of the water. With photography, I often find that "lucky" is better than "good." Today was a "lucky" day.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Pileated @ Henry Marsh
Posted on January 28, 2015 at 08:30:55 PM by dinnymccraney

I have had a female at the feeders every day around lunchtime..no sign of a male (South Muskoka Dr.)

 

 

Pileated @ Henry Marsh
Posted on January 26, 2015 at 06:22:38 PM by michaelhatton

Heard first, then seen on the south side of the trail east from Henry Marsh toward the lagoons, approximately 30 feet south-west of the "first" feeder. The bird was 50 or more feet from the ground, and seemed unconcerned with my efforts thrashing around in the snow while trying to get a better photo.  photo1  photo2

 

 

Re(1): Northern Saw-whet owl
Posted on January 26, 2015 at 06:23:31 PM by michaelhatton

Wow! That's impressive and then some.

 

 

Re(1): Northern Saw-whet owl
Posted on January 26, 2015 at 07:11:12 PM by J. Gardner

The little Saw-whet stayed nearly four hours, mostly snoozing in the sun. Then a gang of Blue Jays (unknown number)moved in and harassed the owl. The owl moved to a near by spruce tree, and hung on for another half hour, before finally giving in to the bully jays. He disappeared down into the ravine and the noise from the jays came to an end. J. Gardner

 

 

Northern Saw-whet owl
Posted on January 26, 2015 at 09:40:23 AM by J. Gardner

A Northern Saw-whet Owl sunning himself on a branch that overhangs my back yard. Not the slightest concerned with my presence. Have heard them before, never spotted one. J. Gardner Bracebridge

 

 

Bird Suet
Posted on January 25, 2015 at 08:02:49 AM by janice house

Metro in Bracebridge had a full bin at 5pm yesterday.

 

 

Hoary Redpolls at Algonquin's Visitors Centre
Posted on January 24, 2015 at 09:02:53 PM by michaelhatton

Today was a great day for seeing the Hoary Redpoll(s?) that are regularly reported at the Algonquin Visitors Centre.  photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Re(3): Woodpecker Behaviour
Posted on January 26, 2015 at 12:48:34 PM by Barbara Taylor

We've seen some recent aggressive behaviour between the female Hairy Woodpeckers in our yard too. And over the past week there has been some drumming as well. Perhaps the now noticeably longer daylight hours have triggered more territorial behaviour than in the earlier part of the winter.

 

 

Re(2): Woodpecker Behaviour
Posted on January 25, 2015 at 08:41:29 AM by Leslie

Thank you for your response! Your description of the behaviour is much more accurate than mine. Perhaps the behaviour has been going on all along, but it seems to have increased over the past two weeks. However, I haven't observed much wing-spreading yet, so I guess it's still mild.

 

 

Re(1): Woodpecker Behaviour
Posted on January 24, 2015 at 08:20:44 PM by Ron Tozer

The Birds of North America for Downy Woodpecker describes this agonistic behaviour (see below) which is a threat display toward rivals over territory and food sources such as your feeder. Hairy Woodpeckers perform similar displays.

Male usually defends a territory against other males, female against females, although apparent territorial defense by a male toward a female was reported (but interpreted as courtship) in the fall in Ohio (MacArthur 1942). Both sexes use similar threat displays: tail fanned, crest raised, bill held high and waved back and forth jerkily as if dueling with an invisible foe with a sword, flight exaggerated and slow in a Butterfly Flight (“floating threat display” of Kilham 1961a), but rapid in pursuit. Crest-raising identifies sex, exaggerates size, and reflects aggression. Wing Flicking—a rapid slight extension and raising of the wings (Lawrence 1967, 1984; Short 1982)—is a mild threat display that with increased intensity becomes the Wing Spreading Display.

 

 

Woodpecker Behaviour
Posted on January 24, 2015 at 03:55:49 PM by Leslie

I have a question about woodpecker behaviour. In the last week the female Hairy and Downy woodpeckers have started a great deal of chasing and posturing behaviour. Part of it seems to involve a dance which includes bobbing and beak pointing skyward. After a few such bobs one will chase the other. It seems to go on all day on and off but particularly in the afternoon. It looks reminiscent of courtship behaviour but seems to involve only females. Anyone know what they're doing?

 

 

Blue Jays with a mouthful
Posted on January 23, 2015 at 11:36:30 PM by michaelhatton

I am seeing five or six Jays drop by regularly for peanuts in the shell especially on the colder days. They scream when they arrive in order to announce their presence and demand faster service. Some of them can manage to get two at a time, before flying off to crack them open. photo1  photo2  photo3

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 22 January
Posted on January 23, 2015 at 09:31:51 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 22, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

There were some spectacularly sunny, cool days in the Park this week. But no
sightings of American Three-toed Woodpecker following last week's report
of a male on Opeongo Road. A marten visited the suet feeders at the Visitor
Centre, unsuccessfully chased a red squirrel and soon disappeared, on
January 19 -- only the second marten sighting there this winter, where they
are often regular in this season.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: None reported. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was noted along Opeongo Road on
January 16 and another was photographed on Spruce Bog Boardwalk during
the weekend.

Gray Jay: Still being seen at the Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and
Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Two or three were observed on Spruce Bog Boardwalk near
the suet feeder on January 16 and 17. One was found along Opeongo Road near
the Cameron Lake Road on January 17.

WINTER FINCHES:
Common Redpoll: From five to eleven were at the Visitor Centre feeders each
day this week.

Hoary Redpoll: Two continued at the Visitor Centre feeders all week.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

 

 

Swans in Washago
Posted on January 22, 2015 at 03:42:50 PM by GayleCarlyle

Down at the Washago Centennial Park this afternoon and there must have been over 60 trumpeter swans in the open water there. And 4 mute swans.

 

 

Re(1): Great Horned Owl Nest Cam
Posted on January 22, 2015 at 08:22:01 AM by J. Gardner

Thanks Eleanor. What a treat at this time of year. J. Gardner

 

 

Great Horned Owl Nest Cam
Posted on January 21, 2015 at 03:23:33 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

A nest cam in Georgia is focused on an open Great Horned Owl nest. I do love these nest cams!
http://cams.allaboutbirds.org/channel/46/Great_Horned_Owls/

 

 

Re(3): Bald Eagles
Posted on January 24, 2015 at 05:04:02 PM by TomForbes

Saw a mature bald eagle when I was driving SB on Hwy. 11 between BB and Grav. (just north of the big self-storage building). It was just off the roadway, looked like it was just taking off.

 

 

Re(2): Bald Eagles
Posted on January 21, 2015 at 03:21:37 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

Have seen four juveniles there twice this week. I haven't been lucky enough to see any adults yet.

 

 

Re(1): Bald Eagles
Posted on January 17, 2015 at 10:51:00 AM by J. Gardner

Dump bears in the summer, dump eagles in the winter. J. Gardner

 

 

Bald Eagles
Posted on January 17, 2015 at 10:38:33 AM by HalPegg

Jan. 16 (6) Bald Eagles at Briers Rd. transfer station.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 15 January
Posted on January 16, 2015 at 09:54:58 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 15, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The bird of the week was a male American Three-toed Woodpecker.
See below.

Winter finch diversity and numbers remain very low. Common Redpolls may
still be on the move as briefly higher numbers at the Visitor Centre feeders
declined this week. However, yesterday and today, a second Hoary Redpoll
joined the long-visiting female at the feeders.

One or two Ruffed Grouse continue to be regular near the Visitor Centre
feeders, especially in early morning and late afternoon.

The female Mallard, now dubbed "Cold Duck" after surviving temperatures
below minus 30 degrees C on one night this week, continued at the Park Lake
outlet. For over a month this duck has remained in or near a patch of
rapidly flowing water both day and night. Somehow it has found enough to eat
and avoided predation. There are just four known previous winter occurrences
of Mallard in Algonquin Park, but none this far into January.

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: Seven were reported in the area of the register box and suet
feeder on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 14.

American Three-toed Woodpecker: A male was reported along Opeongo
Road on January 14.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.
One was heard on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 10.

Gray Jay: Still being seen at the Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk,
Opeongo Road and Mew Lake Campground.

Boreal Chickadee: Three were observed on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
January 10, and one was at the suet feeder there on January 14.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: Three were seen along Opeongo Road on January 10.

Common Redpoll: From two to eight were at the Visitor Centre
feeders each day this week.

Hoary Redpoll: The female continued to come to the Visitor Centre
feeders, and there was a second bird there also on January 14 and 15.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(3): Barred Owl - Bracebridge
Posted on January 25, 2015 at 01:01:27 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning around 11:30 a.m. the Barred Owl was again perched high in the same Maple tree along the section of trail by the beaver dam. It is easiest to see if walking east from "the dip" in the trail.

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl - Bracebridge
Posted on January 21, 2015 at 03:51:03 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Owl was in the same spot again this morning, but on our return hike, we found it had moved a bit west to "the dip". Eventually it flew across the creek to the woods south of the trail. Almost immediately, a Red Squirrel could be heard giving a warning call from that area.

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl - Bracebridge
Posted on January 20, 2015 at 01:35:53 PM by Barbara Taylor

The Owl was back in the same spot at 11 a.m. this morning.

 

 

Barred Owl - Bracebridge
Posted on January 15, 2015 at 01:32:50 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Barred Owl along the trail between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds. It was perched in a tree right next to the trail just east of "the dip" by the beaver dam. A Woodpecker was giving an alarm call and the Chickadees seemed a bit nervous, so I had stopped to take a good look around...otherwise I probably would have missed it.

 

 

Huntsville Nature Club Meeting, January 27, 2015
Posted on January 15, 2015 at 12:09:48 PM by BevEaston

On Tuesday, January 27, the Huntsville Nature Club meeting will feature a talk by Algonquin's Chief Park Naturalist Rick Stronks, entitled "Ontario’s Wolves", that will outline the latest research findings on these wild canids. The meeting is at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church Hall, on West Street, Huntsville, starting at 7 pm. Guests are always welcome. A $3 donation is appreciated.

For more information regarding the Huntsville Nature Club, contact Ken Morrison (705) 789-1407.

 

 

Two good birds today
Posted on January 12, 2015 at 06:44:04 PM by Jim Griffin

Off to a good start with a Belted King Fisher on the river at Port Sydney around 9:00 am and then closed off with a juvenile Bald Eagle around 4:30 pm. It may have gone to roost along the river but out of my sight line.

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 8 January
Posted on January 9, 2015 at 07:58:36 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 8, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Algonquin's version of Duck Dynasty continued with the female Mallard
remaining at the Park Lake outlet all week. A Northern Shrike was seen at
the Visitor Centre on January 4 and 6. Barred Owls responded to vocal
imitations near Jake Lake, at the Highland Backpacking Trail entrance,
along the Highland Backpacking Trail and at the east end of Lake of Two
Rivers during the day on the Christmas Count of January 3.


BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: One was noted along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 3.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Single birds were observed on Spruce Bog
Boardwalk, in Sunday Creek Bog below the Visitor Centre, on Opeongo Road,
and along the Highland Backpacking Trail on January 3.

Gray Jay: Seen at the Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo
Road and Mew Lake Campground.

Boreal Chickadee: Two or three were fairly regular around the suet feeder
near the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and the species was seen
along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road, this week.


WINTER FINCHES:
White-winged Crossbill: Two were reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on
January 4.

Common Redpoll: Up to twelve were regular at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Hoary Redpoll: The female continued to come to the Visitor Centre
feeders all week.

Pine Siskin: One was heard calling in flight over Lookout Trail on
December 31.

American Goldfinch: Only one was observed on the Algonquin CBC
(January 3).

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

DIRECTIONS:
Algonquin Provincial Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways
400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs which start in Toronto on Highway 400.
From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the
park. Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the
West Gate (km 0) to near the East Gate (km 56).

The Visitor Centre exhibits and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends
from 9 am to 5 pm. There is access with limited services on weekdays from 9
am to 4 pm.

Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding
locations mentioned here) at the East Gate or the West Gate. Locations are
also described at: www.algonquinpark.on.ca

 

 

Re(1): Barred Owl, Bala
Posted on January 9, 2015 at 06:35:11 PM by coreyhkh

awesome shot

 

 

Barred Owl, Bala
Posted on January 9, 2015 at 05:22:04 PM by Eleanor Kee Wellman

This one visited for about 1/2 hour yesterday afternoon. Nice to get a gift on such a snowy day!  photo

 

 

Snowy Owl
Posted on January 9, 2015 at 05:11:35 PM by Goodyear

The Snowy Owl first reported on January 4 was in the same area late this afternoon. It was perched atop a light standard on the right hand side of the southbound lanes, opposite Ward Edmonds, very close to the Ravenscliff overpass (Huntsville).

 

 

Bald eagles
Posted on January 9, 2015 at 02:47:26 PM by GayleCarlyle

I was just down at the Washago park for a quick walk (way too cold for that) and saw 2 bald eagles (both with white heads and tails) soaring overhead.
Also, there are about 20 trumpeter swans in the open water there.

 

 

Re(2): Barred Owl picture from Henry Marsh
Posted on January 9, 2015 at 04:41:33 PM by Debbie Adams

Awesome photo!

 

 

Barred Owl pictures from Henry Marsh
Posted on January 9, 2015 at 12:59:07 PM by coreyhkh

photo1 taken a week ago.    photo2  closer view

 

 

Re(1): Snowy Owl
Posted on January 9, 2015 at 11:37:01 AM by coreyhkh

Last year I saw a Snowy grab a Red-breasted Merganser! they are powerful hunters.

 

 

Re(2): Snowy Owl
Posted on January 9, 2015 at 05:07:36 AM by Debbie Adams

Maybe it took a squirrel from the feeder? I didn't see exactly what was on the feeder at the time, just the owl swooping across the deck to the feeder and heard a Blue Jay squawking.
Lately, I haven't seen as many squirrels as usual … hmmm, maybe this owl is the reason?
No shortage of Blue Jays though. I counted 20 of them on the feeder all at once yesterday and there were plenty more in the trees waiting for their turn.

 

 

Re(1): Snowy Owl
Posted on January 8, 2015 at 08:36:55 PM by Al Sinclair

Found this on a website.
"snowy owl's preferred meal is lemmings—many lemmings. An adult may eat more than 1,600 lemmings a year, or three to five every day. The birds supplement their diet with rabbits, rodents, birds, and fish."

 

 

Snowy Owl
Posted on January 8, 2015 at 01:23:42 PM by Debbie Adams

A Snowy Owl just swooped down to our feeder on the front deck, grabbed a bird and took off. A Blue Jay was scolding but not sure if it took a Jay, Dove or Chickadee. I went out to see if it landed in a tree to eat it's dinner but saw nothing.
Such a huge bird and what a surprise to see it so close up!
(Walker's Point)

 

 

Goldfinches
Posted on January 6, 2015 at 07:44:24 PM by dinnymccraney

A flock in their winter outfits today at the niger and black oil feeders. Have had two or three at a time off and on since Christmas, but this is the first flock I have seen since the fall. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Re(4): Mealworms
Posted on January 12, 2015 at 12:02:28 PM by Terri

I make my own suet and I put the mealworms in it along with fruit and nuts. I get Hairy, Downys, along with the Pileated Woodpecker at my suet feeder. Of course the nuthatch, chickadee's and Blue Jays eat it too. It was something that was mentioned to me from an employee at WBU, so I decided to try it. I'm trying to see what birds I can attract to my feeders. :)

 

 

Re(3): Mealworms
Posted on January 9, 2015 at 07:54:06 AM by michaelhatton

I'm curious. To whom or to what are you feeding mealworms?
Michael Hatton

 

 

Re(2): Mealworms
Posted on January 6, 2015 at 04:00:46 PM by Terri

Ahhh, thank you.. I forgot about the Donkey Store. I have been there to get my Black Oil Sunflower Seeds and yes, she has the best prices. Thanks again.

 

 

Re(1): Mealworms
Posted on January 6, 2015 at 02:21:45 PM by Barb Staples

Hi Terri, Lynn at the Donkey Shack sells them. It is located at the SE corner of Doe Lake Road and Hwy. 11, Gravenhurst. You can find anything and everything there, also best price on black oil sunflower seeds with 11th bag free. Tel. 705-687-1563.

 

 

Mealworms
Posted on January 6, 2015 at 01:50:29 PM by Terri

Would anyone know where I can purchase dried Mealworms in the Muskoka area? I know WBU in Barrie has them but I was looking for something closer to Bracebridge. Thank you.
Terri

 

 

Pileated Woodpecker
Posted on January 6, 2015 at 01:45:28 PM by Terri

Pileated Woodpecker that comes to my feeder Three times a day. Hwy 118 East Bracebridge. I'm still trying to get a good picture of him.  photo

 

 

Golden Crown Kinglet
Posted on January 5, 2015 at 08:40:45 AM by Michaellynch

In our backyard on N Wasesa Lk Rd.

 

 

41st Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count
Posted on January 4, 2015 at 09:30:19 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 4, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Algonquin Park CBC was held on Saturday, January 3.
A mostly calm, overcast morning was good for observing, but nearly
continuous light to moderate snowfall in the afternoon made locating birds
more difficult. The temperature ranged from minus 13 to minus 6 C. The only
open water was in fast-moving sections of creeks and rivers. Moderate snow
depth allowed fairly easy walking without snowshoes.

Total Observers: 64
Total Species: 20 (tied lowest ever in 1997; average is 28)
Total Individuals: 1,148 (average is 4,785)
Birds per Party Hour: 6 (but low of 4 birds/party hour has occurred in two
previous years)
New Species for the Count: none

Noteworthy Species:
-Hoary Redpoll: 1 (at the Visitor Centre feeders since December 30)

Noteworthy Total Individuals:
-Barred Owl: 9 (ties highest count; abundant small mammals this year)

Finches: The total of 28 individuals was lower than on any of the previous
40 years of counts. There is an extremely poor tree seed crop in the Park
this winter.
-Red Crossbill: 3
-Common Redpoll: 11
-Hoary Redpoll: 1
-American Goldfinch: 1
-Unidentified finches: 12

Complete count results will be posted at:
http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park CBC Compiler
Dwight, ON

 

 

Re(2): Snowy Owl
Posted on January 5, 2015 at 07:36:16 PM by Ron Tozer

The Snowy Owl was perched on a light standard on the west side of Highway 11 at Ravenscliffe Road today at about 11am when photographed by Ken Morrison.

 

 

Re(1): Snowy Owl
Posted on January 4, 2015 at 04:11:40 PM by Ron Tozer

Snowy Owl reported perched on nearby Edmunds GM dealership sign at about 4 pm.

 

 

Snowy Owl
Posted on January 4, 2015 at 04:07:49 PM by Ron Tozer

An adult Snowy Owl was perched atop a large spruce at the Ravenscliff bridge over Highway 11 in Huntsville at 3 pm today. Thanks to Mar McBrien who reported this bird.

 

 

Northern Shrike - Henry Marsh
Posted on January 4, 2015 at 01:32:18 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Shrike perched atop a dead tree at the east side of the marsh. The trails are in good shape since a snowmobile has packed down all the recent snow. Between Henry Marsh and the Bracebridge Ponds there were many Chickadees and some Nuthatches looking for seed handouts.

 

 

I was expecting a chickadee
Posted on January 3, 2015 at 07:18:42 PM by michaelhatton

I was expecting a chickadee.  photo

 

 

Re(2): Pic of Bald Eagle at my house
Posted on January 4, 2015 at 08:50:11 AM by Michaellynch

For the right price, make me an offer I can't refuse!

 

 

Re(1): Pic of Bald Eagle at my house
Posted on January 3, 2015 at 06:36:13 PM by michaelhatton

Is your house for sale?

 

 

Re(1): Pic of Bald Eagle at my house
Posted on January 3, 2015 at 10:14:59 AM by Debbie Adams

Awesome!!

 

 

Pic of Bald Eagle at my house
Posted on January 3, 2015 at 08:54:13 AM by Michaellynch

Here is the picture I took of the Bald Eagle in a dead pine tree in our yard.  N Wasesa Lk Rd.  photo

 

 

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 1 January
Posted on January 2, 2015 at 08:47:13 PM by Ontbirds

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (January 1, 2015) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

A Hoary Redpoll at the Visitor Centre feeders and Pine Grosbeaks on the
highway were highlights this week (see below).

The female Mallard at the Park Lake outlet was still present on December 30,
despite the onset of temperatures well below freezing.

THE VISITOR CENTRE WILL BE OPEN DAILY UNTIL JANUARY 4,
from 9 am to 5 pm. .

BOREAL SPECIALTIES:
Spruce Grouse: One was seen on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on December 26.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was observed on Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on December 28, and there was one on Track and Tower Trail on
December 30.

Gray Jay: Seen at the Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo
Road again this week.

Boreal Chickadee: Look and listen for them at the suet feeder near the
register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Two or three were around the feeder
regularly this week. Also, two were observed along the rail bed section of
the Mizzy Lake Trail on December 29.

WINTER FINCHES:
Pine Grosbeak: There were three on December 29 and four on
December 30 on the highway between km 8 and 10. These are the first
reported here since November.

Common Redpoll: Thirty at the Visitor Centre on December 27
was the highest count there this winter, and perhaps suggestive of
increasing numbers of this species in the Park.

Hoary Redpoll: One showed up at the Visitor Centre feeders on
December 30 and was photographed there on the 31st and today.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists
with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Good Birding!
Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

 

 

Hairy & Downy together at the feeder
Posted on January 2, 2015 at 08:31:41 PM by michaelhatton

Both a Hairy and a Downy were hanging out today almost as a pair, though the Downy was more tentative than the Hairy.

Had a great look a the split red band on the male Hairy.  photo1  photo2

The WB Nuthatches and the Redpolls were also back for the day.  photo3  photo4

 

 

Red-tailed Hawk
Posted on January 2, 2015 at 02:49:12 PM by Barbara Taylor

This morning there was a Red-tailed Hawk circling over the Bracebridge Sewage Treatment plant

 

 

Re(1): Gravenhurst Landfill
Posted on January 6, 2015 at 09:53:21 AM by janice house

Michael, the eagles like to perch in the trees inside the fence along Sedore Rd. You can see them from the gates on Beiers Rd. but they are usually at the far side of the site. If you go inside the site they sometimes perch overlooking the section of block wall at the south west corner.

 

 

Re(1): Gravenhurst Landfill
Posted on January 2, 2015 at 08:10:58 PM by michaelhatton

Where are you looking from in order to see the birds?

 

 

Gravenhurst Landfill
Posted on January 2, 2015 at 10:47:34 AM by janice house

Yesterday there were 5 bald eagles, lots of ravens, crows, starlings, 24 turkeys, a downey woodpecker, no gulls.

 

 

Bald Eagle
Posted on January 2, 2015 at 10:03:31 AM by Michaellynch

In my back yard on N Wasesa Lk Rd took some pictures which I will post later.

 

 

Brown Creeper
Posted on January 1, 2015 at 02:14:25 PM by Barbara Taylor

Don Bailey reports a Brown Creeper was in their yard this morning. Also, the Fox made a brief appearance. (Bracebridge)

 

 

Redpolls arrived yesterday and decided to stay
Posted on January 1, 2015 at 12:29:40 PM by michaelhatton

Redpolls are feisty enough to displace the chickadees at the feeder.  (Leonard Lake)  photo  photo2