[Ontbirds]Algonquin Park birding update: 21 May 2007

Ron Tozer rtozer at vianet.on.ca
Mon May 21 15:24:23 EDT 2007

The following summarizes recent birding reports for some northern
species in Algonquin Provincial Park. Please let us know if you have
additional information.

Barred Owl:
Heard regularly in the hardwood habitat from the West Boundary to
about Lake of Two Rivers. Sites to listen include: km 2, km 16, km 18,
km 23, km 27,  and km 29. These are locations where Barred Owls
were seen and/or heard following the playing of the owl survey
recording during April, after sunset.

Northern Saw-whet Owl:
Still being heard singing regularly throughout the Highway 60
Corridor, starting soon after sunset. A record high count was obtained
on our three Highway 60 owl surveys during April.

Spruce Grouse: 
There have been recent sightings at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and
along Opeongo Road. This grouse becomes harder to locate in
late May and during June.

American Three-toed Woodpecker:
No reports have been received since early April.

Black-backed Woodpecker:
This woodpecker has been reported at Spruce Bog, and along
Mizzy Lake Trail in the Wolf Howl Pond/West Rose Lake section.

Gray Jay: 
Birds are still being seen at Spruce Bog and along Opeongo Road.
Adults and their fledged young are inconspicuous during late May and
through June.

Boreal Chickadee:
No recent reports. This chickadee is difficult to locate now.
Females are incubating eggs, or soon will be.

Red Crossbill:
Still being seen regularly in small numbers. There have been recent
sightings of fledged young.

White-winged Crossbill:
Present in low numbers still. Interestingly, there have been no reports
of fledged young of this crossbill, despite all the apparent breeding
behaviour seen in late winter and early spring.

Pine Siskin:
Still common, with many sightings of fledged young during May.

Evening Grosbeak:
A few are being seen, especially in parking lots where they frequently
go under vehicles to access encrusted salt deposits left from the winter.

A few are still regular along the highway, especially in early morning and

Black Flies:
On cooler, breezy days they are not too bad yet. However, in some sheltered
locations, on warmer, cloudy days, they have been numerous. Be prepared!
Birders seeking warblers and other birds here are advised to get in the
field early in the morning, when black flies are less active in the cool

As always, please let us know the date, number and location of birds you
observe when you visit Algonquin Park. In particular, we would like your
assistance with spring arrival dates. Please add your sightings to the
sheets posted in the Visitor Centre lobby.

Your bird sightings information is stored in the Algonquin Visitor Centre
database, and will help us to assist other birders visiting the Park.

Good birding. 

Ron Tozer (semi-retired Algonquin Park Naturalist)
Dwight, Ontario

Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11
and 60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400. From
Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park.
Kilometre markers on Highway 60 in the park go from the West Gate
(km 0) to the East Gate (km 56). Permits and information are available
daily at both gates. The free Algonquin 2007 Information Guide has a map
showing the location of sites mentioned in this report.

The Visitor Centre (km 43) is open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., from May 18
to June 28. Recent bird sightings and information can be obtained there.

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