[Ontbirds] Algonquin Park - Birds and Wolves

Jean Iron jeaniron at sympatico.ca
Sat Jan 31 12:19:40 EST 2009

I was just talking to Ron Tozer at the Visitor Centre in the Park. 
Further to his report on Thursday (copied below), he said that 
excellent birding continues with a good chance to see Eastern Wolves 
(Canis lycaon), a newly described species more closely related to the 
Red Wolf (Canis rufus) than the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) found in most 
of Canada. Wolf location details below.

Check the feeders at the West Gate where there are 10 to 15 Pine 
Grosbeaks. Get a park permit and brochure with map to locate spots 
mentioned. This winter for unknown reasons there are fewer finches 
being killed by vehicles along the highway, but watch for redpolls, 
crossbills and other finches particularly in early morning. The 
feeders at the Visitor Centre, open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends, 
have many Evening Grosbeaks which are generally scarce this winter 
and Pine Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls. The restaurant is open and 
the view from the deck is worth the trip alone. Also check the 
feeders in Mew Lake Campground. This morning Ron Tozer was lucky to 
see a Pine Marten there which is likely going to one of the camper's 
feeders. The beginning of the Spruce Bog Trail and Opeongo Road also 
offer excellent birding. See Ron's post below from Thursday with directions.

Eastern Wolf: This morning (Saturday) Ron Tozer saw three wolves on 
Lake of Two Rivers. They were attracted to a road-killed White-tailed 
Deer that is on the side of the lake beside the highway just west of 
Killarney Lodge. One wolf was sleeping near the island. The wolves 
were having a difficult time walking through the deep snow. They may 
stay around to finish eating the deer carcass. Be especially careful 
stopping and parking along the highway.

Ron Pittaway

Here is a summary of reported sightings this week:

Sharp-shinned Hawk: one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk
on January 25. Rare here in winter; usually a big
finch year when present, like this one.

Spruce Grouse: no reports; try Spruce Bog
Boardwalk and Opeongo Road. You will need

Black-backed Woodpecker: no reports.

Gray Jay: Opeongo Road, and Spruce Bog
Boardwalk parking lot.

Boreal Chickadee: in black spruce along Opeongo
Road north of the Costello Creek culvert on
January 25.

Bohemian Waxwing: one attracted to the birds at
the Visitor Centre feeders on January 28. Several
reported at mountain-ash in Whitney recently.
Big flocks still being seen in Huntsville.

Pine Grosbeak: 25 at Visitor Centre feeders.

Red Crossbill: a few noted irregularly in trees
around the Visitor Centre.

White-winged Crossbill: common along Highway 60
and on trails.

Common Redpoll: small flocks along Highway 60,
and heard calling in flight.

Pine Siskin: 20 at Visitor Centre feeders, and along
Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: a few at Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: 30 at Visitor Centre feeders on
January 28, the most this winter to date.

Note: Arowhon Road is closed to public travel this
winter as log hauling is underway.

Please report your Algonquin sightings to me
(including date, number and location) for our
park records. Thanks.

Good birding.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, Ontario

Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways
400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on
Highway 400. From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then
follow Highway 60 to the park. Kilometre markers along Highway
60 in the Park go from the West Gate (km 0) to the East Gate
(km 56). Get your park permit and the park tabloid (with a map
of birding locations mentioned here) at the gates.

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings and
information. The centre is open on weekends during the
winter, from 10 am to 4 pm. Access to watch the birds during
the week is possible by entering at the service entrance
and contacting the staff.

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