[Ontbirds] McMaster Forest Birding Report 2014: Summary

Rob Porter rob at inpictures.ca
Fri Feb 27 22:29:02 EST 2015

This email summary is a shortened version of the full report. To see
the full report, please visit:


 About McMaster Forest

McMaster Forest is a 50 hectare former potato farm, located at the
centre of the range of the Dundas Valley & Dundas Marsh Important Bird
Area (IBA #ON005), just west of the intersection of Lower Lion’s Club
Road and Wilson Street of Ancaster, Ontario. Since the 1960s the
property has remained largely untouched until surveys and a tallgrass
prairie restoration effort began in 2013 after McMaster University
decided to utilize the space as a natural research facility.

The property constitutes the southern end of the new McMaster
Conservation Corridor which is bounded in the north by “McMarsh”, also
known as the former RBG Coldspring Valley Sanctuary.

 About this Report

This report includes bird species observation data from 1 January 2014
through 31 December 2014 inclusive, with the exception of the “Winter
Species” section which follows the period 1 December 2013 through 28
February 2014 inclusive, in order to line up with the traditional
“winter birding” season.

All record data was submitted to eBird by a handful of observers, most
of which were submitted by the compiler of this report (Rob Porter).

Currently no formal university projects exist at the property
involving birds — this is purely a non-institutional citizen science
project at this time.

Anyone is welcomed to contribute data via eBird. You are also welcomed
to share your eBird lists at this site with the account named
“mccforest”, as this best helps us manage the data. If you do not use
eBird, you may email rob at inpictures.ca with your observations which
will be added to eBird with our site-specific data account. If you
observe what you believe to be an unusual or rare species, please also
pass along written documentation and/or photos or other media of the

 Visiting McMaster Forest

If you would like to visit the site, peak viewing would be during the
breeding season when species diversity is at its strongest. While a
very healthy number of species have been seen over the course of the
year, the diversity is generally quite spread out over the year except
during breeding when near half the species are found.

We will be hosting a breeding birds hike this year on behalf of the
Hamilton Naturalists Club on Wednesday May 20 at 6:30pm.

 Data Summary

Total Species Observed: 117

Confirmed Breeding: 35
Probable Breeding: 12
Possible Breeding: 12
Cowbird Parasitized Breeding Species: 3
Total Potential Breeding Observed: 59

Ontario “At Risk” Species Observed: 6

Winter Species Observed: 20

OBRC Review Species Observed: 1

Total eBird Checklists Submitted: 113

 Ontario “At Risk” Species Observed

Bald Eagle
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Barn Swallow*
Louisiana Waterthrush
Eastern Meadowlark

*Breeding nearby, and feeding at the prairie.

 Confirmed Breeding Species (35)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Blue-winged Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch

 Probable Breeding Species (12)

Wild Turkey
American Woodcock
Mourning Dove
Black-billed Cuckoo
Pileated Woodpecker
American Kestrel
Barn Swallow*
House Wren
Carolina Wren
Clay-colored Sparrow
House Finch
House Sparrow

*Barn Swallows, an Ontario Species at-risk, were frequently seen, but
not confirmed to be nesting on-site. They were however, fly-catching
on the wing above the prairie site.

 Possible Breeding Species (12)

Ruffed Grouse
Red-tailed Hawk
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Willow Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Tree Swallow
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
Louisiana Waterthrush

 Confirmed Cowbird Parasitized Species (3)

Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Common Grackle

 Winter Species (20)
 (Dec ‘13 through Feb ’14 inclusive)

Canada Goose*
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull*
Herring Gull*
Great Horned Owl
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
American Tree Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
House Sparrow

*Non-resident species, which were only observed flying over.

Traditionally the “winter birding season” is the first of December to
the last day of February. Thus, this winter species list dips into
December of 2013. As regular surveys did not begin until April of
2014, this dataset is less complete than it will be in future years.


Thanks to those who helped by submitting data, or otherwise supported
this project:

Dilia Narduzzi, Sebastian Irazuzta, Dr. Susan Dudley, Dr. Jim Quinn,
Len Manning, Lisa Teskey, Paul D. Smith, R. W. Bullock.

Comments, questions, and suggestions regarding this report or the
surveys are welcomed.

Please see <https://medium.com/birding-hamilton/mcmaster-conservation-corridor-birding-report-for-2014-77d2aac06c53>
for the full version of the report which includes further details and

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