[Ontbirds] White-winged Crossbills and Boreal Chickadees on the move in Algonquin Park

Lev Frid lev.frid at gmail.com
Tue Oct 25 17:53:20 EDT 2016

Hello Ontario Birders,

While not necessarily rare birds, there are some avian events occurring
here in Algonquin Park that would be valuable to folks further south
looking for said birds.

Amanda Guercio and I, in the past week have had an increase of White-winged
Crossbill sightings in the park. I had heard a few flying by in the past
week, but a flock of 13 and another of five birds were present today on the
Mizzy Trail with singles interspersed throughout. As per Ron Pittaway's
forecast, the cone crop for spruce is not good in the park, but the cedar
crop is quite good. These may be birds commuting to better feeding areas or
birds that have arrived to feed on the cedar crop. They seem to be
increasing and it may be a good time to keep an ear out for them further
south as well.

Chickadees, titmice and nuthatches are apparently on the move throughout
Southern Ontario! Here we have been detecting increased numbers of Boreal
Chickadees, many behaving like migrants. Usually, resident Boreal
Chickadees in Algonquin travel in pairs within flocks of Black-capped
Chickadees and hang tight to conifers. Today I had a flock of seven Boreal
Chickadees traveling together silently through open hardwoods on the Mizzy
Lake Trail. On the 21st, two small groups of Boreal Chickadees were doing
the same on the Old Railway Bike Trail. Tadoussac is reporting seeing a
movement of this species as well.

It would be well worth checking any migrating chickadee flocks along the
lakes for ones with brown caps.


Lev Frid & Amanda Guercio

Huntsville, ON

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