[Ontbirds] Algonquin Park Birding Report: 23 February 2017

Ron Tozer rtozer at vianet.ca
Thu Feb 23 23:17:28 EST 2017

Tomorrow (February 24) will be the final Bird Feeder Friday in Algonquin Park this winter. The Visitor Centre webcams will be aimed at the bird feeders from 8 am to sunset to catch all the action. Watch at: http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/virtual/webcam/feeder_friday.php


The past week had lots of birders, beautiful mild weather over the long weekend and even a few signs of the coming spring.


The Northern Goshawk was seen again at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 19, probably hunting grouse. However, the old banded male Spruce Grouse (likely about ten years of age) was seen that day too, so it continues to survive.


Some eBirders reporting crows here on the weekend were surprised that details were requested. Unlike most of Southern Ontario, the American Crow is rarely present during winter in Algonquin Park and so we can detect the arrival of migrants. The first ones this year were on Saturday, which tied our earliest date in spring. The first European Starling appeared that day as well. Yesterday, Gray Jay researchers found the first nest under construction, right on time for this very early breeder.





Spruce Grouse: Several birders observed a male displaying to a female at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on Sunday. Two males (including the banded bird) and two females allowed close-up views along the side trail opposite the register box there the same day.


Black-backed Woodpecker: Single birds were observed along Opeongo Road and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk. 


Gray Jay: They were still regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road near the locked gate and at the Logging Museum. 


Boreal Chickadee: One or two continued to provide great views at Spruce Bog Boardwalk as they fed at the suet feeder and landed on outstretched hands with food for them. Others were seen along Opeongo Road north of the locked gate, and along the trail behind the MOLOKS (refuse containers) in Mew Lake Campground.




Pine Grosbeak: Small numbers were seen regularly along the highway. The single female continued to come for seed at the entrance of Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Sightings also occurred at: Peck Lake Trail, Mew Lake Campground, Lookout Trail, and the Trailer Sanitation Station.


Red Crossbill: The week was good for seeing small groups getting salt and sand on the highway.


White-winged Crossbill: Groups of up to 30 were regular along the highway, at trails and on Opeongo Road.


Common Redpoll: Reports were of one to seven individuals and locations included: the Visitor Centre feeders, Spruce Bog Boardwalk,  and Opeongo Road.


Pine Siskin: Small to medium-sized flocks were regular on the highway.


American Goldfinch: Good numbers are still coming to the Visitor Centre feeders, but some reduction appears to be occurring with the onset of milder temperatures.


Evening Grosbeak: Up to 100 were coming to the Visitor Centre feeders early in the week, but the number appeared to be about 60 by the end of it. Some are still being seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road near the locked gate.



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



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, bookstore and restaurant at km 43 are open on weekends from 9 am to 5 pm in winter. The Visitor Centre is also open on weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm with limited facilities, including self-serve hot and cold beverages plus snacks available in the restaurant.


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


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