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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 2 March

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar. 2, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Warmer temperatures earlier in the week resulted in record-early spring records for Canada Goose (a pair on February 25), Lesser Scaup (male photographed on open water of the Madawaska River on February 26) and American Tree Sparrow (February 25). Other signs of spring-to-come included a pair of Common Ravens carrying nest material (February 26) and researchers finding a total of five Gray Jay nests under construction by today. A short thunderstorm on the evening of February 24 was an early sign of spring also.

Noteworthy sightings included an adult Golden Eagle photographed over Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 27 and two adults soaring over Costello Creek along Opeongo Road the next day, and four Bohemian Waxwings at the Visitor Centre on February 26.


Spruce Grouse: Up to three males were seen near the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 26 and another male was beyond the long boardwalk near Posts 4 and 5 of that trail on February 27.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Single birds were observed along Opeongo Road and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 28.

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 birds are being seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, often at the suet feeder. This chickadee was also found by some in the black spruce sections along Opeongo Road north of the locked gate this week.


Pine Grosbeak: From one to three individuals were observed at a few locations this week, including: the Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and Cache Lake. Numbers have likely started to decline as they move north in response to the warmer temperatures.

Red Crossbill: They continue to be seen in small numbers on the highway as they seek grit and salt, with one observer reporting about 40 in a trip across the Park. Opeongo Road is fairly reliable for this crossbill, too.

White-winged Crossbill: Small numbers continue to be seen regularly.

Common Redpoll: Single birds were observed on Opeongo Road and at the Visitor Centre feeders this week. A flock of 25 at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 26 was noteworthy for the number.

Pine Siskin: Numbers appear to be still increasing, with up to 90 birds at the Visitor Centre feeders. A striking “green morph” individual with large patches of yellow on the wings and tail has visited the feeders this week, including today.

American Goldfinch: Up to 75 are coming to the Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: One hundred or more are at the Visitor Centre feeders daily. Small numbers continue at Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk as well.

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:

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The Muskoka Bird Board is a place to share reports of birds and other nature sightings in Muskoka and surrounding areas. You may also post a question about birds or birding in general. You don't have to include an email address in your post. Remember to include the location of your sightings - even the nearest town or major crossroads would be fine. See the Posting Guidelines for more information and helpful tips about using the Muskoka Bird Board.

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