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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 9 March

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar. 9, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

The Visitor Centre (km 43) will be open daily from 9 am to 5 pm with full services (exhibits, book store and restaurant) during March Break (March 11 to 19).

There were few signs of new migration during the very cold temperatures that prevailed for most of the week. The first Red-winged Blackbird, a male attracted to seed left in the Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot, was photographed yesterday. A Great Gray Owl photographed on March 6 (but not found again) and a Northern Shrike seen March 7, both along Opeongo Road, were likely moving northward.

A Northern Goshawk at Spruce Bog Boardwalk today was likely the sixth observation of the same individual there since January 1. A female Wild Turkey that has frequented the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder all winter now appears to be seeking seed left by birders at nearby Spruce Bog Boardwalk as well.


Spruce Grouse: This enigmatic denizen of the spruce was not reported. Displaying males should soon be more easily detected. Keep looking at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road north of the locked gate.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Singles were found at Mew Lake Campground, Big Pines Trail and along Opeongo Road. Listen for their distinctive calls and quiet tapping.

Gray Jay: They continue to seek handouts at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road near the locked gate and at the Logging Museum.

Boreal Chickadee: One or two were regularly seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, often at the suet feeder or perching on the nearby trail register box where people leave peanut pieces and other food.


Pine Grosbeak: A female kept coming for seed left at the trail entrance of Spruce Bog Boardwalk this week. A single bird was at the Visitor Centre on March 7 and there were six at km 36 today.

Red Crossbill: There were reports of one to four birds at various locations along the Highway 60 Corridor.

White-winged Crossbill: Totals reported for this species were up to 25 birds, at sites which included: Mew Lake Campground, Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Bat Lake Trail.

Common Redpoll: One and sometimes two were seen at the Visitor Centre feeders on most days. From one to three were noted at Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Mew Lake Campground and the Logging Museum Trail during the week.

Pine Siskin: As many as 95 continue to come daily to the Visitor Centre feeders. The green morph siskin noted there last week was photographed on March 4. Smaller numbers of Pine Siskins were encountered at other locations.

American Goldfinch: Maximum numbers coming to the Visitor Centre feeders were 50 to 75, with smaller numbers elsewhere along the highway.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 75 were observed at the Visitor Centre feeders all week. 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:

ONTBIRDS is presented by the Ontario Field Ornithologists (OFO) - the provincial birding organization.
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