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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 13 April

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (April 14, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

An influx of warm southern air, new migrants and many birders from Saturday to Monday resulted in some excellent early spring birding. See the list of new arrivals below. However, knee-deep snow persists in north-facing and shaded areas. There is good walking on trails. There is more open water on lakes now where creeks and rivers enter, but most lakes are still essentially ice-covered.

Rarities included a dispersing female House Sparrow (photos) at the Visitor Centre feeders on Sunday and an adult Trumpeter Swan (photos) in the Airfield Marsh on Monday. The last House Sparrow record for Algonquin was eight years ago. A flock of five Bohemian Waxwings was in a cedar at Smoke Creek Bridge on Wednesday.

Otters resting on the ice edge while consuming prey were noted on Park Lake and off the Old Airfield on Lake of Two Rivers. Moose are starting to be seen more regularly at roadside puddles.


Spruce Grouse: No reports.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was attracted by imitating Barred Owl calls near the kettle bog of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on Sunday’s OFO Trip.

Gray Jay: Look for them at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and at the Logging Museum.

Boreal Chickadee: No reports. Pairs have dispersed to breeding territories.


Purple Finch: From two to six were at the Visitor Centre feeder area each day this week. One or two were observed on Opeongo Road as well.

Red Crossbill: Sightings were of one to four at: Two Rivers Picnic Area, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and km 23 on the highway.

White-winged Crossbill: One was heard along Opeongo Road during the OFO Trip on April 9.

Common Redpoll: One or two were at the Visitor Centre feeder area until April 9. Three were on Opeongo Road on April 9 and one was at the Old Airfield on April 10.

Pine Siskin: There were up to 55 at the Visitor Centre feeder area until April 9, but numbers there had dwindled to three today. A few were reported at other locations along the highway this week.

American Goldfinch: Numbers at the Visitor Centre went from 20 on April 9 to just two today.

Evening Grosbeak: Fifty were at the Visitor Centre early in the week, but the number there was down to 20 today.


April 8: Sharp-shinned Hawk, Winter Wren, Brown-headed Cowbird (female at Visitor Centre feeder)

April 9: Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Northern Harrier, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Phoebe, Hermit Thrush, Pine Warbler (record early; previous earliest was April 14), Fox Sparrow (Visitor Centre feeder)

April 10: American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Common Goldeneye, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Flicker, American Kestrel, Horned Lark, Tree Swallow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Meadowlark, Rusty Blackbird

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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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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