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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 21 December

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 21, 2017) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists

Two American Martens (often together) have been coming regularly to the Visitor Centre feeders to eat black sunflower seeds on the ground. They can be seen at close range from the viewing deck. Average snow depth in the Park is now about 19 cm.

-Wild Turkey: eleven (a high number for winter here) fed below the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder on December 19.

-Ruffed Grouse: sightings continued at the Visitor Centre driveway and feeders.

-Spruce Grouse: try Spruce Bog Boardwalk near the trail register box.

-Black-backed Woodpecker: a female was photographed along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on December 18.

-Gray Jay: regular along Opeongo Road from the locked gate northward, and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

-Boreal Chickadee: no reports again this week. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road. They are often in the body of thick spruce trees, hard to see and infrequently vocal.

Winter finch numbers remain relatively low, but most observers are seeing a good variety. Species reported this week were: Pine Grosbeak (a single bird on Opeongo Road, December 17 and 18), Purple Finch (regular at Visitor Centre feeders), Red Crossbill (often seen off Visitor Centre deck), White-winged Crossbill, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch and Evening Grosbeak (highest count: 32 at the Visitor Centre on December 20).

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 at km 43 will be closed from December 24 to 26, but open daily, 9 am to 5 pm, from December 27 to January 7. Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding locations mentioned above) at the East Gate or the West Gate. Locations are also described at:

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