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44th Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Jan. 1, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Seventy-six observers undertook this count on Saturday, December 30. Conditions were good for observing birds, but a little “brisk” at times. Temperatures ranged from minus 26 to minus 17 degrees C, with a mean of minus 22. The southeast wind that reached 10-15 kph occasionally made it cold in the open, but it was calm in the woods. Cloudy skies and periodic very light flurries persisted for most of the day. Snow on the ground was a maximum of about 30 cm and less under conifers, making walking easier than usual. Virtually all water was ice-covered.

Total Observers: 76

Total Species: 28 (average is 27)

Total Individuals: 4,704 (average is 4,579)

Birds per Party Hour: 31 (average is 25)

New Species for the Count: Merlin (see photo on Algonquin Park website)

High Count: Dark-eyed Junco: 185 (previous high: 130)

Low Count: Gray Jay: 13 (new lowest count; previous was 15): Boreal Chickadee: 4 (ties lowest)

Notable Miss: Barred Owl (not recorded only twice before, including 2016, on 43 previous counts)

Winter Finches: Good variety but numbers were lower than previous years which had a similar huge cone crop.

-Pine Grosbeak: 9 (scarce, as predicted in Ron Pittway’s Winter Finch Forecast:

-Purple Finch: 122

-Red Crossbill: 359

-White-winged Crossbill: 521

-Common Redpoll: 66 (apparently just starting to move into southern Ontario)

-Pine Siskin: 418

-American Goldfinch: 635

-Evening Grosbeak: 34 (all at Visitor Centre feeders)

Complete count results are posted on the Algonquin Park website:

Thanks to all the participants and those who helped organize and undertake the count and tally event this year.

Ron Tozer

Algonquin Park CBC Compiler

Dwight, ON


Algonquin 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.

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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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