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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 29 November to 6 December

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Dec. 6, 2018) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Better weather and more birders produced reports of more birds this week. An adult GOLDEN EAGLE (photo) soaring over Spruce Bog Boardwalk on Dec 4 was likely one of the small overwintering population in Algonquin that feeds on wolf kills. Four BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS (photo) on Nov 30 and Dec 1, plus one today, were attracted by the birds at the Visitor Centre feeders. RUFFED GROUSE (1), WILD TURKEY (3) and COMMON GRACKLE (1) continued all week at the feeders.

Boreal Residents: SPRUCE GROUSE: two males and three females were photographed in the spruce forest bordering the west side of the Sunday Creek valley on Dec 1; this area is on the south side of Highway 60 across from Spruce Bog Boardwalk. BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER: a female was photographed at the Trailer Sanitation Station on Dec 4. BOREAL CHICKADEE: on Dec 4, two were along Spruce Bog Boardwalk and one (calling infrequently) was among about 25 Black-capped Chickadees attracted to seed left by birders near the Opeongo Road winter gate. CANADA JAY: seen this week at the Visitor Centre and Spruce Bog Boardwalk suet feeders, and along Opeongo Road from the winter gate northward.

Winter Finches: Numbers remained low but species diversity increased in this week’s reports. EVENING GROSBEAK: daily numbers at the Visitor Centre feeders ranged from 12 to 34, perhaps indicating that the species continues to move through the area. PINE GROSBEAK: up to seven were seen daily at the Visitor Centre, and a few were regular along the highway edge. COMMON REDPOLL: there were daily counts of two to nine at the Visitor Centre, and two were noted along Opeongo Road on Dec 4. RED CROSSBILL: a male was photographed on Highway 60 on Dec 1, and two of these crossbills were seen along Opeongo Road, Dec 4. WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL: a male was photographed on Highway 60, Dec 1. PINE SISKIN and AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: two of each were at the Visitor Centre feeders on most days.

DIRECTIONS: 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. The Visitor Centre is also open with limited services on weekdays from 9 am to 4 pm. Get your park permit and Information Guide (with a map of birding locations mentioned above) at the East Gate, West Gate or Visitor Centre. Locations are also described at:

Ron Tozer, Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired), Dwight, ON.

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