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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 7 to 14 February

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Feb. 14, 2019) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Some moderation in temperatures appeared to encourage more birders to visit the Park but a major snowfall over two days near the end of the week largely shut activity down. Some additional winter finch species were detected, perhaps indicative of returning birds. Noteworthy species of the week was a sub-adult GOLDEN EAGLE photographed flying over the Barron Canyon Road in Algonquin’s “East Side” on Feb 10. Bald Eagles and a small number of Golden Eagles feed on wolf kills during winter here.

As part of the Winter in the Wild Festival in Algonquin Park on Saturday, February 16, naturalist-guided Bird Walks will occur at Spruce Bog Boardwalk in the morning (10 to 11:30 am) and afternoon (2:30 to 4 pm). See the following for details and other events:

A RUFFED GROUSE and five WILD TURKEYS continued daily at the Visitor Centre feeders this week. A single surviving WILD TURKEY (of the 13 there in November) was reported at Mew Lake Campground.

BOREAL RESIDENTS: A male SPRUCE GROUSE was photographed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on Feb 11. CANADA JAYS were reported from Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road near the winter gate and north of there, plus the Logging Museum trail. There were no reports of Black-backed Woodpecker and Boreal Chickadee but look for them at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along the northern part of Opeongo Road beyond the winter gate.

WINTER FINCHES: The female EVENING GROSBEAK was present again at the Visitor Centre feeders all week. The number of PINE GROSBEAKS visiting the feeders daily peaked at 27 on Feb 12. At least two “SOUTHERN” COMMON REDPOLLS (flammea) and the continuing “GREATER” COMMON REDPOLL (rostrata) were at the feeders this week, but the earlier Hoary Redpoll was not seen. The first reports of RED CROSSBILL since early January involved two at West Smith Lake (Feb 9) and one near Lake Travers on the East Side (Feb 10). Two PINE SISKINS were reported at the Visitor Centre on Feb 9 and five AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES continued daily at the feeders there.

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, including Family Day (Monday, February 18). 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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