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Algonquin Park Birding Report: 28 February to 7 March

*This report was originally posted by Ron Tozer on ONTBIRDS (Mar. 8, 2019) and is provided here with the kind permission of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

Continued abnormally cold temperatures and often windy conditions reduced the number of birders and reports this week. No new “spring” migrants were observed. A ROCK PIGEON photographed along the highway edge near Opeongo Road on Mar 6 was very early for this occasional wanderer here. At least one RUFFED GROUSE was regular near the Visitor Centre feeders.

BOREAL RESIDENTS: A male SPRUCE GROUSE was photographed along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on Mar 3. Single BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS were observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on Feb 28 and Mar 3, and at the Trailer Sanitation Station on Mar 2. BOREAL CHICKADEE reports were of two (Feb 28) and one (Mar 3) at Spruce Bog Boardwalk. The frequency of calling by this chickadee increases in late February and March which should make it easier to locate now. CANADA JAY continued to be seen most regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and the Logging Museum trail.

WINTER FINCHES: PINE GROSBEAK daily counts at the Visitor Centre feeders ranged from five to thirteen birds, with one or two at other locations occasionally. Numbers will start to decline here soon as they return northward with the onset of warmer temperatures. COMMON REDPOLLS were also daily visitors to the feeders, with a high of eight by the end of the week. The RED CROSSBILL male and female were last reported at the Visitor Centre on Mar 1. About five AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES continued to be regular at the feeders.

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 will be open daily during March Break (March 9 to 17) from 9 am to 5 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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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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