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Algonquin Park Birding Report

Hooded Mergansers in Algonquin Park

Algonquin Park Birding Reports provide visitors with species observed in recent days within Algonquin Park. Reports are compiled by Ron Tozer. We would greatly appreciate your Algonquin Park bird sightings. Please contact us with your recent sightings.

More About the Birds of Algonquin Park

Birds of Algonquin ParkBirds of Algonquin Park authored by retired Algonquin Park Naturalist Ron Tozer presents detailed accounts of all 278 birds known to have occurred in Algonquin Park. The book includes information on migration timing, nesting habits and behaviour of the 144 breeding species, winter occurrence, historical records and population trends. The influence of climate warming on the arrival and departure time of migrants, and the declining numbers of many species are discussed. This 480-page masterpiece filled with illustrations and images is available for purchase online or at any of The Friends of Algonquin Park stores.

Upcoming Birding Workshops

Experience Algonquin Park WorkshopsDemystifying Algonquin Park Bird Song Workshop June 4/5, 2016 - Through indoor and field excursions, discover the techniques necessary to identify birds and their songs, comparing similar songsters, and learn how to use today's advanced technology to assist in making an identification. Pre-registration is required. See all Experience Algonquin Park Workshops.


April 21, 2016

First Common Loons Observed in Algonquin Park in Spring 2016

Image: First Common Loons observed in Algonquin Park during spring 2016 on partially ice covered Park Lake.

Some ponds and shallow lakes had developed extensive open water by today. However, most lakes remain ice-covered. Bare ground is widespread in deciduous forest and on south-facing slopes, but knee-deep snow persists in many shaded areas.

Spring Arrivals

New migrants arrived in numbers this week, especially during the warm temperatures of the 15th and 16th, including Common Loon, Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush and Rusty Blackbird (15th); Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Harrier, Wilson's Snipe, Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Chipping Sparrow and White-throated Sparrow (16th); American Kestrel, Pine Warbler and Savannah Sparrow (17th); and Broad-winged Hawk (21st).

Feeders at the Visitor Centre have now been shut down but birds continue to come for accumulated seed on the ground, including up to three Fox Sparrows.

Moose seeking the slightly salty meltwater puddles along the highway are being seen more often now. This is also a great time to see Otters that often frequent ice-edge areas where they consume their prey. Costello Creek along Opeongo Road was a good place to see them this week.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: Two males were in the black spruce along the northern part of the Opeongo Road (east side) on April 16, and one was observed near the parking lot of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 17th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was on Opeongo Road, 200 metres north of the gate (now open), on the 17th, and another was heard drumming on the north side of Highway 60 at Park Lake today.

Gray Jay: Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road continue to produce this species.

Boreal Chickadee: Three were found on Opeongo Road on the 17th.

Winter Finches

Purple Finch: This species is widespread but in low numbers now. Many males are in full song.

Red Crossbill: A single bird calling in flight was noted on Opeongo Road at the gate on the 16th.

Common Redpoll: It appears that only a few remain now.

Pine Siskin: Late in the week, most observers were reporting five or fewer per day.

Evening Grosbeak: One to three were seen at the Visitor Centre by week's end.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their Lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Thanks to Kelly Stronks for tallying birds seen during Saturday's very successful OFO trip as shown on the following eBird links:

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


April 14, 2016

Northern Saw-whet Owl in Algonquin Park
Northern Saw-whet Owl

Abnormally cold temperatures this week preserved extensive deep snow and mainly ice-covered lakes and ponds.

New arrivals included: Sharp-shinned Hawk (April 13); Killdeer, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, and Eastern Meadowlark (April 14). Single Northern Shrikes were seen at the Airfield on the 8th and 14th.

A Nocturnal Owl Survey between the East Boundary and Eucalia Lake on the 13th recorded Great Horned Owl (1 site), Barred Owl (1 site), and Northern Saw-whet Owl (3 sites).

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: Try Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Try Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Gray Jay: Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road continue to produce this species.

Boreal Chickadee: Two were observed near the recycling facilities in Mew Lake Campground on the 13th.

Winter Finches

Purple Finch: A few were seen at various sites, including East Gate, Visitor Centre, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Found Lake.

Red Crossbill: Single birds calling in flight were noted at the Airfield and Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 14th.

Common Redpoll: One was at the Visitor Centre on the 13th, and there were 12 at the Airfield and one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 14th.

Pine Siskin: This finch continues to be widespread. For example, an estimated 530 were noted along Highway 60 on the 9th, and there were 170 on the 10th and 90 on the 12th at the Visitor Centre.

American Goldfinch: There were two at the East Gate on the 8th.

Evening Grosbeak: Numbers are dwindling. There were 10 at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and 15 at the Visitor Centre on the 9th, but just two at both the Visitor Centre and the Airfield on the 14th.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


April 7, 2016

Spring Arrivals

Recent snowfall, including 20 centimetres Wednesday overnight and lingering cold temperatures have slowed the arrival of migrants. New migrants this week include: Common Goldeneye was seen along the Opeongo Road on April 1, and Fox Sparrow seen at the Visitor Centre on April 2. In addition to the Goldeneye mentioned above, American Black Duck was seen at the intersection of Highway 60 and Opeongo Road, a male Wood Duck, several Hooded Mergansers and a pair of Common Mergansers were seen on the Opeongo Road on April 1. A small number of American Tree Sparrows, Song Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco continue to be seen at the Visitor Centre.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: A male was seen on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on the side trail that begins near the register box on April 1 and again on April 5.

Gray Jay: Birds continue to be seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road. Of course, with many females now incubating eggs, there are fewer Gray Jays out there to be observed.

Boreal Chickadee: One individual reported along the Opeongo Road, near the the gate on April 3.

Winter Finches

Purple Finch: Up to 20 were seen at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

Common Redpoll: Several Common Redpolls were seen at the Visitor Centre this week, and reported from other locations along Highway 60.

Pine Siskin: This species continues to be the most numerous finch in Algonquin Park. The total seen at the Visitor Centre reached 90 on April 1, and several flocks getting grit along Highway 60 contained a total of 250 birds on the April 2.

Evening Grosbeak: As many as 35 continued to come to the Visitor Centre.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


March 31, 2016

Sandhill Crane in Algonquin Park
Sandhill Crane in Algonquin Park

Spring Arrivals

New migrants this week included: Sandhill Crane and Northern Shrike (March 26th), and Song Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco (March 28th). The crane record was the second earliest ever here.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: A male was photographed near the start of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 26th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was observed about 100 metres past the long boardwalk of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 25th, and another was seen along Peck Lake Trail on the 26th.

Gray Jay: They continue to be seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road. Of course, with many females now incubating eggs, there are fewer Gray Jays out there to be observed.

Boreal Chickadee: Two were noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 27th.

Winter Finches

Purple Finch: Up to 20 were seen at the Visitor Centre.

Red Crossbill: Three were noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 25th, and two in flight were observed at Mew Lake on the 30th.

Common Redpoll: Four were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 25th; from one to six were at the Visitor Centre during the week; and one was observed along Opeongo Road on the 30th.

Pine Siskin: This continues to be the most numerous finch here. The total seen at the Visitor Centre reached 120 on the 28th, and several flocks getting grit along Highway 60 contained a total of 150 birds on the 30th.

American Goldfinch: There was one at the Visitor Centre on the 26th.

Evening Grosbeak: As many as 40 continued to come to the Visitor Centre.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


March 24, 2016

American Black Ducks
American Black Ducks in Algonquin Park

The status of migrants this week reflected the effect of the Algonquin Dome being 200 metres higher than the nearby surrounding area. Birds such as waterfowl, American Robin, Red-winged Blackbird and Common Grackle that have returned in large numbers to much of southern Ontario are just starting to become common in Algonquin. Extensive snow cover, all still-water being ice-covered and sub-freezing night-time temperatures here deter many early migrants from pushing onward onto the dome at this time of year.

New migrants reported were: Mallard (March 17), American Black Duck (18th), and Mourning Dove (20th).

The presence of winter finches on the highway and its shoulders has been infrequent this winter compared to many years when this has occurred commonly. Thus, about 10 flocks of mainly Pine Siskins totalling over 500 individuals along the road between the Visitor Centre and the West Boundary on the 22nd were unusual. Perhaps they were birds on the move? That was the only day this week when so many flocks were reported on the road.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: On the 22nd along Spruce Bog Boardwalk, a male was displaying to two disinterested females and another female was seen a little farther along the trail.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports again this week.

Gray Jays: They are regularly seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Four were observed along Opeongo Road on the 20th and one was heard with Black-caps at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 22nd.

Winter Finches

Purple Finch: There were five to twelve reported at the Visitor Centre.

Red Crossbill: Four were along Lookout Trail on the 20th and two were observed at the Visitor Centre on the 21st.

Common Redpoll: One was at the Visitor Centre on the 19th and seven were noted along Opeongo Road on the 20th.

Pine Siskin: As many as 65 were seen daily at the Visitor Centre this week. The "green morph" bird first spotted on March 6th was still present on the 18th. A leucistic individual with a mostly white head was photographed there today.

American Goldfinch: The only report involved a single bird at Eos Lake on the 23rd.

Evening Grosbeak: Peak numbers at the Visitor Centre were about 40 birds, but 100 were reported there on the 21st. Up to 15 were seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk regularly.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


March 17, 2016

Milder and sometimes rainy weather this week caused much melting of the snow but the limited patches of bare ground are mainly on south-facing slopes. The granular snow is knee-deep in many places. All lakes and ponds remain ice-covered right to the shore.

New migrants reported included: Red-tailed Hawk, American Tree Sparrow and Red-winged Blackbird (March 11th); Herring Gull, Merlin and American Robin (12th); Turkey Vulture (15th); and Hooded Merganser (today).

Bald Eagles were observed along the highway on three days. There was a Northern Goshawk along the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 12th. A juvenile Golden Eagle was over Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 11th and an adult was photographed over Mew Lake Campground on the 12th. A calling Northern Saw-whet Owl was heard from Mew Lake Campground on the evening of the 11th.

The compacted layer of snow which had accumulated on Arowhon Road has now turned to ice and slush. Birders are advised to avoid these hazardous conditions and not use the road at this time.

The siding-replacement work on the Visitor Centre is continuing, but visitors can access the south end of the viewing deck and see birds coming to the suet and sunflower seed from there. The feeder in the Visitor Centre parking lot attracts many birds also.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: No reports this week.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports this week.

Gray Jays: They are regularly seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail. Gray Jay researchers in the Highway 60 Corridor have now located 18 nests, with females incubating eggs in six of them.

Boreal Chickadee: Birds were observed on Opeongo Road near the locked gate and along the Mizzy Lake Trail. One heard on the 15th was giving the "musical trilled call" that typically occurs during winter flock break-up.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: As expected with the onset of warmer weather, most appear to have left for the north. There was only one report this week, a single bird seen at West Smith Lake on the 12th.

Purple Finch: Numbers were down to about ten at the Visitor Centre feeders by the end of the week.

Red Crossbill: One was at the Trailer Sanitation Station road entrance on the 11th, and four were seen at km 41 on the 13th.

Common Redpoll: One was at the Visitor Centre on the 12th.

Pine Siskin: Up to 100 were estimated at the Visitor Centre this week. The "green morph" bird first spotted there on March 6th was still present on the 15th.

Evening Grosbeak: About 40 to 50 were at the Visitor Centre. A few continued to be seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the locked gate on the Opeongo Road as well.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


March 10, 2016

Male Pine Grosbeak in Algonquin Park
Bald Eagle

The first flush of spring migrants was associated with sustained very mild temperatures during the last four days and resulted in sightings of European Starling on the 8th; Canada Goose and Common Merganser on the 9th; and Snow Bunting, Common Grackle and Brown-headed Cowbird today. The cowbird was six days earlier than the previous earliest date for Algonquin Park.

Noteworthy observations this week included: Bald Eagle at km 29 on the 3rd and over Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 7th, Golden Eagle flying low over Arowhon Road at the rail bed crossing on the 6th, and Northern Saw-whet Owl calling in the evening along Opeongo Road on the 3rd.

Construction work continues at the Visitor Centre, but visitors can access the south end of the viewing deck and see the suet and seed feeders there. The feeder in the Visitor Centre parking lot attracts many birds also.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: Sightings of one or two occurred near the start of Spruce Bog Boardwalk every day from March 5 to 8, in a significant increase of success in locating this elusive species.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Single birds were seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 3rd and 4th, and one was noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 7th.

Gray Jays: They are still regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail . Gray Jay researchers have now located nests under construction of fourteen pairs in the Highway 60 Corridor.

Boreal Chickadee: Two to four were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail on four days this week. One was reported at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk suet feeder on the 6th. Listen for their vocalizations to help locate these birds.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: One was seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 3rd; seven were in Mew Lake Campground on the 5th; and two were along Opeongo Road on the 8th. The warmer temperatures will likely result in this species heading northward soon; the average date of the last spring sighting is March 27.

Purple Finch: As many as 50 were at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

Red Crossbill: Two to four were observed getting grit along the Visitor Centre driveway on four days this week.

White-winged Crossbill: One was heard calling in flight over the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 3rd.

Common Redpoll: On March 3, five were seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail and eight were noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Pine Siskin: Numbers are increasing at the Visitor Centre feeders, peaking at about 140 this week. A pair was observed copulating at a feeder near Oxtongue Lake a little west of the Park on the 5th, indicating that nesting is underway. A "green morph" Pine Siskin photographed at the Visitor Centre feeders on the 6th and 7th was only the second Algonquin record of this recognizable form.

American Goldfinch: After no reports of this species here for a month, three were seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and one was at the Visitor Centre on the 5th, and six were noted at the East Gate on the 7th and 8th.

Evening Grosbeak: About 70 continued to come to the Visitor Centre feeders this week. A few were also noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, near the locked gate on the Opeongo Road and at the East Gate.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


March 3, 2016

Male Pine Grosbeak in Algonquin Park
Male Pine Grosbeak in Algonquin Park

We are experiencing the "in-between" season now. The arrival of the first migrant species (single American Crows in Mew Lake Campground and at the West Gate on the 28th) awakened thoughts of spring, but getting 25 cm more snow and a night-time temperature of minus 30°C by week's end put that fantasy into perspective. There is still time to head up to Algonquin Park to view the spectacular winter scenery and see some winter finches.

Construction work continues at the Visitor Centre, but visitors can now access the south end of the viewing deck, and both suet and seed feeders are operational in the area below that section. The feeder in the Visitor Centre parking lot is still attracting plenty of finches as well.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: One was seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 27th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports this week. Listen for this woodpecker calling and drumming in black spruce bog areas.

Gray Jays: They are still regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail. The Gray Jay research team has now located nests under construction of five pairs in the Highway 60 Corridor.

Boreal Chickadee: The Mizzy Lake Trail produced two on the 26th and three on the 27th. Two were noted on Opeongo Road on March 1.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: On the 28th, four were found on Spruce Bog Boardwalk and three were on Highway 60 at km 25. Eight were seen in the Lookout Trail parking lot on the 1st.

Purple Finch: Up to 45 came to the Visitor Centre this week, and thirty were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 27th.

Red Crossbill: On the 27th, three were seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail and two were observed at the Visitor Centre. There were four at the entrance to the Opeongo Road driveway today.

White-winged Crossbill: Four were seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 28th.

Common Redpoll: Eight were along the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 27th, and six were at the Visitor Centre parking lot today.

Pine Siskin: A flock of about 100 was at Mew Lake Campground on the 25th, sixty were seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 27th, and 35 to 50 are coming to the Visitor Centre daily now. A pair engaged in courtship-feeding at the Visitor Centre was photographed on the 26th.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 70 came to Visitor Centre this week. Smaller numbers continue to be seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the locked gate on the Opeongo Road.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


February 25, 2016

Gray Jay in Algonquin Park
Gray Jays in Algonquin Park

Additional signs of impending spring were detected this week, amid the continuing spectacular winter conditions and scenery.

The first Gray Jay nest-construction activity observed in Algonquin Park this year was on the 19th. Data from Dan Strickland's 45-year Gray Jay research project in Algonquin show the average first date of nest-building was February 19 over the last ten years, ranging from February 14 (2010) to 28 (2009).

Courtship-feeding by a pair of Pine Siskins at a feeder near Oxtongue Lake (west of the Park) on the 22nd indicated the onset of nesting may soon occur in that species. The earliest ever observation of Pine Siskin nest-building in Algonquin Park was on March 20 (1990).

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: No reports received again this week. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road north and the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Single birds were noted at the Algonquin Logging Museum Pond on the 19th and along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 23rd.

Gray Jay: They are still regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Boreal Chickadee: Birders are reporting increased vocalizing by this species which is aiding in locating these birds. The Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed produced two on the 21st and four on the 22nd.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: Four were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 18th and 21st. Six were on Highway 60 at the Lake of Two Rivers Picnic Ground and Beach on the 19th.

Purple Finch: A few were noted at the Visitor Centre feeders, Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Red Crossbill: Three were observed at km 24 along Highway 60 on the 22nd.

Common Redpoll: Small numbers were seen along the km 8 road, Arowhon Road and Opeongo Road. There were two groups totalling 15 birds along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 21st.

Pine Siskin: Still the most widespread and frequently-observed finch, but not overly numerous. Typically, observers are seeing several small flocks during a day of birding. For example, walking along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed produced 40 to 60 siskins this week.

Evening Grosbeak: There were 40 to 50 at the Visitor Centre feeders every day this week. A few were also noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


February 20, 2016

Wild Turkey in Algonquin Park
Wild Turkey in Algonquin Park

As noted last week, the Visitor Centre viewing deck and adjacent feeders are closed down while construction work continues in that area of the building. The Evening Grosbeak flock readily switched to a feeder in the Visitor Centre parking lot, allowing observers close-up views from their vehicles.

A Wild Turkey at km 23 (Cache Lake) on the 15th was only the third report of the species here this winter, in a year of moderate snow depth and temperatures when higher survival might be expected.

Pileated Woodpeckers are common in Algonquin Park, but often difficult to locate on any given day. One observer found five on the 16th: three near the West Gate and two on the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed. Drumming by some of them helped in locating the birds.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: No reports this week. Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the Black Spruce habitat bordering Opeongo Road north of the locked gate, and the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed near Wolf Howl Pond and West Rose Lake.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen on the Track and Tower Trail on the 14th. Vocal imitations of Barred Owl calls attracted one west of Wolf Howl Pond, another at West Rose Lake, and one about 100 metres south of Highway 60 opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 16th.

Gray Jays: They were seen regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Boreal Chickadee: One was seen along the Track and Tower Trail on the 13th and 14th. From one to seven were observed each day from the 14th to the 16th along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: More observers resulted in more reports. Up to seven were seen regularly this week along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed. One was at km 35 and six were in Mew Lake Campground on the 12th.

Purple Finch: Small numbers continued to be observed at: Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and the Visitor Centre.

White-winged Crossbill: Four were at the Visitor Centre and two were along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 15th.

Common Redpoll: A few were reported by several birders, but there were also some larger numbers observed such as the several finch flocks containing a total of about 100 redpolls along the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 15th.

Pine Siskin: This species continues to be the most numerous and widely observed small finch here. Several mixed flocks along the Mizzy Lake Trail on the 15th contained a total of 150 Pine Siskins.

Evening Grosbeak: About 50 to 60 are now utilizing the newly-established feeder in the Visitor Centre parking lot, which will remain operational while construction work continues on the building. A few were also reported from Leaf Lake Ski Trail, Opeongo Road near the locked gate, along the Mizzy Lake Trail and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (where there were 25 on the 17th).

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


February 11, 2016

Birders should note that the Visitor Centre viewing deck and the feeders visible from it will be closed down for at least one week starting on Tuesday (February 16, 2016) due to ongoing refurbishing of the building. During this closure, a feeder will be operating in the Visitor Centre parking lot and it will likely attract the continuing Evening Grosbeaks.

A recently reported observation of a Belted Kingfisher along the open Madawaska River adjacent to the Wildlife Research Station Road (closed to public travel) on January 31 was noteworthy. Kingfishers rarely attempt to over-winter in Algonquin, and sightings this late in the winter are extremely rare. This bird is probably utilizing the open parts of the river adjacent to Mew Lake Campground as well.

A Common Raven on the 6th along the Opeongo Road had what looked like an old songbird nest in its bill and may have been a very early individual engaged in relining its nest.

Boreal Specialties

Black-backed Woodpecker in Algonquin Park
Black-backed Woodpecker

Spruce Grouse: Three were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 6th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was photographed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 6th, and one was along the highway near Mew Lake Campground on the 11th.

Gray Jays: They were seen regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on Opeongo Road and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Boreal Chickadee: One to three were noted regularly during the week along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: Two were along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 5th, and four females were there on the 10th.

Purple Finch: Small numbers were observed at: Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, the Visitor Centre and Opeongo Road.

Red Crossbill: A road-killed male was photographed near the Visitor Centre entrance on the 6th, and a few were noted along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed and the Visitor Centre driveway on the 10th.

White-winged Crossbill: A male was photographed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 6th.

Common Redpoll: A few were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 10th.

Pine Siskin: They were seen at various locations, with some observers reporting 200 or more in a day.

American Goldfinch: One was at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 6th.

Evening Grosbeak: About 50 to 60 continued to utilize the Visitor Centre feeders this week, with a few of them at Spruce Bog Boardwalk across the highway.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


February 4, 2016

Ruffed Grouse in Algonquin Park
Ruffed Grouse at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre

Ruffed Grouse were often observed this week, including at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and the Visitor Centre.

A good variety of finch species continued to be seen, but often in low numbers away from sites where sunflower seed was available.

An American Marten came to the Visitor Centre suet feeder today.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: Singles were found at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 1st and along Opeongo Roadnorth of the gate on the 2nd.

Gray Jays: They were seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, along Opeongo Road, and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Boreal Chickadee: One was observed on Bat Lake Trail on the 28th, and two were noted along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 30th and 1st.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: One flying over was noted at the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 30th, and a male was at km 33 on Highway 60 on the 2nd.

Purple Finch: Up to seven came daily to the Visitor Centre feeders.

Red Crossbill: One was reported along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 1st.

White-winged Crossbill: On the 30th, one was calling in flight at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and two were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Common Redpoll: Small numbers were reported again this week at various locations.

Pine Siskin: They remain widespread in very low numbers, but a few larger flocks were seen as well.

American Goldfinch: One was at the Visitor Centre on the 1st.

Evening Grosbeak: The 120 individuals coming to the Visitor Centre feeders at the beginning of the week had dropped to half that number by today, but they were still numerous enough to be impressive. Some were also at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the gate on Opeongo Road.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


January 29, 2016

Today is Bird Feeder Friday! Watch live streaming video of the bird feeders at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre today only. Multiple views allow you to watch for common bird and mammal species. Live streaming video courtesy of The Friends of Algonquin Park. Thanks to Wild Birds Unlimited Toronto for providing bird feeders and seed.


January 28, 2016

Golden Eagle in Algonquin Park. Photo by Terry Merkley

Image: Golden Eagle in Algonquin Park at km 26 of Highway 60 on January 23, 2016. Thanks to Terry Merkley for sharing the image.

More birders this week resulted in more sightings. Eagles put in an appearance, with a Golden Eagle photographed soaring over km 26 of Highway 60 on the 23rd and a Bald Eagle perched at the West Gate on the 27th. Ruffed Grouse were seen regularly along the Visitor Centre driveway and at least one was at its feeders.

Evening Grosbeaks continued to put on a tremendous show that for many birders has not been experienced for decades. Rather than splitting up between sunflower seed on the ground at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the Visitor Centre feeders as they have recently, the main concentration today was at the Visitor Centre and peaked at about 120 birds. This colourful, swirling mass with constant loud calling was indeed impressive.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: Two males were spotted in a spruce near the start of the trail at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 21st, frustrating news for those who have searched unsuccessfully there in recent days.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was observed at campsites 71 and 72 in Mew Lake Campground on the 24th.

Gray Jays: They continue to be seen regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and near the locked gate and north of there on Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Two were reported from Arowhon Road on the 24th, probably from along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: There was an upswing in numbers observed this week, perhaps mainly because more birders were looking. A dozen were getting grit on the road in Mew Lake Campground on the 21st, and there were five on Arowhon Road plus three at km 36 on Highway 60 on the 24th.

Purple Finch: A half dozen are coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeders, and others can be seen occasionally along the highway.

White-winged Crossbill: The small numbers detected on the Christmas Bird Count are likely persisting. This species was reported along the Leaf Lake Ski Trail on the 23rd, without details about how many.

Common Redpoll: Some continue to be seen along Highway 60, with a total of 75 reported by two birders between the west boundary and the West Gate on the 21st.

Hoary Redpoll: One was observed along Opeongo Road, north of the gate, on the 27th.

Pine Siskin: This finch is still being seen regularly, often in small flocks. However, a flock of 100 in the treetops was noted at km 51 of Highway 60 on the 22nd.

American Goldfinch: Two were at the Visitor Centre on the 27th.

Evening Grosbeak: Good numbers continue at the Visitor Centre and Spruce Bog Boardwalk. A few are also being attracted to the Opeongo Road gate.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


January 21, 2016

Gray Jay in Algonquin Park
Gray Jay in Algonquin Park

Sunflower seed brought by visitors to Spruce Bog Boardwalk continues to attract numbers of Evening Grosbeaks and appreciative photographers. These birds are part of the large flock coming to the nearby Visitor Centre feeders.

Gray Jays are regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot and around the suet feeder near the trail register box, as well as in the vicinity of the locked gate on Opeongo Road.

Eight Common Ravens were attracted to a carcass (likely a wolf-killed deer) on the ice of Brewer Lake today.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: This species continues to be present but in very low numbers. Single birds were heard along Arowhon Road and Opeongo Road on the 17th.

Purple Finch: A few were noted in mixed finch flocks along Highway 60 and some came to the Visitor Centre feeders, including 12 birds on the 18th.

Common Redpoll: A few were reported in mixed finch flocks along the highway.

Pine Siskin: Some were seen in mixed finch flocks along the highway. Observers on the 15th reported a total of 100 along the corridor.

Evening Grosbeak: As many as 60 came to the Visitor Centre feeders this week, and up to half that flock are now also a daily occurrence at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


January 14, 2016

Boreal Chickadee in Algonquin Park
Boreal Chickadee in Algonquin Park

Rain on the weekend, followed by snow plus colder temperatures, were features this week that contributed to fewer bird reports. However, the dramatic winter scenery and some colourful finches were an attraction for those who did come to enjoy the Park.

Surprisingly, Boreal Chickadees are not regularly visiting the suet feeder near the register box at Spruce Bog Boardwalk yet. They have usually been attracted to it during the last four winters, and may still show up this year. Black-capped Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Gray Jays are coming to the feeder, and readily take food from the hands of visitors.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road north of the locked gate.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was observed along Opeongo Road on the 7th, and another was near the start of Big Pines Trail on the 8th.

Gray Jay: They were seen regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along the Black Spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: One was heard at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 7th, and a single bird was observed along Opeongo Road on the 8th.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: Four in a Balsam Fir were photographed along Opeongo Road on the 8th.

Purple Finch: Seven were reported on Opeongo Road on the 8th. This species is probably still fairly widespread in moderate numbers.

Red Crossbill: Two were seen along Opeongo Road on the 7th.

White-winged Crossbill: Two were observed on Opeongo Road on the 8th.

Common Redpoll: No reports were received, but moderate numbers are undoubtedly still present.

Pine Siskin: Probably still the most numerous winter finch, but the only reports were 32 birds on Opeongo Road and three at the Visitor Centre, on the 8th.

American Goldfinch: Three were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 7th. The availability of Balsam Fir seeds is likely sustaining the small numbers here this winter.

Evening Grosbeak: Between 50 and 90 individuals were regular at the Visitor Centre feeders this week, allowing spectacular views. Across Highway 60 at Spruce Bog Boardwalk was also attracting some of the birds from this flock.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


January 7, 2016

Evening Grosbeak in Algonquin Park
Male Evening Grosbeak in Algonquin Park

Lake of Two Rivers became completely ice-covered in the hours before dawn on January 4th, setting a new latest date for that event in records going back to 1972. Smoke Lake, the last open lake along Highway 60, became completely frozen on January 5th.

The bumper crop of Balsam Fir cones produced large numbers of seeds lodged in the branches following the normal disintegration of the cones in the fall. In the absence of most other cone crops, many seed-eating birds are feeding on the Balsam seeds here. This was reflected in the record high tally of Black-capped Chickadees (2,135) and large numbers of Red-breasted Nuthatches (947) on the count.

Four Wild Turkeys near Smoke Lake on the 4th were the first reported in the Park since November 2nd.

The early winter status of birds in Algonquin becomes clearer by looking at the results of the annual Christmas Bird Count, which 110 participants undertook on January 2nd. Numbers in brackets following the finch species names below are the total number of individuals observed on the count.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak (20): Numbers remain low. Most Pine Grosbeaks must be still in the north. Listen for calling birds flying over.

Purple Finch (180): Small numbers are present. Purple Finches were reported feeding on Balsam Fir seeds and maple buds.

Red Crossbill (22): A few are being observed, often as individuals calling in flight.

White-winged Crossbill (21): Similarly, this crossbill is here but in very low numbers. A few crossbills have been seen seeking sand and salt on Highway 60, including three White-winged Crossbills near the East Gate on the 7th.

Common Redpoll (436): Moderate numbers are being seen along Highway 60 and Opeongo Road. This finch is also feeding on Balsam Fir seeds.

Pine Siskin (1,205): This is the most numerous finch, with some big flocks of 200 birds or more. They have been noted feeding on yellow birch and white birch seed, and often on Balsam Fir seeds. Watch for siskin flocks on Highway 60.

American Goldfinch (37): There are relatively few goldfinches. Most left in the fall.

Evening Grosbeak (129): Most of these grosbeaks tallied on the count were at the Visitor Centre feeders. On January 3, numbers at the Visitor Centre skyrocketed to about 175 birds, and there were 75 to 100 present there (especially in the morning) for the rest of this week. It is reminiscent of the 1970s when spruce budworm-fueled breeding success resulted in huge numbers of Evening Grosbeaks at southern Ontario feeders.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: One was located south of the highway opposite Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the count.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Thirteen were found on the count, including birds at Beaver Pond Trail, Jake Lake, and along the portage to Blackfox Lake which starts at the Trailer Sanitation Station.

Gray Jay: Seen again along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Only nine were found on the count. Try Wolf Howl Pond, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road north of the closed gate. Check the suet feeder neat the Spruce Bog Boardwalk register box.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


January 2, 2016

The 42nd Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count was held on January 2, 2016. For complete results see the Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count webpage.


December 31, 2015

Algonquin Park has at least 25 cm of snow on the ground now. Small lakes and ponds are ice-covered. However, the larger lakes are still wide open, with ice forming only along the shorelines and in shallow bays. Records of the date of the first total ice cover on Lake of Two Rivers back to 1972 show the previous latest date was December 27 (in 2001 and 2006). The new record will likely be several days into January. Despite this unprecedented presence of extensive open water, there were no reports of water birds this week.

The Visitor Centre is open daily, 9 am to 5 pm, from December 27 to January 3 (inclusive). The seed and suet feeders are operational at the Visitor Centre.

Evening Grosbeaks at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre
Evening Grosbeaks at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre (click to enlarge)

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: One was calling in flight at West Rose Lake on the 26th, and there were five at Sims Pit on the Arowhon Road today.

Purple Finch: A few were noted this week at the Visitor Centre, Pinetree Lake Portage and along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Common Redpoll: Sightings in low numbers were regular throughout the Highway 60 Corridor. Some flocks contained Pine Siskins as well.

Hoary Redpoll: One was seen in a large flock of Common Redpolls on Arowhon Road on the 26th.

Pine Siskin: Small flocks were observed throughout the Highway 60 Corridor this week.

Evening Grosbeak: Flocks of up to 34 birds were seen daily this week at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: Two were seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on the 24th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: On the 26th, one was near Wolf Howl Pond, another was on Arowhon Road south of the rail bed, and two were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Gray Jay: Seen again along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Two were seen and heard near Wolf Howl Pond and two were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, on the 26th.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


December 24, 2015

Last weekend produced about 5 cm of snow, and ice formed on small lakes and ponds. Now, the snow has mostly disappeared and some of the ice has melted due to rain and mild temperatures. All the larger lakes remain completely ice-free. The lack of snow and ice is unprecedented for this date during the last 45 years in the Park.

Notably late species for Algonquin were Hooded Merganser, Common Loon and Herring Gull on the 18th and American Black Duck on the 22nd.

The Visitor Centre will be closed on December 24 to 26 (inclusive) and open daily from 9 am to 5 pm on December 27 to January 3 (inclusive). The seed and suet feeders are operational at the Visitor Centre.

Birder reports were limited once again, but below is a little information:

Winter Finches

White-winged Crossbill: One was observed along Opeongo Road on the 18th.

Pine Siskin: Some were noted along Bat Lake Trail, on Opeongo Road and near Wolf Howl Pond on the Mizzy Lake Trail.

Evening Grosbeak: At the Visitor Centre feeders, there were four on the 18th and 29 on the 21st.

Boreal Specialties

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen along Opeongo Road on the 18th.

Gray Jay: Seen again along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: This elusive species was noted along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed yesterday. Check the suet feeder at the register box on Spruce Bog Boardwalk to see if any have been attracted to it yet.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


December 17, 2015

All lakes and ponds were ice-free and the bare ground continued this week. There were few birder reports and so new information was limited.

Lake Travers (on the Park's East Side) had record late Canada Goose and Bufflehead on the 16th. Two female Canvasbacks photographed there the same day were just the second record for Algonquin Park. None of these were seen when Lake Travers was checked by canoe again today, unfortunately.

Canvasbacks at Lake Travers in Algonquin Park on December 16, 2015. Photo by Jeff Skevington.

Image: Two female Canvasbacks at Lake Travers in Algonquin Park on December 16, 2015. These birds are the second record for Algonquin Park. Photo by J. Skevington.

A juvenile Common Loon on Grand Lake and two juveniles at the Lake Opeongo Access Point today were very late.

Winter Finches

Purple Finch, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Common Redpoll and Pine Siskin were observed at Lake Travers on the 16th.

Boreal Specialties

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was seen at Wolf Howl Pond on Mizzy Lake Trail on the 12th.

Gray Jay: Seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


December 10, 2015

Single Common Loons this week on Smoke Lake, Lake Opeongo, Lake Travers (Park's East Side) and flying near Park Lake were late. A Belted Kingfisher at Lake of Two Rivers on the 6th was also notably late for Algonquin. These occurrences reflect the continuing abnormally warm temperatures and open lakes and rivers. There is no snow either, which made the all-white Snowshoe Hare rather conspicuous.

Numerous Ruffed Grouse being seen along Highway 60 and on trails are indicative of good production and survival of young this year.

The gate on Opeongo Road is now closed for the winter. Birders are encouraged to walk the black spruce section north of the gate for boreal species and finches. Ongoing work to replace the siding on the Visitor Centre is causing only occasional disruption of birds coming to the feeders.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: Singles were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Mew Lake Campground, and there were two along Opeongo Road, on the 6th.

Purple Finch: A few were observed at various Highway 60 locations.

Red Crossbill: A few, often singles calling in flight, were noted along the Highway 60 Corridor this week. Some were observed at the lookout on the Barron Canyon Trail on the Park's East Side on the 5th.

White-winged Crossbill: A large flock of 50 was reported on Opeongo Road on the 5th.

Common Redpoll: This species is being seen regularly now, usually in small flocks but occasionally in larger groups such as the 31 near Wolf Howl Pond on the 8th.

Pine Siskin: Small and larger flocks continue to be seen along Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: Numbers have dwindled but five were observed at the East Gate on the 5th.

Evening Grosbeak: Three were at the Visitor Centre on the 6th, and there was one there and another along Opeongo Road on the 7th. Forty were reported in Whitney, on Highway 60 east of the Park, on the 7th.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse in Algonquin Park
Male Spruce Grouse in Algonquin Park

Spruce Grouse: A male and a female were observed on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 5th, and a male was photographed near that trail's register box on the 6th. A female and a displaying male were along Opeongo Road north of the locked gate on the 7th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was first heard tapping as it flaked off bark in search of wood-boring beetle larvae and was later photographed on the east side of the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed just north of Wolf Howl Pond on the 8th.

Gray Jay: Seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, on Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Look and listen for them along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed and Opeongo Road north of the locked gate.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


December 3, 2015

Last week's snow cover has nearly all melted and the larger lakes remain free of ice, as the unusually mild conditions for this date continue.

A single Bohemian Waxwing on the 26th at Lake Travers (on the Park's East Side) was the latest of a very small number seen here since late October.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak in Algonquin Park
Pine Grosbeak in Algonquin Park

Pine Grosbeak: One was heard along Barron Canyon Road (on the Park's East Side) on the 26th, and two were along the Old Railway Bike Trail between the Old Airfield and Head Creek Marsh on the 2nd.

Purple Finch: Low numbers continue to be observed.

Red Crossbill: A few were noted at Lake Travers on the 26th, and two were seen along the Old Railway Bike Trail between the Old Airfield and Head Creek Marsh on the 2nd.

White-winged Crossbill: Two were noted at Lake Travers (on the Park's East Side) on the 27th.

Common Redpoll: Numerous small flocks were noted along the Barron Canyon Road from the Sand Lake Gate to Lake Travers on the 26th. Some were in large Pine Siskin flocks observed along the Old Railway Bike Trail between the Old Airfield and Head Creek Marsh on the 2nd.

HOARY REDPOLL: One in a flock of Common Redpolls was observed along the south shore of Lake Travers on the 27th.

Pine Siskin: Small and large flocks are being seen regularly on the Park's East Side and along Highway 60.

Evening Grosbeak: There are still a few coming to the Visitor Centre feeders fairly regularly, including two on the 2nd.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Opeongo Road and the Wolf Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports. Try Opeongo Road and the Wolf Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Gray Jay: Seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: A good place to look and listen for them continues to be the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed. Fifteen in total were observed along the Old Railway Bike Trail between the Old Airfield and Head Creek Marsh on the 2nd.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


November 26, 2015

This week brought us our first persisting snow of the fall. There were fewer birders reporting but several winter finches were still being seen.

Winter Finches

Purple Finch: Small numbers continued to be observed, including at the Visitor Centre.

Common Redpoll: Reported again this week, but in low numbers.

Pine Siskin: Seen regularly, including some larger flocks.

American Goldfinch: One or two observed. Most appear to have left.

Evening Grosbeak: Still a few coming to the Visitor Centre feeders on most mornings.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Opeongo Road and the Wolf Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Black-backed Woodpecker: No reports. Try Opeongo Road and the Wolf Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Gray Jay: Seen daily along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: The best place to look and listen for them continues to be the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


November 19, 2015

Common Redpoll in Algonquin Park
Common Redpoll in Algonquin Park

What a difference a year makes. On this date last year we had 38 centimetres of snow on the ground here. Not a trace of snow (yet!) today and a high temperature of 13°C. But the end is near!

A single Bohemian Waxwing was observed along the Opeongo Road on November 15.

Winter Finches

Purple Finch: Small numbers continued to be seen, including at the Visitor Centre.

Red Crossbill: A few were observed along the Barron Canyon Trail and at Lake Travers on the East Side.

White-winged Crossbill: Four were reported at Mew Lake Campground on November 14.

Common Redpoll: Some birders observed from 25 to 50 per day this week along Highway 60 and on the East Side.

Pine Siskin: Seen regularly, including one report of over 100 in a day along Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: A few were still present here this week, but some southern Ontario hawk watch reports indicate they are on the move.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to nine were at the Visitor Centre on most days, but usually only in the morning.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Opeongo Road and the Wolf Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on November 14, and a male was seen along the Barron Canyon Trail on the East Side, on November 17.

Gray Jay: Seen daily along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Two were observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on November 14.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


November 12, 2015

Bohemian Waxwing in Algonquin Park
Bohemian Waxwing in Algonquin Park

Bohemian Waxwings were on the move this week, with small flocks briefly attracted to the birds feeding at the Visitor Centre: nine were seen on November 9, and groups of two, five and four on November 10.

Single dispersing female Northern Cardinals were observed along the McManus Lake Road (East Side of the Park) on November 6 and at the Visitor Centre on November 10. This Algonquin rarity occurs here irregularly, usually during October and November. There have been reports of 51 cardinals (26 males and 25 females) during 21 of the 55 years since the first in 1961.

Winter Finches

There were reports of eight species in Algonquin this week, but all except one were in low numbers.

Pine Grosbeak: The first of the fall was photographed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed (accessible from Arowhon Road) on November 9.

Purple Finch: A few were noted along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed and at the Visitor Centre.

Red Crossbill: Seven were observed on the Park's East Side at Lake Travers on November 6.

White-winged Crossbill: A couple were heard flying over along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed on November 7.

Common Redpoll: Two were seen on the Park's East Side at Lake Travers on November 6, and one flew over the Visitor Centre on November 8.

Pine Siskin: Becoming widespread, with a few flocks of 20 to 30 birds this week.

American Goldfinch: A few were seen at the Visitor Centre on most days this week.

Evening Grosbeak: There were 16 on November 3 and 10 on November 10 at the Visitor Centre.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try Opeongo Road in early morning for birds getting grit along the edge, and check the Wolf Howl Pond area of Mizzy Lake Trail.

Black-backed Woodpecker: On November 8, two males were seen along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Gray Jay: Seen daily along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and along the black spruce section of Opeongo Road.

Boreal Chickadee: Observed along the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed and Opeongo Road. Listen for their distinctive calls.

Birders reporting records through eBird are encouraged to share their lists with the Algonquin Park Bird Records account (APPbirds).

Please send us any bird sightings you've had in the park, even of common birds, as they assist us in documenting Algonquin Park's bird life.


Related Information

 

Reserve your developed or backcountry campsite for your next visit.

Share your passion for Algonquin Park by becoming a member or donor.

Special regulations for Algonquin's special fishery.