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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.


February 23, 2017

Tomorrow (February 24) will be the final Bird Feeder Friday in Algonquin Park this winter. The Visitor Centre webcams will be aimed at the bird feeders from 8 am to sunset to catch all the action.

The past week had lots of birders, beautiful mild weather over the long weekend and even a few signs of the coming spring.

The Northern Goshawk was seen again at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 19, probably hunting grouse. However, the old banded male Spruce Grouse (likely about ten years of age) was seen that day too, so it continues to survive.

Some eBirders reporting crows here on the weekend were surprised that details were requested. Unlike most of Southern Ontario, the American Crow is rarely present during winter in Algonquin Park and so we can detect the arrival of migrants. The first ones this year were on Saturday, which tied our earliest date in spring. The first European Starling appeared that day as well. Yesterday, Gray Jay researchers found the first nest under construction, right on time for this very early breeder.

Boreal Chickadee in Algonquin Park
Boreal Chickadee in Algonquin Park. Photo by Dawn Sherman.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: Several birders observed a male displaying to a female at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on Sunday. Two males (including the banded bird) and two females allowed close-up views along the side trail opposite the register box there the same day.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Single birds were observed along Opeongo Road and on Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Gray Jay: They were still regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road near the locked gate and at the Logging Museum.

Boreal Chickadee: One or two continued to provide great views at Spruce Bog Boardwalk as they fed at the suet feeder and landed on outstretched hands with food for them. Others were seen along Opeongo Road north of the locked gate, and along the trail behind the MOLOKS (refuse containers) in Mew Lake Campground.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: Small numbers were seen regularly along Highway 60. The single female continued to come for seed at the entrance of Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Sightings also occurred at: Peck Lake Trail, Mew Lake Campground, Lookout Trail, and the Trailer Sanitation Station.

Red Crossbill: The week was good for seeing small groups getting salt and sand on Highway 60.

White-winged Crossbill: Groups of up to 30 were regular along Highway 60, at trails and on Opeongo Road.

Common Redpoll: Reports were of one to seven individuals and locations included: the Visitor Centre feeders, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and Opeongo Road.

Pine Siskin: Small to medium-sized flocks were regular on Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: Good numbers are still coming to the Visitor Centre feeders, but some reduction appears to be occurring with the onset of milder temperatures.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 100 were coming to the Visitor Centre feeders early in the week, but the number appeared to be about 60 by the end of it. Some are still being seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road near the locked gate.

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.

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


February 16, 2017

Winter in the Wild Festival 2017 will take place on Saturday (February 18). It will have many great activities to choose from, including two Guided Winter Bird Walks on Spruce Bog Boardwalk from 10:00am to 11:30am and 2:30pm to 4:00pm. Your Park use permit entitles you to free participation in festival events.

Probably the same Northern Goshawk was perched near the suet feeder on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 12th. The Northern Shrike at the Visitor Centre was mobbed by Black-capped Chickadees in late afternoon on the 11th and seen flying around the parking lot on the 15th.

Black-backed Woodpecker in Algonquin Park
Black-backed Woodpecker in Algonquin Park. Photo by Lev Frid.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: Still no reports this week. Maybe one will turn up on Saturday's guided walks at Spruce Bog.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on three days. Other locations this week included: the Old Railway Bike Trail between the Old Airfield and Head Creek Marsh; the rail bed near Galeairy Lake; and near the recycling containers at Mew Lake Campground.

Gray Jay: They were still regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road near the locked gate and at the Logging Museum. The first nest-building activity can be expected soon.

Boreal Chickadee: One was regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, coming to perch on hands that provided food. There were two at the suet feeder along the trail on the 11th, one of which was giving the "trilling call" almost constantly.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: A female was photographed coming for bird seed at the entrance of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 12th and 13th.

Red Crossbill: Reports involved one to six birds at various locations along Highway 60.

White-winged Crossbill: This crossbill continues to be the more numerous species, although most sightings were of 15 or fewer. But on the 10th, there were 75 in total along the Old Railway Bike Trail between the Old Airfield and Head Creek Marsh, and another 45 between the West Gate and km 8 on the highway.

Common Redpoll: Reports again this week were of very small numbers.

Pine Siskin: The increase in numbers noted last week appeared to continue. Of the 90 tallied along Highway 60 on the 12th, nine had been killed by vehicles. Slow down and blow your horn when approaching birds on the highway.

American Goldfinch: Large numbers continue to come to the Visitor Centre feeders daily, peaking at 150 this week.

Evening Grosbeak: The Visitor Centre feeders are still hosting as many as 130 of these spectacular finches. Lesser numbers come for seed provided by people at at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the locked gate on Opeongo Road.

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.

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


February 9, 2017

Evening Grosbeak in Algonquin Park
Evening Grosbeak in Algonquin Park. Photo by Aileen Barclay.

Tomorrow, February 10, will be the second Bird Feeder Friday this winter. The Visitor Centre webcams will be aimed at the bird feeders from 8 am to 5 pm. To see large numbers of Evening Grosbeaks at the feeders, an uncommon occurrence in southern Ontario since the 1970s, watch tomorrow.

You will also be able to see a review of observations from Bird Feeder Friday on January 20th.

The most recent observation of a Northern Goshawk at Spruce Bog Boardwalk was on the 5th. A Northern Shrike was chased by Blue Jays near the Visitor Centre deck on the 4th and likely the same bird was hunting goldfinches at the parking lot feeder there the next day.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: There were no reports this week but the Spruce Bog Boardwalk birds will likely be found again soon.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was observed at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 5th.

Gray Jay: They were still regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road near the locked gate and at the Logging Museum parking lot.

Boreal Chickadee: At least one continued to be seen regularly near the start of Spruce Bog Boardwalk and around the suet feeder there. Another individual was found at Mew Lake Campground.

Winter Finches

White-winged Crossbills in Algonquin Park
Male White-winged Crossbills in Algonquin Park. Bottom bird is an immature male. Photo by Mike Norton.

Pine Grosbeak: A few were seen along Highway 60. One was at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on several days.

Purple Finch: Four males were reported with some siskins at km 20 on the 4th.

Red Crossbill: Most sightings were again of only one to three birds, but were widespread. There were twenty near Lake of Two Rivers on the 6th.

White-winged Crossbill: This crossbill was also usually seen in fairly small numbers, but sightings were regular. High numbers were about 20.

Common Redpoll: Sightings of very small numbers continued. On the 5th, there were reports of two on Bat Lake Trail and five on Mizzy Lake Trail.

Pine Siskin: A gradual increase may be occurring. There were 25 at km 10 on the 3rd and 30 on Mizzy Lake Trail on the 4th. However, most reports involved small numbers.

American Goldfinch: Up to 120 continued at the Visitor Centre feeders daily.

Evening Grosbeak: The Visitor Centre feeders attracted at least 100 every day. Small groups are still coming for bird seed left at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the locked gate on Opeongo Road, as well.

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.

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


February 2, 2017

Great opportunities to see, enjoy and photograph winter birds continued in Algonquin Park this week.

Ruffed Grouse were seen regularly along the Visitor Centre driveway, and the female Wild Turkey is still coming daily to the parking lot feeder there.

A Northern Shrike, perhaps the bird at Lookout Trail last week, was seen at the Big Pines Trail parking lot on January 29 and near the Visitor Centre feeders on February 1.

Boreal Chickadee in Algonquin Park
Boreal Chickadee at Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Photo by John King. (click to enlarge)

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: One was observed in the black spruce along northern Opeongo Road on the 27th. One or two were regularly found near the start of Spruce Bog Boardwalk until the 29th, before disappearing back into the woodwork in typical Spruce Grouse fashion later in the week.

Black-backed Woodpecker: A male was heard tapping, seen and photographed back of the MOLOK refuse containers site in Mew Lake Campground on the 28th and 29th. Another male was near the locked gate on Opeongo Road on the 30th.

Gray Jay: They continue to be regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road near the locked gate and at the Logging Museum parking lot.

Boreal Chickadee: One provided great views, and a life bird for some, all this week on Spruce Bog Boardwalk. It was seen at the entrance where people are leaving bird seed on the railing and along the trail to the area of the suet feeder at the register box. One of these chickadees was also found at Mew Lake Campground where it was reported feeding in spruce with White-winged Crossbills on the 29th.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: Several were still coming for green ash keys at Lookout Trail parking lot this week, and were best viewed from the vehicle since they tended to fly when people got out to look at them. One or two were also reported from Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Mew Lake Campground on single days.

Purple Finch: Two were reported getting grit on Highway 60 near Lake of Two Rivers on the 31st. This species continues to be very scarce here this winter.

Red Crossbill: Reports were of one to three birds at various locations along Highway 60 and Opeongo Road, the same as last week.

White-winged Crossbill: Most observations were of ten or fewer individuals. A total of 60 was reported from Opeongo Road on the 28th. They were seen regularly at Mew Lake Campground and Spruce Bog Boardwalk this week.

Common Redpoll: This finch is present but in low numbers. Up to seven were noted along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 28th and 29th, and five were reported along Highway 60 between Mew Lake Campground and the Visitor Centre on the 31st.

Pine Siskin: One was observed at the Visitor Centre on the 29th, but the species has been seen very infrequently this winter. A sighting of 60 with ten American Goldfinches getting grit on Highway 60 near Lake of Two Rivers on February 1 was therefore unusual.

American Goldfinch: Numbers at the Visitor Centre ranged from about 70 to 150 each day. They are also being seen on Highway 60 across the Park, and at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the Opeongo Road locked gate.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 140 were reported at the Visitor Centre each day this week, and small groups are still coming for bird seed left at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the locked gate on Opeongo Road.

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.

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


January 26, 2017

Lots of birders and lots of birds for them to see this week, with more pleasant temperatures as well.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: Observers were seeing a total of two (and sometimes three) from near the parking lot to the suet feeder on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the weekend.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the black spruce sections of Opeongo Road. A female was at the parking lot near the locked gate on Opeongo Road today.

Gray Jay: They continue to be regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road near the locked gate and at the Logging Museum parking lot.

Boreal Chickadee: One or two were noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk near the suet feeder and one was along Opeongo Road north of the locked gate. An individual at Spruce Bog Boardwalk today was located by its vocalizing.

Pine Grosbeak in Algonquin Park
Male Pine Grosbeak

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: One was observed along Opeongo Road on January 20. About eight feeding on green ash keys at Lookout Trail entrance were seen by many on the 22nd and 23rd. A dozen there this afternoon attracted a Northern Shrike.

Purple Finch: One was at the Visitor Centre on the 21st.

Red Crossbill: Small groups were seen at several locations along Highway 60 and on Opeongo Road.

White-winged Crossbill: Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk produced small numbers of this crossbill all week. Some were at Bat Lake Trail as well.

Common Redpoll: One was seen and photographed at the Visitor Centre all week. A few of these redpolls were along Opeongo Road on the 21st.

Pine Siskin: One to three were observed at the Visitor Centre regularly.

American Goldfinch: About 40 to 75 were at the Visitor Centre this week.

Evening Grosbeak: Daily numbers reported at the Visitor Centre ranged from 65 to 150 this week. A few continue to be attracted to sunflower seed left by visitors at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the Opeongo Road locked gate also.

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.

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


January 19, 2017

Evening Grosbeak in Algonquin Park
Evening Grosbeak in Algonquin Park

Tomorrow, January 20, will be the first of three Bird Feeder Fridays this winter. Others will occur on February 10 and 24. The Visitor Centre webcam will be aimed at the bird feeders from 8 am to sunset.

Yesterday, the Sunday Creek Bog moose carcass attracted two wolves near dawn and later a Bald Eagle (briefly).

The female Wild Turkey continued to come to the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: The banded male and another male were photographed in a large spruce at the first short section of boardwalk on Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 15th. This confirmed that the Spruce Grouse taken at the trail by a Northern Goshawk on January 1 was not the banded individual that is now likely entering its tenth year.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Two were observed along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 14th.

Gray Jay: They continue to be regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road near the locked gate and at the Logging Museum parking lot.

Boreal Chickadee: One posed for photos at point blank range near the register box and suet feeder of Spruce Bog Boardwalk and a probable second individual was seen near the trail parking lot on most days this week.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: A few were noted along Highway 60, including at km 28 and km 36. Pine Grosbeaks had apparently eaten all the green ash seeds at Mew Lake Campground entrance by the 15th.

Purple Finch: Single birds at km 28.5 on the 13th and photographed at the Western Uplands Backpacking Trail entrance on the 14th were the first of this species reported since December 18.

Red Crossbill: Seen in small numbers on Highway 60. Other locations were Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, and in flight at the Visitor Centre.

White-winged Crossbill: Seen in small numbers on Highway 60. In mostly small groups, it was also found on Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Bat Lake Trail.

Common Redpoll: Two or three were regular at the Visitor Centre feeders on most days this week.

Pine Siskin: From one to six were observed at the Visitor Centre feeders all week. A flock of 24 was seen on Highway 60 near km 43 and 15 were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 15th.

American Goldfinch: About 50 to 80 were regular at the Visitor Centre feeders this week. Other flocks were at Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and the West Gate.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 150 are still coming daily, especially in early morning, to the Visitor Centre feeders. Small numbers continue to be attracted to sunflower seed left by visitors at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the Opeongo Road locked gate as well.

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.

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


January 16, 2017

The road-killed Moose placed in the Sunday Creek valley, off the Visitor Centre viewing deck, has been attracting a variety of birds and mammals. Sightings have included: Algonquin (Eastern) Wolves (briefly on January 8), Fisher (January 14 and 15), American Marten (January 14), Red Fox (most days), Common Ravens (daily) and Bald Eagle (January 13).

Yesterday, a pack of wolves was heard howling in the valley and a single wolf was seen on nearby Fork Lake, and two Fishers and a fox were frequently coming to the carcass. Already today, a Fisher has been feeding on the carcass and chasing two ravens away from it.

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.

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


January 12, 2017

A road-killed moose has been placed in the Sunday Creek Bog again this year. It can be seen from the Visitor Centre viewing deck, especially with the telescope provided there. The carcass had not attracted the expected birds and mammals by today, but that may change soon.

The female Wild Turkey continued to be reported irregularly at the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder.

Bohemian Waxwing in Algonquin Park
Bohemian Waxwing in Algonquin Park

A juvenile Bald Eagle over Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 7th and an adult near the Visitor Centre on the 11th were both photographed. Wolf kills are an important food source for wintering eagles in Algonquin.

Twelve Bohemian Waxwings were observed at Track and Tower Trail on the 7th.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: A male was photographed past the long boardwalk near the kettle bog section of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on the 7th.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Look for this woodpecker on conifers with bark removed. Listen for the relatively quiet tapping as they scale off bark to feed on wood-boring beetle larvae. Check black spruce, balsam and tamarack on Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road north of the locked gate.

Gray Jay: They continue to be regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road near the locked gate.

Boreal Chickadee: No reports this week. Look for them and listen for their distinctive calls along Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road north of the locked gate.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: Some were still being seen feeding on green ash seeds near Mew Lake Campground entrance this week. Others were noted on Highway 60 at various locations.

Red Crossbill: Sightings occurred on Peck Lake Trail, Lookout Trail and Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Small numbers were regularly reported getting sand and/or salt on Highway 60 also.

White-winged Crossbill: It was reported from Spruce Bog Boardwalk on three days this week, and others were observed on Highway 60.

Common Redpoll: Twelve were noted on Bat Lake Trail on the 5th.

Pine Siskin: A single bird was observed regularly with goldfinches at the Visitor Centre. Watch for them on Highway 60. A flock of 40 on the road was photographed near Peck Lake Trail on the 7th.

American Goldfinch: As many as 40 were regular at the Visitor Centre this week.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 150 are still coming daily, especially in early morning, to the Visitor Centre. Small numbers are also being attracted to sunflower seed left by visitors at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the Opeongo Road locked gate.

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.

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


January 5, 2017

A Northern Goshawk carrying a Spruce Grouse was seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 1st. The grouse could have been the banded male that is at least nine years old. Check any male grouse seen there for a greenish-blue band on the left leg.

Bohemian Waxwings are still being seen occasionally, including four photographed at the Visitor Centre on January 2nd.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: Observed during the week at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Black-backed Woodpecker: One was reported on three days this week at Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

Gray Jay: Continue to be regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road near the locked gate.

Boreal Chickadee: This species has been difficult to find this week, with only six reported by the 76 observers on the December 30th Christmas Bird Count. One was observed along Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 4th.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: Check the Green Ash trees near the entrance to Mew Lake Campground where a few continue to feed on the abundant samaras. Some have been reported along Highway 60 as well.

Red Crossbill: Small numbers are being observed regularly, often feeding on the seeds of Black Spruce cones. Also watch for them on Highway 60 seeking sand and salt.

White-winged Crossbill: This crossbill is being seen daily at various locations along Highway 60 and on the trails.

Common Redpoll: A few have started to appear in the Park. Watch for them on Highway 60. Some were observed in siskin flocks.

Hoary Redpoll: A bird of the "Southern" subspecies was noted in a flock of 45 siskins and two Common Redpolls getting grit off Highway 60 near Lake of Two Rivers on January 2nd.

Pine Siskin: After just six were reported on the December 30th Christmas Bird Count, flocks of 30 to 50 birds were being seen along Highway 60 later in the week.

American Goldfinch: Up to 30 came to the Visitor Centre each day.

Evening Grosbeak: As many as 175 were counted at the Visitor Centre, where they continue to be most numerous in the morning. Sunflower seed put out by visitors at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and near the Opeongo Road locked gate attracted small flocks as well.

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.

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


December 30, 2016

See the results of the 43rd Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count held on December 30, 2016.


December 29, 2016

The Visitor Centre will be open daily during the period of December 27 to January 8, from 9:00am to 5:00pm. The feeders there are continuing to attract numerous birds.

The female Wild Turkey is still coming to the Visitor Centre parking lot feeder, but the immature male Red-winged Blackbird was last reported at the feeders on December 28.

Moose continue to be observed regularly along Highway 60. Be careful driving, especially at night.

Winter Finches

Fewer birders resulted in fewer reports this week, but there still seems to be fairly good variety of species.

Pine Grosbeak: A few were reported along Highway 60.

Red Crossbill: Watch for them on Highway 60 seeking sand and salt. For example, five flocks were seen between the West Gate and Smoke Lake on Christmas Day, with the largest containing about 25 birds.

White-winged Crossbill: Small flocks continue to be observed, including three individuals at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on December 23.

American Goldfinch: Up to 50 came to the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

Evening Grosbeak: As many as 140 were counted at the Visitor Centre feeders. They are most numerous early in the morning.

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 22, 2016

Spruce Grouse in Algonquin Park
Male Spruce Grouse in Algonquin Park

The Visitor Centre (exhibits and restaurant) at km 43 will be closed from December 24 to 26, and then open daily from December 27 to January 8, 9:00am to 5:00pm. Good numbers of birds are frequenting its feeders and include a female Wild Turkey and an immature male Red-winged Blackbird. An American Marten was attracted to the black sunflower seed and suet one day.

Three adult male Spruce Grouse in a spruce near the entrance of Spruce Bog Boardwalk on December 21 included one with a greenish-blue band on its left leg. This bird was banded there in May 2009 when it was at least one year old, making it probably nine or more years of age now. The Birds of North America (BNA) notes that Spruce Grouse have been known to live to at least 13 years. Most have a much shorter lifespan.

Bohemian Waxwings are still being seen occasionally, including three calling in flight at the Visitor Centre on December 21.

Moose are being observed regularly along Highway 60. Be careful driving, especially at night.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: A couple of small groups were observed on Highway 60.

Purple Finch: Five were reported along Highway 60 on December 18.

Red Crossbill: Eight were seen along Highway 60 on the 18th.

White-winged Crossbill: Small flocks continue to be observed.

Pine Siskin: Six were along Highway 60 on the 18th, and nine were at the Visitor Centre on the 22nd.

American Goldfinch: Flocks, some large, are being noted on Highway 60. There were seventy at the Visitor Centre on the 22nd.

Evening Grosbeak: About 100 were coming to the Visitor Centre on some days this week, mainly from early to mid morning.

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 16, 2016

Relatively little change in the birds this week, but lots more snow, especially on Wednesday.

Boreal Specialties

Try Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Black Spruce areas along Opeongo Road (gated at Cameron Lake Road junction) for Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay and Boreal Chickadee.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: Small groups were reported on Highway 60 at km 18 and at Costello Picnic Area on the 9th.

White-winged Crossbill: Small flocks continue to be seen on Highway 60.

American Goldfinch: A few are coming to the Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 75 were seen at the Visitor Centre feeders this week.

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 8, 2016

Evening Grosbeak in Algonquin Park
Pine Grosbeak in Algonquin Park

Algonquin Park was transformed into a beautiful winter landscape this week, with lots of snow on the ground. Only the larger lakes remain open.

A Short-eared Owl being chased by a Common Raven was photographed at the Old Airfield on December 4. Our previous latest fall date for this very rare migrant owl in Algonquin was November 6.

Twenty Bohemian Waxwings perched briefly in trees near the Visitor Centre feeders on December 3. These waxwings appear to be attracted to the sounds of birds at the feeders but then quickly move on when there is nothing there for them to eat.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: There was a report from the Mizzy Lake Trail .

Black-backed Woodpecker: Check all Black Spruce areas.

Gray Jay: Regular at Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road (gated at Cameron Lake Road junction).

Boreal Chickadee: The best bet still seems to be the Mizzy Lake Trail, where the species was reported this week.

Winter Finches

Pine Grosbeak: Seven were observed eating ash keys on Opeongo Road on December 3.

Purple Finch: One or two appeared irregularly at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Red Crossbill: Occasional small flocks continued to be seen this week.

White-winged Crossbill: Twenty-five were observed in black spruce areas along the Mizzy Lake Trail on December 3.

Common Redpoll: No reports in the Highway 60 Corridor, despite the sighting of large numbers last week on the Park's East Side.

Pine Siskin: No reports.

American Goldfinch: Up to a dozen came to the Visitor Centre feeders.

Evening Grosbeak: Numbers peaked at 64 birds at the Visitor Centre feeders, providing excellent opportunities to see and photograph these large and colourful finches.

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 1, 2016

There is relatively little change in the birding situation compared with last week, but mild temperatures and rain have greatly reduced the snow cover that we had.

Boreal Specialties

Spruce Grouse: No reports. Try the Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Reported at the old Sims Pit section of Arowhon Road and at the rail bed chain gate nearby.

Gray Jay: Regular at Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road (gated at Cameron Lake Road junction).

Boreal Chickadee: No reports. Likely due to fewer observers now and possibly less vocal chickadees. Try the same areas as for Gray Jays.

Winter Finches

Finch numbers remain low but species diversity is not bad for a poor cone crop year.

Pine Grosbeak: One report of six at Costello Picnic Area on Opeongo Road. So there are a few around.

Purple Finch: One at the Visitor Centre feeders was last seen on November 27.

Red Crossbill: Fairly regular sightings of small groups on Highway 60 pavement and shoulder, with a couple of larger flocks of 25-30 birds.

White-winged Crossbill: Small groups of this crossbill continue to be seen. A flock of 35 photographed on the 27th at Spruce Bog Boardwalk were at black spruce cones.

Common Redpoll: The first report here this fall involved an estimated 200 birds noted by an experienced observer in the Lake Travers area of the Park's East Side (accessible from the Pembroke area) between dawn and dusk on the 26th. Birders should be looking and listening for redpolls along Highway 60.

Pine Siskin: No reports.

American Goldfinch: The Visitor Centre feeders continue to attract about 20 each day, and others are along the Highway 60.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 50 individuals are now coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeders.

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 24, 2016

Snow and ice (on ponds and smaller lakes) have arrived in Algonquin Park.

The bird feeders are now operational at the Visitor Centre.

Gray Jay in Algonquin Park
Gray Jays in Algonquin Park

Boreal Specialties

Some birders continue to have success in finding Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay and Boreal Chickadee along the rail bed section of the Mizzy Lake Trail (accessible via Arowhon Road). Gray Jays are also regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road (from the locked gate northward, accessible on foot).

Winter Finches

Although finch numbers are limited in Algonquin so far, there is good species diversity.

Pine Grosbeak: With the arrival of persistent snow and highway salting operations, a few have been observed along the road in recent days.

Purple Finch: One has been coming to the Visitor Centre feeders. There are probably a few others out there as well.

Red Crossbill: They are fairly scarce but observed occasionally. Typical sightings involve one to six birds, although one flock of 25 was reported.

White-winged Crossbill: This crossbill is being seen more regularly than the Red Crossbill. Flocks of up to 20 birds have been reported, with some picking at salty snow along the highway shoulder. The Mizzy Lake Trail rail bed and Opeongo Road are also good locations to look for them.

Pine Siskin: No reports from the Park this week, but a single bird at a feeder near Oxtongue Lake west of Algonquin may indicate the presence of a few.

American Goldfinch: The Visitor Centre feeders are attracting about 20 each day, and others are along the highway.

Evening Grosbeak: Up to 23 individuals came daily to the Visitor Centre feeders this week. They are less frequently seen there after mid-morning.

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 10, 2016

An update of recent bird sightings in Algonquin Park.

Boreal Specialties

Birders have had some recent success in finding Spruce Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay and Boreal Chickadee along the rail bed section of the Mizzy Lake Trail. Gray Jays are also regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road north of the second bridge.

Bohemian Waxwing

There have been three reports (October 20 to November 6) of small numbers apparently on the move. There is little here for this species to feed on except for some lingering Winterberry (Ilex) and tree buds.

Winter Finches

Cone crops are poor except for Eastern White Cedar.

Pine Grosbeak: A single bird along the Mizzy Lake Trail on November 6 was the first and only record to date.

Purple Finch: Most have left.

Red Crossbill: A few reports of small numbers.

White-winged Crossbill: Quite a few reports, usually involving small numbers of flyovers but also some flocks of 30 to 50 birds. Some seen on Black Spruce and Tamarack. Most sightings have come from Mizzy Lake Trail and Opeongo Road. Probably on the move in search of better cone crops.

Pine Siskin: No reports during the late October-early November period.

American Goldfinch: Most have left.

Evening Grosbeak: Small numbers (usually one to five birds) have been reported at various locations.

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.