Friday, February 18, 2011

Algonquin Park Birding Report: 17 February 2011

Here is a copy of the:  Algonquin Park Birding Report: 17 February 2011

The Spruce Bog Suet Feeder effect (like the Patagonia Picnic Table effect before many of you were born!) resulted in more observations this week.

Many people had great looks and photo opportunities as up to 3 or 4 Boreal Chickadees came fairly regularly to the suet at Spruce Bog Boardwalk. To see a short video clip of one of these chickadees feeding on a black sunflower seed visit:

Ruffed Grouse: One was in the Spruce Bog Boardwalk parking lot today.

A male Spruce Grouse was often reported near the suet feeder at Spruce Bog

Boardwalk this week. Two males displayed near two females there today, likely inspired by the mild temperatures.

There was a Wild Turkey along Highway 60 near Lake of Two Rivers on February 14, showing once again that turkeys can survive an Algonquin winter largely un-aided by people in range never occupied by the species historically.

Those who have experienced enough winter by now may be heartened to learn that some Gray Jays started building nests this week. People were seeing Gray Jays regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road.

Pine Grosbeak: One was flying over near the Old Airfield today.

Red Crossbill: Six were reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 11 and a single flew over Opeongo Road at Cameron Lake Road on February 12. Two were heard calling north of km 3 on Highway 60 today.

White-winged Crossbill: A small flock was heard over Spruce Bog Boardwalk today.

Common Redpoll: At least 50 are coming daily to the Visitor Centre feeders now.

Hoary Redpoll: One (and perhaps two) were briefly at the Visitor Centre feeders on February 12. A single was with 40 Common Redpolls coming to seed provided on Opeongo Road north of the bridge today.

American Goldfinch: One was with the Common Redpolls at the Visitor Centre feeders today. This species has not been seen there recently.

Evening Grosbeak: A flock of 20-30 landed briefly in the trees near the suet feeder at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 13.

American Marten: Two or three have been coming to the suet feeder at Spruce Bog Boardwalk fairly regularly. One was getting sunflower seed on Opeongo Road on February 13.

River Otter: One was along Costello Creek on Opeongo Road on February 13.

Good birding this week. Please let us know what you see so we can enter your sightings in our Visitor Centre records.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)
Dwight, ON

Algonquin Park is three hours north of Toronto, via Highways 400, 11 and 60. Follow the signs, which start in Toronto on Highway 400.

From Ottawa, take Highway 17 to Renfrew, then follow Highway 60 to the park.

Kilometre markers along Highway 60 in the Park go from the West Gate (km 0) to near the East Gate (km 56). Get your park permit and the park tabloid (with a map of birding locations mentioned here) at the gates.

The Visitor Centre at km 43 has recent bird sightings, feeders, and information. The centre and restaurant are open weekends from 10 am to 4 pm. During the week, birders may be able to enter the centre by the service entrance (far right as you face the building) to view the feeders. Contact staff for permission.

Algonquin Park birding updates and information are available at: