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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.


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

Evening Grosbeak in Algonquin Park
Evening Grosbeak in Algonquin Park

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.

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Special regulations for Algonquin's special fishery.