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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.


Algonqin Park Wild Bird Cam - Live Stream!

The Friends of Algonquin Park is offering live streaming views of the feeders at the Visitor Centre daily, during both the day and night. Wildlife monitoring activities are expected to continue at the feeders until March 31, but warmer weather conditions may end operations sooner. Tune in to see what is active at the Algonquin Park Wild Bird Cam.


March 12, 2020

It was a beautiful almost-spring day today. All still water remains ice-covered and snow is deep in the woods, but patches of bare ground are slowly expanding on south-facing slopes along Highway 60. New migrants this week included European Starling (March 6), Herring Gull (March 8) and Canada Goose (March 9). Canada Jay researchers had found nests on 14 territories by today and the first female began incubating on March 4. A Northern Goshawk chased by two Common Ravens on Opeongo Road (March 11) was a notable sighting.

Male Pine Grosbeak in Algonquin Park

Image: Male Pine Grosbeak in Algonquin Park. Photo by Michael Runtz.

Boreal Species

Winter Finches

  • Evening Grosbeak: from 10 to 30 were at the Visitor Centre feeders daily, and one or two were reported on Opeongo Road.
  • Pine Grosbeak: two were noted on Opeongo Road (March 7) and three were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (March 8).
  • Purple Finch: small flocks continue to be seen along Highway 60 and at the Visitor Centre.
  • Red Crossbill: continue to be widespread in small numbers.
  • White-winged Crossbill: widely observed in moderate numbers, with frequent singing males.
  • Pine Siskin: seemed a little more numerous this week and singing was often reported; nest-building is likely underway.
  • American Goldfinch: observed frequently along Highway 60 and up to 23 at the Visitor Centre.

Visitor Centre

Additional birds seen regularly at the Visitor Centre included:

  • Wild Turkey (6),
  • Ruffed Grouse (1),
  • American Tree Sparrow (8),
  • Dark-eyed Junco (2) and
  • the now-singing Red-winged Blackbird (first year male present since January 8).

The Friends of Algonquin Park is offering live streaming views of the feeders at the Visitor Centre daily, during both the day and night. Wildlife monitoring activities are expected to continue at the feeders until March 31, but warmer weather conditions may end operations sooner. Tune in to see what is active at the Algonquin Park Wild Bird Cam.

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).


March 5, 2020

Birders enjoyed the ongoing good variety and numbers of winter finches this week. Purple Finch, Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill and Pine Siskin were reported in song. Canada Jay researchers had found 12 nests under construction by today. Spruce Grouse continued to feed and roost in spruce and balsam near the entrance of Spruce Bog Boardwalk. Research has shown that Spruce Grouse return to feed and roost in conifers that have needles with a measurably higher nutrient content.

Male Spruce Grouse feeding on needles in Algonquin Park

Image: Male Spruce Grouse feeding on needles in Algonquin Park. Photo by Dave Milsom.

Boreal Species

Winter Finches

Visitor Centre

Additional birds seen regularly at the Visitor Centre included:

  • Wild Turkey (5),
  • Ruffed Grouse (1),
  • American Tree Sparrow (6),
  • Dark-eyed Junco (5) and
  • Red-winged Blackbird (first year male present since January 8).

The Friends of Algonquin Park is offering live streaming views of the feeders at the Visitor Centre daily, during both the day and night. Wildlife monitoring activities are expected to continue at the feeders until March 31, but warmer weather conditions may end operations sooner. Tune in to see what is active at the Algonquin Park Wild Bird Cam.

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 27, 2020

This was a week of contrasts: early spring-like sunny and mild conditions (February 23-25) followed by a cold and windy blizzard (February 27). Current reported snow depth is 87 centimetres (34 inches). Signs of “pre-spring” included: a few Wild Turkeys away from feeders along the Highway 60 edge; a male Ruffed Grouse displaying to a female; a Great Horned Owl and Northern Saw-whet Owls (at three locations) calling (February 24); first nest-building by Canada Jays (February 21); several migrant American Crows (February 23); first Brown Creeper heard singing (February 23; record early date by five days); and the first Eastern Chipmunk [mammal] (February 23).

Pine Siskin

Image: Pine Siskin. Photo by Mike McEvoy.

Algonquin Park’s “East Side”

Two groups of birders reported from the conifer-dominated habitat along Barron Canyon Road to Lake Travers this week, an area infrequently heard from in winter. Sightings included:

  • a male Spruce Grouse in the jack pine flats near Lake Travers;
  • a Bald Eagle at Lake Travers;
  • a Canada Jay collecting cattail fluff for nest-lining;
  • an estimated total of 200 Red Crossbills of two call types, with many in song;
  • smaller numbers of White-winged Crossbills, also in song;
  • a total of 110 Pine Siskins, many in song; and
  • 68 American Goldfinches.

Caution: Log hauling is underway on along the Barron Canyon Road and the road surface is often heavily rutted and soft by afternoon.

Unusual at this Time in Algonquin Park

  • Mourning Dove: one reported in Mew Lake Campground (February 23; previous earliest spring date: Mar 5)

Boreal Species

Winter Finches

Visitor Centre

Additional birds seen regularly at the Visitor Centre included:

  • Wild Turkey (6),
  • Ruffed Grouse (1),
  • American Tree Sparrow (up to 6),
  • Dark-eyed Junco (up to 6) and
  • Red-winged Blackbird (first year male present since Jan 8).

The Friends of Algonquin Park is offering live streaming views of the feeders at the Visitor Centre daily, during both the day and night. Wildlife monitoring activities are expected to continue at the feeders until March 31, but warmer weather conditions may end operations sooner. Tune in to see what is active at the Algonquin Park Wild Bird Cam.

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 22, 2020

There were lots of birders in Algonquin Park this week and they were treated to a continuing good variety of winter finches. The Visitor Centre feeders and parking lot remain productive. At least 100 people saw Spruce Grouse on Saturday, including those on the Winter in the Wild Festival morning and afternoon guided walks at Spruce Bog Boardwalk. For many, this was a “life bird”.

Male Spruce Grouse in Algonquin Park

Image: Male Spruce Grouse in Algonquin Park. Photo by Jim Richards.

Boreal Species

  • Spruce Grouse: a female and a male were observed feeding high in spruce and balsam fir trees near the first short boardwalk at the Spruce Bog Boardwalk entrance all week. One was also noted high in spruce south of the kettle bog section of that trail on February 17.
  • Black-backed Woodpecker: a male was photographed near the winter gate on Opeongo Road and one was seen at the Logging Museum, both on February 20.
  • Canada Jay: continued to be seen regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road and the Logging Museum Trail.
  • Boreal Chickadee: none reported since late December.

Winter Finches

  • Evening Grosbeak: up to 20 daily at the Visitor Centre feeders, mostly in the morning.
  • Pine Grosbeak: one was reported on Opeongo Road on February 17.
  • Purple Finch: widespread in low numbers; regular at the Visitor Centre.
  • Red Crossbill: widespread observations continue; seen daily at the Visitor Centre.
  • White-winged Crossbill: widespread in relatively small numbers; frequently heard singing as nesting appears to be in progress.
  • Pine Siskin: widespread along Highway 60 and regular at the Visitor Centre, with up to 20 reported there this week.
  • American Goldfinch: widespread in low numbers along Highway 60; up to 20 daily at the Visitor Centre.

Visitor Centre

Additional birds seen regularly at the Visitor Centre included:

  • Ruffed Grouse (1),
  • American Tree Sparrow (up to 7),
  • Dark-eyed Junco (up to 7)
  • Red-winged Blackbird (first year male present since January 8).

Tree Sparrows and Juncos are usually not present in Algonquin Park during winter but do occur when there are large tree seed crops and lower than normal early winter snow depth, as in this winter. Fallen tree seeds provide food for these two species.

The Friends of Algonquin Park is offering live streaming views of the feeders at the Visitor Centre daily, during both the day and night. Wildlife monitoring activities are expected to continue at the feeders until March 31, but warmer weather conditions may end operations sooner. Tune in to see what is active at the Algonquin Park Wild Bird Cam.

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 13, 2020

The Opeongo Road is being plowed again as far as the winter gate to aid in long-term Canada Jay research in Algonquin Park. Snowplowing is made possible through the support of the University of Guelph and The Friends of Algonquin Park. If you use this road, please consider supporting Canada Jay research by making a tax-deductible donation to The Friends of Algonquin Park.

Snowplowing the Opeongo Road

Image: Snowplowing the Opeongo Road on February 12, 2020.

The Friends of Algonquin Park is now offering live streaming views of the feeders at the Visitor Centre daily, during both the day and night. Wildlife monitoring activities, via the Algonquin Park Wild Bird Cam, are expected to continue at the feeders until March 31, but warmer weather conditions may end operations sooner.

Algonquin Park Wild Bird Cam

Image: Live streaming view provided by the Algonquin Park Wild Bird Cam.

As part of the Winter in the Wild Festival in Algonquin Park on February 15, 2020 naturalist-guided Winter Bird Walks will occur at Spruce Bog Boardwalk in the morning (10:00 to 11:30am) and afternoon (2:30 to 4pm), free with your Daily Vehicle or Camping Permit.

Boreal Species

Winter Finches

  • Evening Grosbeak: from 12 to 26 daily at the Visitor Centre feeders, mostly in the morning.
  • Pine Grosbeak: one was reported at an unspecified location along Highway 60 on February 7.
  • Purple Finch: widespread in low numbers, but there were 39 counted at the Visitor Centre and along its entrance road on February 10.
  • Red Crossbill: widespread observations of small numbers.
  • White-winged Crossbill: widespread in low numbers; seventeen counted along the Visitor Centre entrance road on February 8.
  • Pine Siskin: widespread along Highway 60 and regular at the Visitor Centre, with up to 18 reported there this week.
  • American Goldfinch: widespread in low numbers along Highway 60, but up to 40 at the Visitor Centre on February 10.

Visitor Centre

Additional birds seen regularly at the Visitor Centre feeders included:

  • Wild Turkey (6),
  • Ruffed Grouse (1),
  • American Tree Sparrow (7),
  • Dark-eyed Junco (6) and
  • Red-winged Blackbird (first year male present since January 8).

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 6, 2020

This week featured milder temperatures and lots of birders. Spruce Grouse were observed and photographed daily and there were apparently increasing numbers of some winter finches.

Unusual at this Time in Algonquin Park

  • Hooded Merganser: a pair photographed on the Oxtongue River at Western Uplands Backpacking Trail entrance (km 3) on February 1 were likely wintering birds on the mostly open river as migrants usually arrive in March.
  • American Crow: two at Mew Lake Campground on February 4 had probably moved into Algonquin Park from a nearby wintering area.

Boreal Species

Common Redpoll in Algonquin Park

Image: Common Redpoll. Photo by Mike McEvoy.

Winter Finches

  • Evening Grosbeak: up to 20 daily at the Visitor Centre feeders, mostly in the morning.
  • Purple Finch: up to 20 at the Visitor Centre feeders every day and good numbers seen regularly along Highway 60.
  • Common Redpoll: perhaps indicative of redpolls moving southward and becoming more numerous during the remainder of this winter, five were at the Visitor Centre on January 31 and three were noted near the East Gate on February 4.
  • Red Crossbill: continue to be widespread, usually seen in small numbers but several reports of larger totals this week. Audio recordings on February 4 were confirmed as the small-billed, Western Hemlock, Type 3 by Matt Young (Cornell)
  • White-winged Crossbill: widespread in low numbers, but either increasing or becoming more conspicuous. Several at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on February 4 were noted in song and carrying nest material. Now is the winter breeding period (January to March) described by Benkman as associated with large white spruce cone crops.
  • Pine Siskin: widespread along the Highway 60 Corridor and regular at the Visitor Centre, with a high number of 65 reported there this week.
  • American Goldfinch: widespread in low numbers along Highway 60, but up to 40 at the Visitor Centre feeders.

Visitor Centre

Additional birds seen daily at the Visitor Centre feeders included:

  • Ruffed Grouse (1),
  • American Tree Sparrow (5),
  • Dark-eyed Junco (6) and
  • Red-winged Blackbird (first year male present since January 8).

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 1, 2020

At roughly the middle of official winter there are now 60 cm of snow on the ground in Algonquin Park, compared to 72 cm at this time last year. However, the interpretive trails are packed down and easily accessible. Numerous birders reported most of the Park’s specialty boreal species, and moderate numbers but a good variety of winter finches. The Visitor Centre at km 43 on Highway 60 continues to be a good location for viewing and photographing finches, at the feeders, on the driveway and in the parking lot.

Unusual for Algonquin

  • Bohemian Waxwing: two eating berries along the Logging Museum Trail on January 30.
  • American Crow: one reported along Highway 60 near the Outdoor Theatre on January 24. Crows are very infrequent during winter in the Park.

Boreal Species

Winter Finches

  • Evening Grosbeak: up to 25, but usually 15 or fewer, daily at the Visitor Centre feeders, mostly in the morning. No reports received from any other locations.
  • Pine Grosbeak: reports of four at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (Jan 29) and two on Opeongo Road and two at the Logging Museum (January 30).
  • Purple Finch: seen regularly along Highway 60 and up to 50 at the Visitor Centre feeders.
  • Common Redpoll: a single bird calling in flight was reported over Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 26.
  • Red Crossbill: continue to be widespread in small numbers. Good views of birds in Visitor Centre parking lot and near feeders.
  • White-winged Crossbill: widespread in low numbers, with several in song indicating breeding.
  • Pine Siskin: widespread in small numbers and regular at the Visitor Centre.
  • American Goldfinch: widespread in low numbers along Highway 60, and at the Visitor Centre.

Visitor Centre

Additional birds seen daily at the Visitor Centre feeders included:

  • Wild Turkey (7),
  • Ruffed Grouse (1),
  • American Tree Sparrow (6),
  • Dark-eyed Junco (6) and
  • Red-winged Blackbird (first year male present since January 8).

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 25, 2020

Black-backed Woodpecker

Image: Black-backed Woodpecker in Algonquin Park. Photo by Michael Runtz.

Boreal Species

Winter Finches

  • Evening Grosbeak: up to 25 seen daily at the Visitor Centre feeders, mostly in the morning.
  • Purple Finch: good numbers along Highway 60 and up to 50 at the Visitor Centre feeders (mostly brown-plumaged females/first year males).
  • Red Crossbill: widespread in low numbers. Seen regularly at various locations along Highway 60, and at the Visitor Centre where recordings of three on January 22 were classified as Type 10 by Matt Young (Cornell).
  • White-winged Crossbill: widespread in low numbers, with several in song and likely breeding. Reported this week at Bat Lake Trail, Old Airfield, Opeongo Road, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Trailer Sanitation Station, Cache Lake and the Visitor Centre, where 12 were present on January 23 and photographed at close range from the Viewing Deck.
  • Pine Siskin: widespread in small numbers but some larger flocks. Regular at the Visitor Centre, with 35 on January 19.
  • American Goldfinch: widespread in low numbers along Highway 60, and at the Visitor Centre.

Visitor Centre

Additional birds at the Visitor Centre feeders included:

  • Wild Turkey (7)
  • American Tree Sparrow (6)
  • Dark-eyed Junco (4)
  • Red-winged Blackbird (first year male present since Jan 8; about fourth Algonquin Park winter record).

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 18, 2020

Canada Jay in Algonquin Park

Image: Canada Jay in Algonquin Park. Photo by Ken Morrison.

Boreal Species

Winter Finches

Visitor Centre

Additional birds at the Visitor Centre feeders included:

  • Wild Turkey (7),
  • American Tree Sparrow (6),
  • Dark-eyed Junco (3) and
  • Red-winged Blackbird (male present since January 8).

An American (Pine) Marten [mammal] is coming to eat black sunflower seeds on the ground below the Visitor Centre feeders each morning, but often does not stay long.

Arowhon Road and Rock Lake Road gates are closed for the winter. Opeongo Road will not be plowed this winter, but birders can park in the lot at Highway 60 and walk the road from there.

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 11, 2020

Some of the birds observed in Algonquin Park are listed below with an emphasis on boreal (northern) species and winter finches.

Boreal Species

White-winged Crossbills in Algonquin Park

Image: Two male White-winged Crossbills in Algonquin Park. Photo by Lev Frid.

Winter Finches

Additional birds at the Visitor Centre feeders included: Wild Turkey (7), American Tree Sparrow (6), Dark-eyed Junco (1) and Red-winged Blackbird (1).

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).


Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count - December 28, 2019

Sixty-six observers undertook the 46th Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on Saturday, December 28, 2019, a beautiful winter day in Algonquin Park. For full count details see Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count Results 2019.

American Goldfinch in Algonquin Park

A record high count of 942 American Goldfinches were observed on the 46th Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count. American Goldfinch photo in Algonquin Park by Ken Morrison.


December 27, 2019

Northern Goshawk in Algonquin Park

Image: Northern Goshawk at Head Creek Marsh in Algonquin Park on December 22, 2019. Photo by Lev Frid.

This week's bird sightings include:

Winter Finches continued to be reported in low numbers but good variety. They include:

The feeders are now operating at the Visitor Centre. The Opeongo Road winter gate is closed but the road is plowed.

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 20, 2019

This week's bird sightings include:

  • Canada Jay observed on Opeongo Road and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.
  • Boreal Chickadee, the only report was one along Mizzy Lake Trail railbed on December 18.
  • No reports of Spruce Grouse or Black-backed Woodpecker this week.

Evening Grosbeaks in Algonquin Park

Image: Male Evening Grosbeaks at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre.

Finches continued to be reported in low numbers but good variety.

  • Evening Grosbeak with up to eight have been seen fairly regularly at the Visitor Centre.
  • Purple Finch seen regularly along Highway 60, Opeongo Road and at Visitor Centre (22 on Dec 13).
  • Red Crossbill observed 10 on Opeongo Road (Dec 11) and 9 at the Visitor Centre (Dec 18)
  • White-winged Crossbill: viewed in small numbers at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Visitor Centre, Opeongo Road, Arowhon Road, and Mizzy Lake Trail railbed
  • Pine Siskin seen regularly at Visitor Centre.
  • American Goldfinch seen regularly along Highway 60 and at the Visitor Centre.

The feeders are now operating at the Visitor Centre. The Opeongo Road winter gate is closed but the road is plowed.

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 8, 2019

Red Crossbill in Algonquin Park

Image: Adult male Red Crossbill in Algonquin Park. Photo by Lev Frid.

Winter Finches in Algonquin Park

Here is a brief overview of current winter finch status in Algonquin Park.

Variety: fairly good. Numbers: low so far but appear to be increasing.

  • Evening Grosbeak: up to five have been seen fairly regularly at the Visitor Centre and Spruce Bog Boardwalk recently.
  • Pine Grosbeak: four reports (1 to 8 birds), all in late November. As predicted by Ron Pittaway, this species is not expected to move south in numbers this winter.
  • Purple Finch: small flocks seen regularly along highway and at Visitor Centre.
  • Common Redpoll/Hoary Redpoll: no reports. Irruption not expected this winter.
  • Red Crossbill: small numbers fairly regular along the highway, at the Visitor Centre and along Opeongo Road.
  • White-winged Crossbill: fewer reported than Red Crossbill but numbers may be increasing.
  • Pine Siskin: seen regularly along the highway and at Visitor Centre, sometimes in flocks of up to 50.
  • American Goldfinch: seen regularly along the highway and at the Visitor Centre.

The feeders are now operating at the Visitor Centre. The Opeongo Road winter gate is closed but the road is plowed.

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).


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.