Events Calendar

Current Weather

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.


April 8, 2021

Common Loons on a partially ice covered Algonquin Park lake.

Image: Common Loons on a partially ice covered lake. Increasing open water this spring in Algonquin Park resulted in the first observation of Common Loon on April 7, 2021 (about a week earlier than average).

The warm temperatures of the last two days have accelerated the disappearance of ice in ponds and some small lakes along Highway 60. Open water is developing rapidly where rivers and creeks flow into larger lakes, as well. Bare ground is widespread now with snow and ice patches persisting primarily under dense conifers.

Boreal Species

Spruce Grouse were found at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road north of the locked gate. A Black-backed Woodpecker was on the north side of the highway near the Leaf Lake Ski Trail. Canada Jay sightings were mainly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road north of the gate.

A few Common Redpolls continued to be seen until nearly the end of the period. Hoary Redpoll sightings were of two along Opeongo Road and one at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on March 27. Red Crossbill observations were of three on Two Rivers Trail and two at Lake of Two Rivers Campground. A single Pine Siskin was at the Visitor Centre on March 26.

Spring Arrivals

First-of-spring migrants included:

  • Mallard, Hooded Merganser, Eastern Meadowlark (March 27);
  • Sandhill Crane, Winter Wren (March 30);
  • Bufflehead (March 31);
  • Eastern Phoebe (April 1);
  • Northern Saw-whet Owl (April 3);
  • Ring-necked Duck (April 4);
  • Killdeer, American Kestrel (April 6);
  • Common Loon, Northern Harrier, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (April 7); and
  • Belted Kingfisher, Northern Flicker (April 8).
The Visitor Centre is currently closed for Ontario's Provincial Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order.

Submit Your Bird Sightings

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 25, 2021

Image: American Robin in Algonquin Park. This year American Robin was first observed in Algonquin Park on March 21, 2021.

This is the “late winter-early spring” time in Algonquin Park, featuring extensive snow cover and fully ice-covered lakes and ponds but also warmer temperatures and large bare areas where the ground is exposed to the sun.

Boreal Species

There were more reports of boreal residents in this period due to more observers looking for them.

  • Spruce Grouse: were detected at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (March 13, 20 and 22) and near Head Creek Marsh along the Old Railway Bike Trail between the Old Airfield and Cache Lake (March 20).
  • Black-backed Woodpecker: singles were at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (Mar 16, 20 and 22) and at the Old Airfield parking lot (March 22).
  • Canada Jay: seen regularly at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road from the winter gate northward.
  • Boreal Chickadee: one was heard and seen at campsite 117 in Mew Lake Campground (March 20) but not observed there in searches afterward. It was the first report of this now apparently rare species, at least along Highway 60, since late February.

Winter Finches

Some finches are becoming scarcer as most individuals have departed, while others may be starting to return.

  • Pine Grosbeak: two at the Visitor Centre (March 20) were the last reported.
  • Purple Finch: singles noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and on Opeongo Road (March 20) were the first reported in the Park since late October.
  • Common Redpoll: continued to be seen, including 20 at the Old Airfield and 30 on Opeongo Road (March 22).
  • Hoary Redpoll: one was found at the Old Airfield (March 22).
  • Red Crossbill: Single flyovers were noted (March 13 and 22).
  • White-winged Crossbill: sightings were of seven on Opeongo Road (March 18) and two on Spruce Bog Boardwalk (March 20).
  • Pine Siskin: reports of five along Highway 60 (March 13) and two on Spruce Bog Boardwalk (March 20) were the first here since early December.

Spring Arrivals

First-of-spring migrants included:

  • Merlin (March 13);
  • Red-tailed Hawk (March 18);
  • American Robin (March 21);
  • Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Common Merganser, Herring Gull, Bohemian Waxwing, Lapland Longspur (first March record ever), Snow Bunting, American Tree Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Brown-headed Cowbird (March 22);
  • Mourning Dove (March 23);
  • American Woodcock, Turkey Vulture (March 24); and
  • Dark-eyed Junco (March 25).

Visiting Algonquin Park

Only the Algonquin Park Wild Bird Cam feeder is currently in operation (until March 31) at the Visitor Centre and it is best viewed via the live stream online.

The Friends of Algonquin Park Bookstore and Nature Shop in the Visitor Centre (km 43) is open daily, weekdays 9 am to 4 pm and weekends 9 am to 5 pm. However, the Visitor Centre exhibits, viewing deck, restaurant and theatre are closed. The Friends’ store provides Park information, day use and seasonal permits, wildlife sightings, books, maps and souvenirs. Free high speed Wi-Fi, courtesy of The Friends, is available during operating hours. To maintain safe physical-distancing, real-time occupancy data are available online and in-person prior to entry via a large LCD screen. As per public health COVID-19 guidelines, wearing of a face mask is required for entry.

Submit Your Bird Sightings

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 12, 2021

Two Common Goldeneyes below Tea Lake Dam in Algonquin Park on March 10, 2021

Image: Two Common Goldeneyes below Tea Lake Dam in Algonquin Park on March 10, 2021. Photo by Dawn Sherman.

There have been some signs of “pre-spring” in Algonquin Park recently, including: researchers finding the first Canada Jay nest under construction (February 21); arrival of the first American Crow (February 27); a Common Raven with nest material (February 28); the first European Starlings (March 10); and the first sightings of Canada Goose, Red-winged Blackbird and Common Grackle (March 11) [shown below]. Open water on the Oxtongue River below Tea Lake Dam (and scarce elsewhere along Highway 60) had two Common Goldeneyes (March 10) [shown above], likely overwintering on the river but perhaps early migrants. Snow depth has melted and compacted down 30 cm to an average of 34 cm today (March 12). However, the Highway 60 walking trails are well-trodden and accessible. Bird reports have been limited due to fewer observers than normal.

  • Spruce Grouse: one was seen at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (March 3).
  • Black-back Woodpecker: Single birds were reported at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road (February 28) and at the Highland Backpacking Trail parking lot (March 10).
  • Canada Jay: Reports have been regular at Spruce Bog Boardwalk and along Opeongo Road from the winter gate northward.
  • Boreal Chickadee: Perhaps the one first seen during mid-December in conifers near the bike trail bridge on the south side of the Old Airfield was reported there (February 27).

There have been recent reports of just four winter finch species, reflecting this non-cone winter in Algonquin.

  • Pine Grosbeak: Small numbers continue to be seen along Highway 60, Opeongo Road, and Spruce Bog Boardwalk.
  • Common Redpoll: A few have been noted, often as calling flyovers.
  • Red Crossbill: Sightings of two to six birds were at Western Uplands Backpacking Trail parking lot (March 5), and at Opeongo Road, Old Airfield and Spruce Bog Boardwalk (March 6).
  • White-winged Crossbill: Some reports showed slightly higher numbers of this crossbill, but they are also scarce. There were four at the Logging Museum (February 25); plus 13 (February 26) and a flock of 45 (March 6) on Opeongo Road.

Image: Two Pine Grosbeaks (winter residents, left) and a Common Grackle (a spring arrival) visible in the Algonquin Park Wild Bird Cam on March 11, 2021.

The Friends of Algonquin Park Bookstore and Nature Shop in the Visitor Centre (km 43) is now open daily, weekdays 9 am to 4 pm and weekends 9 am to 5 pm. However, the Visitor Centre exhibits, viewing deck, restaurant and theatre are closed. The Friends’ store provides Park information, day use and seasonal permits, wildlife sightings, books, maps and souvenirs. Free high speed Wi-Fi, courtesy of The Friends, is available during operating hours. To maintain safe physical-distancing, real-time occupancy data are available online and in-person prior to entry via a large LCD screen. As per public health COVID-19 guidelines, wearing of a face mask is required for entry.

Only the Algonquin Park Wild Bird Cam feeder is currently in operation at the Visitor Centre and it is best viewed via the live stream online.

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 7, 2021

Male Spruce Grouse in Algonquin Park.

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

This report covers the last two weeks (December 25 to January 7) and includes resident boreal species plus winter finches.

  • Spruce Grouse – one was noted at Spruce Bog Boardwalk on January 2 and 3.

  • Black-backed Woodpecker – observed along Spruce Bog Boardwalk (December 31 and January 2), along the Highland Backpacking Trail between Highway 60 and the Madawaska River (January 2), and in the Pog Lake area (January 2).

  • Canada Jay – reported at Mew Lake Campground, south side of the Old Airfield, Beaver Pond Trail, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road at and north of the winter gate, and along the Logging Museum trail.

  • Boreal Chickadee – one reported from the conifers along the south side of the Old Airfield (January 1 to 3) and one observed along the Blackfox Lake portage which starts at the Trailer Sanitation Station (January 2).

  • Pine Grosbeak – small numbers were noted along Highway 60 (especially in the morning) and along the trails.

  • Common Redpoll – only a few reported now.

  • Red Crossbill – reports of a few from Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Mew Lake Campground.

  • White-winged Crossbill – observations of 1 or 2 at Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road north of the winter gate, and the north side of the Old Airfield.

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 24, 2020

Canada Jay in Algonquin Park. Photo by Michael Runtz.

Image: Canada Jay in Algonquin Park. Photo by Michael Runtz.

This report covers the last two weeks (December 11 to 24) and mentions resident boreal species plus winter finches. Limited numbers of observers were present and so comments are based on relatively few records.

  • Spruce Grouse – no reports; try Spruce Bog Boardwalk.

  • Black-backed Woodpecker – observed along Spruce Bog Boardwalk (December 13 and 22).

  • Canada Jay – reported at Mew Lake Campground, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road at and north of the winter gate, and along the Logging Museum trail.

  • Boreal Chickadee – one reported from the conifers between the south side of the Old Airfield and the Madawaska River near the bike trail bridge (December 16 and 20).

Finches were noted less frequently and in lower numbers than during the previous two-week period.

  • Pine Grosbeak – flocks of 2 to 8 reported at the Old Airfield; the highway just east of Lake of Two Rivers; and the Logging Museum.

  • Common Redpoll – small flocks were observed at the Old Airfield and along the highway near Lake of Two Rivers.

  • Red Crossbill – about 15 were near the entrance to Spruce Bog Boardwalk (December 13) and a flock of 8 was at the Visitor Centre (December 21).

  • White-winged Crossbill – two were observed feeding on spruce seeds on the south side of the Old Airfield near the bike trail bridge over the Madawaska River (December 16).

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 10, 2020

Boreal Chickadee in Algonquin Park

Image: Boreal Chickadee in Algonquin Park. Photo by Lev Frid.

This report covers the last two weeks (November 27 to December 10) and mentions species that birders frequently come to Algonquin Park to see during the winter. Gates on Opeongo Road at the Cameron Lake Road junction and at the start of Arowhon Road are now closed for the winter. The Visitor Centre has three feeders in operation now, two in the parking lot and one below the viewing deck. A Pine Marten and a Ruffed Grouse came to get fallen sunflower seeds below the feeder visible from the viewing deck today.

  • Spruce Grouse – a male was seen between the river and the north edge of the Old Airfield, near the parking lot (December 5) and one was at Spruce Bog Boardwalk (December 8).

  • Black-backed Woodpecker – observed along Highway 60 near Cache Lake Marsh (November 29); on Opeongo Road near the winter gate (December 6); and along Spruce Bog Boardwalk (December 7).

  • Canada Jay – reported regularly at Mew Lake Campground, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road at and north of the winter gate, and at the Logging Museum.
  • Boreal Chickadee – the first reports since mid-October were one along the Barron Canyon Road near Ignace Lake on the Park’s “East Side” (December 6), and one photographed (see above) in a flock of Black-capped Chickadees between the south edge of the Old Airfield and the river (December 7). The latter bird could not be re-found during an extensive search on December 8 but is likely still in the area. Listen for its vocalizations and search among any other chickadees encountered there.

Likely due to the very limited tree seed crops here, winter finch numbers declined significantly during the last two weeks.

  • Evening Grosbeak – no reports.

  • Pine Grosbeak – small numbers continue to be seen, with birds along the Highway 60 margin being noted more often during the first two hours of morning light.

  • Common Redpoll – the last reports were single birds near Park Lake and Cache Lake (November 29).

  • Red Crossbill – small numbers were seen irregularly along Highway 60 during the period, and along Barron Canyon Road on December 6.

  • White-winged Crossbill – a few were reported on Mizzy Lake Trail (December 3) and at Mew Lake (December 8).

  • Pine Siskin – one heard at the Old Airfield (December 7) was the only report.

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).


November 26, 2020

Image: Male Black-backed Woodpecker. Photo by Lev Frid

Image: Male Black-backed Woodpecker. Photo by Lev Frid.

There were fewer birds and fewer birders during the last two weeks compared to earlier this month. Persisting snow cover arrived (November 22). The Opeongo Road winter gate was still open as of yesterday. The Visitor Centre feeders are not operating yet but are expected to be soon.

  • Spruce Grouse – A male was photographed along Spruce Bog Boardwalk (November 20).

  • Black-backed Woodpecker – Observed along Mizzy Lake Trail and Spruce Bog Boardwalk (November 20).

  • Canada Jay – Reported at Mizzy Lake Trail, Spruce Bog Boardwalk and Opeongo Road north of the winter gate.

  • Boreal Chickadee – No sightings. The only reports this fall were singles at the long boardwalk on Bat Lake Trail (September 21) and Opeongo Road at the parking lot near the winter gate (October 18).

  • Bohemian Waxwing – A few continue to be observed, including three at the Old Airfield (November 15) and one at the Visitor Centre (November 22).

  • Evening Grosbeak – No reports.

  • Pine Grosbeak – Small numbers continued to be seen, with birds along Highway 60 being noted more often in the early morning.

  • Common Redpoll – A few reported regularly, mostly as heard flyovers.

  • Red Crossbill – Reported on four days (November 15 to 26), with highest number at one location being 16. Look for crossbills along Highway 60 in the early morning.

  • White-winged Crossbill – Reported on two days (November 15 to 26), with highest number at one location being 6.

  • Pine Siskin – Single reported along Mizzy Lake Trail (November 20).

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).


November 14, 2020

Male Pine Grosbeak in Algonquin Park

Image: Bohemian Waxwings. Photo by Lev Frid.

Following is an overview of some species recently reported from Algonquin Park that are often sought by birders here.

  • Spruce Grouse – reported along Mizzy Lake Trail (November 5) and Spruce Bog Boardwalk (November 6, 8 and 9).

  • Black-backed Woodpecker – observed along Mizzy Lake Trail (November 5 and 9), Beaver Pond Trail at posts 4 and 8 (November 9) and at Park Lake (November 9).

  • Canada Jay – reported during last week at Mizzy Lake Trail, Spruce Bog Boardwalk, Opeongo Road, and Logging Museum Trail.

  • Boreal Chickadee – last reported in August. The southern edge of its Ontario breeding range appears to be receding northward; climate warming is a likely but not yet proven contributing cause.

  • Bohemian Waxwing – one or two small flocks along Highway 60 reported on several days during the last two weeks but not persisting at any location. Thirty were seen in Whitney (November 6).

  • Evening Grosbeak – a few flyovers heard regularly; present at the Visitor Centre fairly often although feeders are not in operation.

  • Pine Grosbeak – observed fairly regularly but in small numbers at various locations, including Highway 60 margin; flyovers are often detected by calls.

  • Common Redpoll – small numbers regularly observed along Highway 60, often feeding on weed seeds; most reports involve calling flyovers. Indicative of low numbers were a total of 36 during several hours at Lake Travers on the Park’s “East Side” (November 12).

  • Red Crossbill – reported on just five days in November so far, with highest number at one location being 10.

  • White-winged Crossbill – reported on just five days in November so far, with highest number at one location being 20.

  • Pine Siskin – single November report: one at Mizzy Lake Trail (November 5)

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.