Thursday, January 7, 2010


Subject: 36th Algonquin Park CBC
From: Ron Tozer
Date: Mon, 04 Jan 2010 08:03:14 -0500

The 36th Algonquin Park Christmas Bird Count was held on Saturday,
2 January 2009. This count is a good indicator of the species and their
relative numbers present in contiguous forest of the southern Shield during
early winter. There is minimal distortion caused by feeders (only about six
in the circle) which unnaturally concentrate birds and support lingerers
that would otherwise depart or perish. Due to the almost total lack of seed
crops this winter, we expected very low numbers of birds but actually going
for hours at times without seeing a single individual was still amazing.
Cold conditions (minus 21 to minus 17 degrees C, with occasional NW wind
gusts to 20 kph) made it challenging to be out there. All water was frozen.
However, the mainly sunny day enhanced the spectacular scenery and our 84
stalwart observers made a valiant and much appreciated effort. Never have so
many seen so little!

Below is the total list for your interest.

Total Observers: 84 (record high)
Total Party Hours: 338 (record high)
Birds per Party Hour: 3 (record low; previous lowest was 4)

Total Species: 23 (third lowest)
Total Individuals: 1,018 (fifth lowest)

Ruffed Grouse: 31
Spruce Grouse: 1
Wild Turkey: count week (1 at Lake of Two Rivers)
Rock Pigeon: 6 (East Gate MTO sand dome)
Barred Owl: 1
Downy Woodpecker: 16
Hairy Woodpecker: 26
Black-backed Woodpecker: 3
Pileated Woodpecker: 6
Gray Jay: 15
Blue Jay: 11 (mainly at feeders)
Common Raven: 79
Black-capped Chickadee: 584
Boreal Chickadee: 29
Red-breasted Nuthatch: 16
White-breasted Nuthatch: 7
Brown Creeper: 5
Golden-crowned Kinglet: 5
White-throated Sparrow: 1 (at Visitor Centre feeder for weeks)
Snow Bunting: 1
Pine Grosbeak: 23
Pine Siskin: 1
American Goldfinch: 143 (mainly at feeders)
Evening Grosbeak: 3

A big thank you to all those who participated in the count and those who
helped organize the tally and assisted with the catered dinner. There will
be more birds next year.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park CBC Compiler
Dwight, Ontario

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