Friday, April 30, 2010

They're Back !!! Moose in Algonquin Park

Moose are back once again along highway 60 to Algonquin Park. On a quick drive through the park today, I was looking for a black back wood pecker (which I was unable to locate ) when I came across a cow moose with her last years calf.
The Moose have been back for quite a while, but I haven't posted about them til now so as to ensure that if anyone makes the trip up specifically for moose then now they should not be dissaponted.

You can see this cow moose has been fitted with a satellite tracking collar. The naturalists in the park regularly put tracking devices on just about anything that is on four legs or swims to help them in the studies and observations.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


I had to drive out to the West gate of Algonquin Park today,it was a bright sunny day so whilst at the gate i checked out the area south of the winter X country ski trails.
and i was able to spot my first red Trillium flower of this spring.

looks like i was not the only one out enjoying the spring sunshine Snapping turtles on a log.

Pileated Woodpecker making a new nest cavity

this is the work of a Pileated Woodpecker when looking for grubs.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Algonquin Park Bird report

Subject: OFO Algonquin Park Trip
From: Ron Tozer
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2010 21:28:32 -0400

The 21st annual OFO Algonquin Park trip today had
spectacular sunny conditions throughout. About 45 people
in 21 vehicles explored the Highway 60 Corridor from
9 am to 6:30 pm., observing 57 species of birds.

All the northern species we sought were found:

Spruce Grouse: male and female at Spruce Bog Boardwalk,
north from trail register box.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Male excavating nest cavity in
third utility pole west of road into Leaf Lake Ski Trail parking
lot at km 53.9.

Gray Jay: single along Highway 60 between Lookout Trail and
Eucalia Lake; pair near chain gate along old railway east of
Arowhon Road; pair along old railway at West Rose Lake.

Boreal Chickadee: At least three vocalizing birds allowing
brief but good views along old railway near West Rose Lake.

Other highlights included:

American Bittern: first of the spring, at Cache Lake marsh.

Osprey: one over Tea Lake Dam road.

Merlin: pair at Harkness Fish Lab on Lake Opeongo

Blue-headed Vireo: singing male across from Cache Lake
Marsh. This was a new early date for Algonquin; previous
earliest was April 20.

Pine Warbler: two singing males near site 22 in Lake of Two
Rivers Campground. (No Yellow-rumped Warblers were
observed today.)

We would like to thank everyone who came on today's trip.
We walked a long way, but it was a fun day.

Good birding. Hope to see you next year.

Ron and Laura Tozer

Monday, April 19, 2010


Lots of activity at the feeders today,
White-throat ed Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Song Sparrow and a few American Robins,
20+ Dark eyed Junco's as well as 20+ Purple Finches
in the large grass field area Northern Flickers,Red winged Blackbirds,
10+ Evening Grosbeaks,10+ Goldfinches on the silo feeders.
lots of people came by this weekend for a lifer on the Evening Grosbeak.

Female Evening Grosbeak


Purple Finch Female and Male

Friday, April 16, 2010

Algonquin Park bird report

Following the flurry of new arrivals and birders during
last week's Easter Weekend, things slowed down significantly
this week in typical mid April fashion in Algonquin.

New arrival reports were limited to Sandhill Crane on April 11
and Hermit Thrush on April 12. Sandhill Cranes are rare but
apparently increasing in Algonquin Park, and were observed
at four different locations here this week.

Common Loons were still not widespread by the end of the week,
even though all lakes have been open since April 7.

The first of the three Highway 60 Owl Surveys produced Barred
Owls at km 4, km 10 and km 12 on April 14. No Northern
Saw-whet Owls were heard, as expected given the low small
mammal numbers.

A few Wild Turkeys were observed along Highway 60, apparently
part of the April move back into the Park noted in recent years.

Boreal Species:

Spruce Grouse: A displaying male was observed in the black
spruce bog along the north end of Opeongo Road on April 12.

Gray Jay: Birds were noted at the Logging Museum parking
lot, and at the chain gate along the old railway west of Wolf Howl
Pond this week.

We would appreciate receiving your bird observations
for our Visitor Centre records. Weekend visitors are
encouraged to add their observations of newly arrived
migrants to the sheets posted in the Visitor Centre lobby.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Photography Series: Spring Wildflower Walk Workshop In Algonquin

Capturing the Essence of Algonquin Photography Series
Enjoy a day of photography capturing the natural beauty of Algonquin Park, beginning with an indoor instructional session and review, followed by an afternoon field excursion for practice.

This workshop features a look at the beautiful spring wildflowers that carpet Algonquin Park's hardwood slopes. A Park Naturalist will accompany the group for plant identification and to explain the natural history of the plants we find along the trail. This workshop is suitable for point & shoot digital /advanced compact, digital SLR, and film cameras. Basic camera settings will be covered with an emphasis on how to best capture wildflower images. Participants may also be interested in the ‘Edible Treasure Hunt’ plant workshop offered on May 7, which focuses on edible and useful plants found in Algonquin Park.

Cost: $60 (includes vehicle permit, an instructional booklet, and expert instruction) for FOAP(Friends of Algonquin Park) members. Individual membership is $12/yr.

To register:
Contact Sophie Mazowita at 613-637-2828 ext 227 or e-mail Limited enrollment- register early to guarantee your spot!

This workshop is part of the Experience Algonquin series presented by The Friends of Algonquin Park. All proceeds will go towards enhancing the educational and interpretive programs in Algonquin Park.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Algonquin Park Birding Update: 8 April 2010

Interestingly, many lakes opened up before Common Loons
returned. There had been loon reports from only two
lakes as of April 7. Loons typically arrive in Algonquin
when the first small areas of open water appear.

Most migrants are arriving early, and three all-time
early records were set this week: Canada Goose
(interior subspecies), Common Loon and Osprey. A
female Giant Canada Goose incubating eggs along
Costello Creek on April 4 was the earliest ever found

New migrants reported this week included:

April 1: Canada Goose (interior subspecies), Bufflehead,
Northern Harrier, Eastern Phoebe

April 2: Turkey Vulture, American Woodcock,
Ring-billed Gull, Winter Wren, Fox Sparrow,
Eastern Meadowlark

April 3: Common Loon, Killdeer, Mourning Dove,
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker, Tree Swallow

April 4: American Kestrel, Wilson's Snipe, Savannah

April 5: Osprey, Rusty Blackbird

April 6: Yellow-rumped Warbler

Other Species of Interest:

Bald Eagle: Two were over the Old Airfield on April 4,
and one was at Jake Lake on April 5.

Spruce Grouse: A male was along the Opeongo Road
on April 3.

Black-backed Woodpecker: Look in the km 8 area and
try Barred Owl calls to get them to respond.

Gray Jay: One was at Wolf Howl Pond on April 4, and two
were at the Visitor Centre feeders on April 7. The first nestlings
were banded by Dan Strickland this week, again a record
early date.

Boreal Chickadee: Try Opeongo Road and the old railway
from Arowhon Road to Wolf Howl Pond. Listen for the
distinctive calls.

Bohemian Waxwing: Five were feeding on common juniper
berries at the lookout on Barron Canyon Trail (accessible
from Pembroke area via Barron Canyon Road) on April 2.

Pine Siskin: Three (including a singing male) were at the
Visitor Centre on April 7.

Evening Grosbeak: A few have been fairly regular at the
Visitor Centre.

We would appreciate receiving your bird observations
for our Visitor Centre records. Weekend visitors are
encouraged to add their observations of newly arrived
migrants to the sheets posted in the Visitor Centre lobby.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hummingbirds on there way to Algonquin Inn

With the early Spring conditions i was not sure as to when we can expect to see the Humming birds back to Algonquin Inn,and Algonquin Park so i have just checked the Humming bird tracking site.
The site tracks the return migration all across America into Canada, and it already shows their
arrival on the shores of Lake Ontario.......

you can daily check the progress at

you can see they started their journey arrival in the U.S.A. Feb 25th


Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Wow, What Great Weather we had this past weekend!
A record high was set of Saturday of 27c to keep that in perspective the norm of this time of year is 7c. This combined with light winds broke up the remaining ice, result being Oxtounge Lake was ice free by Saturday. This is a good two to three weeks ahead of normal.
Even Opeongo Lake the largest lake in Algonquin Park, is now ice free, on Saturday the 3rd of April. This has beaten the previous best of April the 14Th set in 1953....
All of the other lakes along Hwy 60 through Algonquin Park like Mew, Canoe, Cache Lake etc have been ice free for a while.
It looks like we are in for a Long HOT Summer!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Algonquin Park Area bird report

Great weather this week has brought more activity to all of our bird feeders around the Inn,daily we have seen Evening Grosbeaks and Dark Eyed Juncos, as well as house finches,blue jays, red winged black birds ,crackle,..

The very warm temperatures by week's end resulted
in some small lakes (Long, Mew, Eos) along Highway
60 becoming ice-free on April 1. Snow cover is now
mainly in deeply shaded north-facing areas.

An influx of migrants was dominated by waterbirds.
Arrivals this week included: Wood Duck, Mallard,
Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead,
Common Goldeneye, Great Blue Heron, Northern
Harrier, Merlin (at the East Gate), Eastern Phoebe,
Golden-crowned Kinglet and Song Sparrow.

The next six weeks will be prime time to see the
boreal species that many birders come to Algonquin
Park to find.

A male Spruce Grouse was right on the trail along
Spruce Bog Boardwalk beyond the long boardwalk
across the bog on April 1.

A female Black-backed Woodpecker responded to a
Barred Owl imitation at Heron Creek, which is about
a kilometre inside the West Gate on Highway 60, and
a male was drumming on the first utility pole east of
the Tea Lake Dam road, on April 1.

Gray Jays were seen on the Opeongo Road this week.

There were about 10 Evening Grosbeaks at the Visitor
Centre feeders on April 1, and a Pine Siskin was among
the American Goldfinches there on March 31.

We would appreciate receiving your bird observations
for our Visitor Centre records. Weekend visitors are
encouraged to add their observations of newly arrived
migrants to the sheets posted in the Visitor Centre lobby.

2 TO 5, FROM 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M.

Ron Tozer
Algonquin Park Naturalist (retired)