Feb 252017
 

This morning (February 24), a Red-winged Blackbird visited our feeder. We’ve also had a Belted Kingfisher on the Otonabee River all winter, along with two juvenile Bald Eagles and quite a few Common Goldeneyes. There has also been a Red-tailed Hawk along the 6th Line of Selwyn.

Annamarie Beckel, Selwyn Township

Female Belted Kingfisher – Jeff Keller (Note: The male does not show any rufous.)

Red-winged Blackbird – Karl Egressy

Feb 232017
 

At 2 pm, on February 21, I saw a Great Gray Owl on Kelleher Road in Campbellford, ON. The bird was 500m east of Lock 8 on the Trent River. The owl was still there on February 22.

Donald Munro

Great Gray Owl – Tim Dyson

Feb 222017
 

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) (1)
– Reported Feb 21, 2017 00:24 by Scott Gibson
– 1_Gibson Home – Bissonnette Dr., Peterborough, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “actively calling…loud enough to wake me up.”

Great Horned Owls usually call in the evening and again just before dawn – Karl Egressy

Feb 172017
 

Two juvenile (first winter?) Bald Eagles – Tim Corner

My friend Dave and I went for a drive up the River Road to see if we could spot some Bald Eagles at Lock 25, south of Lakefield. We were in luck as there was a pair. One bird was perched on a log and the other was on the ice. However, they we across the other side of the river. Later, we went down the 7th line of Selwyn to the end of the road on the west side of the Otonabee and as luck would have it, they were perched together in a tree. I have attached the shot.

Tim Corner

Feb 162017
 

I had a Barred Owl show up the morning of February 12. It hung around for about 20 minutes before the Blue Jays started squawking at it. It sat there and watched the snowmobiles fly by on the nearby trail that runs up the side of the 507. It was snowing quite hard. The Gray Jays are still coming around almost every day!

Marie Windover, Flynn’s Corners

Northern Barred Owl – Tim Dyson – NBR 051214 -2

Feb 152017
 

On February 14, I saw a Great Gray Owl at 5:00 pm, perched on a large oak tree, across the road from 765 Cordova Road. Marmora ON  Denise Doekes

I heard about a Great Gray Owl several days ago on the southern edge of Cordova Mines village, which would be several kilometres north of the Marmora bird (above),  so perhaps another bird altogether. Tim Dyson

At 4:30 pm on February 12, we found a Great Gray Owl on just south of Peterborough.  Sue Sauvé & Ian Attridge

In the afternoon of February 12, I saw a Great Gray Owl just outside of Omemee.  Scott Gibson

A Great Gray Owl was also seen south of Lindsay on February 12. Reported to Drew Monkman

On January 15, at the Harold Town Conservation Area east of Peterborough, a Great Gray Owl was “sighted in dense center understood, flew from perch once sighted. Much darker than barred owl, with no barring on chest.”  Michael Light

NOTE: In 2004-05, Tim Dyson figures he saw a minimum of 105 Great Gray Owls between December 24th and April 16th, mostly in Peterborough County.

Great Gray Owl in 2014 – Tom Northey

Great Gray Owl – Tim Dyson

Great Gray Owl near Cavan in March 2012 – Frank Batty

Feb 152017
 

Today, February 15,  I was at band practice at Living Hope Church on Lansdowne St. east beside the OPP building. There are 12 crab apple trees in front of the church and I counted 5-6 American Robins in each tree. That’s a lot of robins in one spot.! They were in a feeding frenzy.  Ron Craig

Today, February 15, I had 18 American Robins in my yard. They have been eating the apples from my flowering crab tree, which for some reason didn’t all drop in the fall. I have been throwing out dried cranberries and read on the Internet that they also will eat small pieces of apples, soaked raisins and possibly pieces of oranges.  Is there anything else I can put out for them? I am usually lucky to have two robins in the summer so this is such a treat to have so many! Also, the man who snowblows my driveway said he saw about 100 American Robins near the Holiday Inn on February 12.   Marg Byer, Chamberlain St., Peterborough

NOTE: You may want to try putting out mealworms. D.M.

Today, February 13, I had 9 American Robins feeding on berries in my mountain-ash trees. Nick Chaggares, MacDonald St., Peterborough

I saw this tree full of mostly American Robins when I was out walking on Dublin St. They were feeding on a mountain-ash tree across the road.  When I first passed the mountain-ash, I counted 25 robins feeding. So much for flying south.   Ron Craig

Mostly robins in tree on Dublin Street – Feb. 12, 2017, Ron Craig

Well who knew? We were walking through Beavermead Park near the campgrounds on February 6, when we saw a multitude of birds – over 30 – that we at first did not recognize. We were surprised once we realized it was a flock of American Robins Helen and Larry Keller

American Robins feeding on Wild Grape – Beavermead Park – Feb. 7, 2016 – Helen & Larry Keller –

Today, February 7, we noticed at least 30 American Robins feasting on crabapples in our backyard. We have seen one or two robins in the crabapple tree over the years but never a small flock.  Jim Falls, Peterborough (west end)

Today, February 7, I saw at least 30 American Robins feeding in trees along the road off of Clonsilla Avenue that leads to the Dollarama / HomeSense parking lot. Michelle Monkman

At about 4:35 pm on February 6,  I noticed about 60 American Robins in my backyard treeline. I used to race pigeons so I’m pretty good at counting the number of birds in a flock! LOL   Gavin Hunter, Omemee

I live near the corner of Monaghan Road and Charlotte Street in Peterborough and saw a flock of ‘huge’ American Robins this morning. Quite round in shape! Sarah Thompson, Hazeldean Ave.

I continue to have a very large flock of American Robins and European Starlings feeding in the crab apple tree. Yesterday, Feb. 3, there were 4 dozen + robins and well over 100 starlings. With the flock was 1 Cedar Waxwing and 1 Bohemian Waxwing. Also, one of the robins was leusistic but it flew off before I could get a picture. There were birds everywhere!  Sue Paradisis, Tudor Crescent

Robins & Bohemian Waxwing in crab apple tree – Feb. 4, 2016 – Sue Paradisis

We have a flock of at least 50 American Robins showing up the last 3 days at our place on Chemong Lake, north of Fowlers Corners. Bob Hancock

We have a flock of at least 20 to 30 American Robins in our European Mountain-ash. Some waxwings, too. Rob Tonus, Farmcrest Avenue

I had 12 American Robins feeding on European Buckthorn berries in the tree behind my house on February 4. Drew Monkman, Maple Crescent, Peterborough

This morning, I had 25-30 American Robins feeding in my crab apple trees. Brad Gillen, Montcalm Drive, Peterborough

As of February 4, there are quite a few American Robins at 879 Parkhill Road west in Peterborough. Do you have any idea of what to feed them?   Cliff Mccollow

Note:  The robins will do just fine without feeding them at all. There is abundant wild food around this year, especially wild grape, mountain-ash berries, winterberry holly, crabapple and European buckthorn.  However, you could try putting out some raisins that have been softened by soaking them in water. Personally, I’ve never tried feeding them. D.M.

Feb 112017
 

On Feb. 10 at 1:30 pm, I was putting on my skis at the Kawartha Nordic Ski Club (Haultain). Something big caught my eye. A mature Bald Eagle flew right over the training flats. It was easy to see the white head and tail with my bare eyes.

Marilyn Freeman

Bald Eagle (Karl Egressy)

Bald Eagle – June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

 

Feb 102017
 

At 1 pm on Feb. 9/17, I saw 50+ Snow Buntings on County Road 10, just north of Ida. I didn’t have binoculars with me to check out if there were any other species with them.

Ken Rumble

Flock of Snow Buntings feeding in grain field

Snow Bunting (from Crossley ID Guide)

Feb 102017
 

I was at Lynde Creek, Whitby, on February 8 and came across this male Red-bellied Woodpecker. Is it true that this species is uncommon in the Kawarthas?

Brian Crangle

Note:  The Red-bellied is not a common woodpecker but its numbers are increasing each year. It now breeds in the Kawarthas south of the Shield and turns up regularly at a number of feeders, especially in wooded areas south of Peterborough. It is occasionally seen in the city, as well.  D.M.

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Lynde Creek, Whitby- Photo by Brian Crangle

Feb 072017
 

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) (1)
– Reported Feb 06, 2017 11:41 by Matthew Tobey
– Sir Sandford Fleming Dr at The Parkway, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Adult flying northwest”

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) (1)
– Reported Feb 06, 2017 14:10 by Matthew Tobey
– Peterborough–Little Lake, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “continuing bird observed along Edgewater Blvd. Could not relocate the 2nd bird I found yesterday.”

N.B.  Gray Catbirds usually overwinter in the extreme southern U.S.

Northern Goshawk – Wikimedia

Gray Catbird – Wikimedia

Catbird at feeder in Peterborough – Colum Diamond

Feb 062017
 

This Eastern Screech-owl showed up in our drive shed in Ennismore on Saturday, February 4. We live just south of the Yankee Line.

Steve Plunkett, Ennismore

Note: Screech-owls may be increasing in the Kawarthas. A record four birds were tallied on the 2016 Peterborough Christmas Bird Count.  D.M.

Eastern Screech-owl – Feb. 5, 2017 – Ennismore – Steve Plunkett

Eastern Screech-owl – Feb. 5, 2017 – Ennismore – Steve Plunkett

Feb 042017
 

I had a male Red-bellied Woodpecker at my feeder on George street in Lakefield on February 2, 2017. It spent enough time on the feeder to identify and was confirmed by photo from David Wells. Great website!  John D’Andrea
For the past two days (Jan. 31, Feb. 1) our black sunflower feeder has been visited by a male Red-bellied Woodpecker. I’ve observed birds for a long time, but I have never seen one of these beautiful creatures. According to my Peterson Guide their range seems to be limited to south of the Great Lakes.We have quite a few Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers. They gorge themselves at the feeder and in the process throw seed all over the ground. In contrast, the Red-bellied grabs a couple of seeds and flies away to return a few minutes later – not unlike the behaviour of chickadees. We live on the 4th Line of Asphodel, 2 km north of highway #7.  Bill Hooper

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Nov. 30, 2013 (Robert Latham)

Feb 042017
 


Port Rowan, ON—A lot has changed since the first Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was held in 1998. Each year brings unwavering enthusiasm from the growing number of participants in this now-global event. The 20th annual GBBC is taking place February 17-20 in backyards, parks, nature centres, on hiking trails, school grounds, balconies, and beaches—anywhere you find birds.
Birdwatchers from around the world enjoy counting their birds and entering the GBBC photo contest. Photo by Ann Foster, Florida, 2016 GBBC. Download larger image.
Birdwatchers count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at birdcount.org. All the data contribute to a snapshot of bird distribution and help scientists see changes over the past 20 years.
“The very first GBBC was an experiment,” says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird program. “We wanted to see if people would use the Internet to send us their bird sightings. Clearly the experiment was a success!” eBird collects bird observations globally every day of the year and is the online platform used by the GBBC.
That first year, birdwatchers submitted about 13,500 checklists from the United States and Canada. Fast-forward to the most recent event in 2016. An estimated 163,763 birdwatchers from more than 100 countries submitted 162,052 bird checklists reporting 5689 species–more than half the known bird species in the world.
“The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way to introduce people to participation in citizen science,” says Audubon Vice President and Chief Scientist Gary Langham. “No other program allows volunteers to take an instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations that can contribute to our understanding of how a changing climate is affecting birds.”
Varying weather conditions so far this winter are producing a few trends that GBBC participants can watch for during the count. eBird reports show many more waterfowl and kingfishers remaining further north than usual because they are finding open water. If that changes, these birds could move southward.

Also noted are higher than usual numbers of Bohemian Waxwings in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains. And while some winter finches have been spotted in the East, such as Red Crossbills, Common Redpolls, Evening Grosbeaks, and a few Pine Grosbeaks, there seem to be no big irruptions so far. A few eye-catching Snowy Owls have been reported in the northern half of the United States.

Jon McCracken, Bird Studies Canada’s National Program Director, reminds participants in Canada and the U.S. to keep watch for snowies. He says, “The GBBC has done a terrific job of tracking irruptions of Snowy Owls southward over the past several years. We can’t predict what winter 2017 will bring, because Snowy Owl populations are so closely tied to unpredictable ‘cycles’ of lemmings in the Arctic. These cycles occur at intervals between two and six years.  Nevertheless, there are already reports of Snowy Owls as far south as Virginia.’

In addition to counting birds, the GBBC photo contest has also been a hit since it was introduced in 2006. Since then, tens of thousands of stunning images have been submitted. For the 20th anniversary of the GBBC, the public is invited to vote for their favourite top photo from each of the past 11 years in a special album they will find on the GBBC website home page. Voting takes place during the four days of the GBBC.

Learn more about how to take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count at birdcount.org where downloadable instructions and an explanatory PowerPoint are available. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada. The GBBC is made possible in part in Canada by sponsors Armstrong Bird Food and Wild Birds Unlimited.
Contacts:

Kerrie Wilcox, Bird Studies Canada, (519) 586-3531 ext. 134, kwilcox@birdscanada.org
Agatha Szczepaniak, Audubon, (212) 979-3197, aszczepaniak@audubon.org
Pat Leonard, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, (607) 254-2137, pel27@cornell.edu

Feb 042017
 

I live in the Youngstown subdivision in Ennismore, just up from the causeway. I was reading your recent list of birds in the area on your annual bird count. You noted that no Barred Owls were seen during the count. About two weeks ago now, I saw a Barred Owl fly into a tree behind my backyard which, runs down to Chemong Lake. He stayed on that branch for about 45 minutes.
Randy Hayes, Ennismore

Barred Owl – Feb. 2017 – Randy Hayes

Feb 042017
 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (1)
– Reported Feb 03, 2017 10:16 by Iain Rayner
– Otonabee River–between Lock 24 and 25, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34129948
– Comments: “Continuing male o n far shore halfway between both locs”

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) (1)
– Reported Feb 02, 2017 08:38 by Matthew Tobey
– Trent River–Asphodel 5th Line, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34118931
– Comments: “Female with Common Mergansers. ”

Winter Wren (Troglodytes hiemalis) (1)
– Reported Feb 03, 2017 13:33 by Matthew Tobey
– Peterborough–Trent University Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Area, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34135387
– Comments: “calling spontaneously from frozen wetland along the John de Pencier trail (west side of University Rd). Responsive to pishing, allowing for good views.”

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) (1)
– Reported Feb 02, 2017 12:15 by Ken Abraham
– Crawford Dr at SSF & Parkway, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34134615
– Comments: “Bird sitting on shrub branch in slight opening about 4 feet above ditch with water, facing road. Blue head, shoulders, rusty-red upper breast interrupted by light abdomen clearly visible. In the midst of EUST and AMRO movement.”

Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) (8) CONFIRMED
– Reported Feb 02, 2017 15:40 by Erica Nol
– Hannah Road, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34127791
– Comments: “flock flew across Hannah Rd near intersection with Evertson Road; blue backs, smaller than robins but similar shape; may be same flock as seen previously in this area”

Winter Wren – Wikimedia

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds – male at upper right – Wikimedia

Feb 042017
 

Yesterday morning (Feb. 3), we saw a Bald Eagle perched on a post south of Lakefield on the shore of the Otonabee River. We thought it might be a Golden Eagle or immature Bald Eagle. On our way home, we drove along the same stretch and saw the first bird with two others… a mature Bald Eagle and another younger one. We thought the younger ones could have been different ages since one’s plumage was closer to that of an adult than the first bird’s. Quite a sight…   (N.B.  left to right, there is a 1st winter, a 4th winter, and an adult plumage birdTim Dyson)
There were also three Trumpeter Swans on the same part of the river.

Gwen Forsyth, Lakefield

Immature Bald Eagle 2 – Otonabee R. – Feb. 3, 2017 – Gwen Forsyth

(L to R) 1st winter, 4th winter and adult Bald Eagle  – Otonabee R. – Feb. 3, 2017 – Gwen Forsyth

Trumpeter Swans – Otonabee River – Feb. 3, 2017 – Gwen Forsyth

Feb 012017
 

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) (2) CONFIRMED
– Reported Feb 01, 2017 10:32 by Iain Rayner
– Trent River–Drysdale Rd, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34091842
– Comments: “Seen in group of seven swans far downstream. Viewed through scope showed knob on bill and orange colour on bill. Have been at this location in previous two winters.”

Common Loon (Gavia immer) (1) CONFIRMED
– Reported Jan 31, 2017 15:20 by Martin Parker
– Otonabee River–Lakefield Waterfront, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34087357
– Comments: “continuing individual”

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) (1) CONFIRMED
– Reported Feb 01, 2017 12:15 by Iain Rayner
– Ptbo – Hwy 28 – Baxter Creek Golf Course, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S34092056
– Comments: “Seen well with naked eye as it glided low across Highway 28 heading E. Grey flight feathers and brown black body. Showed distinct dihedral and very tippy flight.”

Mute Swan (photo: Drew Monkman)

Jan 242017
 

Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) (1)
– Reported Jan 22, 2017 09:50 by Chris Risley
– Jackson Park and area, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Seen at 476 Bonaccord Avenue at feeder, possibly continuing bird from Jackson Park trail near Bonaccord Avenue entrance, first sang and then we saw it by feeder and then on left (west) side of house, good view; small sparrow sized, white eyestripe, longish bill, cocked long tail”

Carolina Wren (Wikimedia)

Jan 242017
 

At 4:50 pm. January 18, at the corner of County Rd. #2 and Plunket Road, I spent 20 minutes with this Barred Owl, photographing the bird from about 50 metres. The owl seemed more curious than scared. Given the paucity of owls this winter, I was very pleased to entertain this fellow in my lens. Originally he was on a tall lamp post but then flew down to an old post in the field , perhaps having spied a mouse in the grass.

Michael Gillespie

Barred Owl – Keene, Ontario – Jan. 18, 2017 – Michael Gillespie

Jan 232017
 

On Jan. 22, from my backyard, I  saw 8 Bald Eagles. They were on open ice south of Campbellford on the Trent River  There was one pair of adults and 6 immatures.

Donald Munro

Adult Bald Eagles – Jan. 24, 2015 – Lock 24 – Tom Northey

Immature Bald Eagle – Otonabee River – Feb. 2016 – Nima Taghaboni

 

Jan 222017
 

I took a couple of pictures last Sunday, January 15, 2017 of this lovely Red-tailed Hawk sitting on our fence post and thought you might enjoy seeing them. We live on a farm just south of Peterborough and are fortunate to see a lot of nature on a daily basis. Hope you enjoy these and feel free to share!

Julie Johnson

Red-tailed Hawk close-up 01-15-17 Julie Johnson

Red-tailed Hawk 01-15-17 Julie Johnson

Jan 212017
 

Common Loon (Gavia immer) (1)
– Reported Jan 20, 2017 12:00 by Dave Milsom
– Lakefield Marsh, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “continuing bird diving near red marker buoy”

Great Gray Owl (Strix nebulosa) (1)
– Reported Jan 15, 2017 14:15 by Michael Light
– Harold Town Conservation Area, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Sighted in dense center understood, flew from perch once Sighted. Much darker than barred owl, with no barring on chest.”

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) (1)
– Reported Jan 18, 2017 12:26 by Colin Jones
– Peterborough–300 Water St to Edgewater Blvd Loop, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Continuing bird”
Eastern Screech-Owl (Megascops asio) (1)
– Reported Jan 14, 2017 14:30 by Maureen Smith
– Yard Warsaw On, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “uses wood duck box located across the river. Occasional visits”

Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor) (1)
– Reported Jan 19, 2017 15:25 by Martyn Obbard
– John Earl Chase Memorial Park, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Media: 1 Photo
– Comments: “first observed perched on hydro line on Anchor Bay Rd., then flew and perched atop dead branch of deciduous tree in field to south”

Northern Shrike – Tom Northey

Eastern Screech Owl at nesting box – Nov. 2014 – Tim Dyson

Great Gray Owl – Tom Northey 2014

Common Loon – Lakefield – Dec. 19, 2016 – Sue Paradisis

Gray Catbird – Wikimedia

Jan 202017
 

I thought I’d pass along to you a couple of sightings from our home on the Indian River in the midst of the ice and freezing rain of January 17. From one window, we saw what was either a Sharp-shinned or Cooper’s Hawk sitting patiently, watching the bird feeders and hoping something would come along for his lunch. Then from another window we looked at the river, and saw a wolf or coyote standing for awhile in the rain on slushy ice, then he loped off upstream. I understand that wolves and coyotes can interbreed – this one looked more like a wolf than a coyote. It was a very healthy looking specimen with a large, square-ish head, a dark brown, grizzled coat and a definite black tip on the tail which was held low, between the back legs. Didn’t see him get anything to eat either!

Jane Bremner
Sawmill Road, Douro-Dummer

My guess is that the hawk was a Cooper’s. They are more common than Sharp-shinned Hawks and bolder, tending to sit out in the open more. As for the coyote/wolf, you probably saw an Eastern Coyote. I’m not aware of Eastern Wolves being seen south of Algonquin Park and the northern Haliburton Highlands. Also, it’s almost impossible to distinguish a wolf from a coyote visually. The real difference is in the weight, the wolf being much heavier.  D.M.

 

Cooper’s Hawk on bird it had captured (Karl Egressy)

Sharp-shinned Hawk – Lakefield  – Gwen Forsyth

Eastern Coyote on Otonabee River – Tom Northey.