Jan 212018

Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) (1)
– Reported Jan 20, 2018 14:00 by Alexandra Israel
– Lang Area, Peterborough, Ontario
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S42106339
– Media: 1 Photo
– Comments: “Alerted by mobbing chickadees. Only general location given.”

Northern Saw-whet Owl (Dave Heuft)








Gray Jay (Northern) (Perisoreus canadensis [canadensis Group]) (1)
– Reported Jan 20, 2018 10:14 by Kenneth G.D. Burrell
– Kawartha Nordic Ski Club trails, Peterborough, Ontario
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S42093450
– Comments: “Called a few times, Lill spotted it along Trillium just north of Wolf Pond(?). Pretty unexpected!”

Gray Jay -Tom Northey Algonquin Park – March 2014









I had 16 Purple Finches on my property on January 19.  Don Munro, Campbellford

Purple Finch (male) – Karl Egressy











White-winged Crossbill (Loxia leucoptera) (4)
– Reported Jan 18, 2018 11:00 by Scott McKinlay
– Kawartha Nordic Ski Club trails, Peterborough, Ontario
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S42053565
– Comments: “On the Adam Scott trail. They were singing the varied pitch song from spruce trees next to the trail before flying off.”

White-winged Crossbill (female) – Wikimedia








Red Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) (2)
– Reported Jan 18, 2018 11:00 by Scott McKinlay
– Kawartha Nordic Ski Club trails, Peterborough, Ontario
– Comments: “Good views of a male and female that were responding to pishing by calling continuously and flying back and forth between three white pine trees that surrounded me. There was no white at all for either bird on the solid dark wings. The gip gip gip calls were in groups of 2 to 6. These were located about 1/3 of the way along the PT trail, travelling east to west.”

Red Crossbill – male – Wikimedia






Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) (2)
– Reported Jan 19, 2018 12:30 by Tim Haan
– 158 George Street North, Peterborough, Ontario, CA (44.299, -78.318), Peterborough, Ontario
– Comments: “Both male and female near the train bridge”

Pair of Northern Pintail – Karl Egressy






Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) (3)
– Reported Jan 16, 2018 08:07 by Daniel Williams
– Peterborough–Beavermead Park, Peterborough, Ontario
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41958892
– Comments: “Males. Flyover. ”

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) (1)
– Reported Jan 16, 2018 09:44 by Scott Gibson
– 288 Scriven Road, Bailieboro, Ontario, CA (44.146, -78.313), Peterborough, Ontario
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41959644
– Media: 2 Photos
– Comments: “top of hill in tree beside rd. pics.”

I had a couple of firsts today: first time skiing and first Snowy Owl of the winter. I saw an eBird posting at 11:15 this morning (January 16) and immediately twitched out to see the bird at 11:30 on Scriven Line. I also, watched about 100 Snow buntings for 20 minutes but couldn’t find one Lapland Longspur. Michael Gillespie

Snow Bunting (from Crossley ID Guide)











Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) (1)
– Reported Jan 15, 2018 09:05 by Chris Risley
– Petroglyphs Provincial Park, Peterborough, Ontario
– Comments: “Black head and back with barred sides, hammering on and peeling bark from a red pine. Spotted about 300 meters beyond the park gate.”

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) (3)
– Reported Jan 15, 2018 15:17 by Toby Rowland
– Peterborough–Otonabee River (Lock 19), Peterborough, Ontario
– Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=44.2879468,-78.3082509&ll=44.2879468,-78.3082509
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41943549
– Comments: “Continuing three slightly worn males just below the lock”

Red-breasted Merganser (male) – Wikimedia








Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) (1)
– Reported Jan 14, 2018 16:00 by Colin Jones
– Peterborough–Little Lake, Peterborough, Ontario
– Map: http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=p&z=13&q=44.2965341,-78.3105472&ll=44.2965341,-78.3105472
– Checklist: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41908174
– Comments: “Sitting on the water fountain structure in the middle of the lake. Found earlier in the day by Warren Dunlop.”

Ruffed Grouse: I read your recent column on the winter bird counts. What you say about grouse is accurate. I saw one grouse today, whereas normally I would scare up six. The most I have ever seen in one group decades ago was 18 on a rainy day because they don’t like to fly when they are wet. Mel Fee, Cavan

Ruffed Grouse – Parry Sound – via Rob Moos








Ruffed Grouse: I wanted to comment on the grouse mystery. Growing up on a farm in the 50 & 60s we did hunt locally and there were always an abundance of grouse, hares, jacks and cottontails. Habitat has been reduced in some areas but not in others so what has changed? Coyotes have arrived in great numbers all across southern Ontario. We continually have tracks in our yard. Along with a very healthy Red Fox population I believe that anything nesting on the ground doesn’t have much of a chance. Would be interested to know if other ground nesting birds such as the Killdeer have seen declines. Always enjoy your columns and just to let you know I stopped hunting 50 years ago.  Al Mace, Westview Dr. Omemee

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.


Dec 282014

Here a couple of pictures of a Coyote I spotted on the ice off Fife Bay Marina Lane, Chemong Lake on the morning of Dec. 20. I didn’t see anything on the ice that looked like food.  The Coyote stood there looking around before turning and heading back down toward the Fowler’s Corners end of the lake.  It did stop several times and look back up toward the causeway end before disappearing behind our point.  Maybe there was something that it was tracking that eluded him !!

Nancy Kafik

Coyote on ice - Nancy Kafik

Close-up of Coyote  – Nancy Kafik

Coyote 2 - Nancy Kafik

Coyote on the ice at Fife Bay – Nancy Kafik

Nov 142014

Yesterday, Nov. 13, at around noon, I watched a Coyote trot down Maple Crescent in West End Peterborough (near Wallis Dr. and Parkhill Road). It was a particularly attractive animal with a very furry mane. The Coyote investigated several backyards but didn’t seem concerned by my presence.

Eastern Coyote on Otonabee River - Tom Northey.

Eastern Coyote on Otonabee River – Tom Northey.

Sue Hill, Merino Drive