Canada - Ontario, 12th - 13th February 2005

Published by Adam Sabatine (asabatin AT

Participants: Adam Sabatine, Brandon Miller, Matt Hall, Jake Mohlmann, John Yerger, Mike Lohr, Ben Coulter


We left Penn State early in the afternoon on the 12th. On the way out of town we had some good raptors such as Rough-legged, Kestrel, Red-shouldered and Coopers Hawk. We arrived in Dwight around 1 am.

Early on the 13th we started at the Spruce Bog trail in Algonquin. Shortly after arriving mostly everyone had seen plenty of grey jays, which were eating out of our hands. Down the trail we got good looks at a female black-backed woodpecker. Back towards the parking lot, Jake spotted a Male Spruce Grouse, which sat quietly in a spruce about 30 yards away. Later in the day the same grouse came to the outer branches of the spruce, and was viewed by all for about 10 minutes. At Arrowan road, after lunch, we located a male black-backed, pine grosbeaks and white winged crossbills. We did miss Boreal chickadees despite a concerted effort.

On the 13th we arose early and tried once more for the chickadees. Again they were absent, but Brandon got a good look at his life ruffed grouse. We packed up and headed out. Somewhere around Orillia we located the Hawk owl behind some local businesses. He gave us great looks as well and even flew around before landing on the same perch. Later, we found/saw 6 great greys in the course of about 2 miles. This was Brandon's 100th bird, and 3rd owl species (despite not having seen great horned or screech before). Also on this "great grey road" was a northern Shrike and snow buntings. About an hour down the road farther (rt. 400 i think?) we stopped to see a snowy owl that was being seen there. We located the bird, sitting about a half mile away on an irrigation machine. Looking to our right, we actually found another bird perched on a telephone pole that would give us better views. We turned around, and headed towards the second owl. Miraculously, a 3rd snowy flew from the field next to us and perched on another pole not 20 yards away. The 3rd bird was an adult male, and almost completely white. Also, 2 swans flew by which appeared to be trumpeters.

Species Lists

Black-capped Chickadee
Gray Jay
Black-Backed Woodpecker
Spruce Grouse
Blue Jay
Common Raven
Hairy Woodpecker
White-winged Crossbill
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Pine Grosbeak
Downy Woodpecker
Ruffed Grouse
Northern Hawk Owl
Snow Bunting
Northern Shrike
Great Grey Owl
Rough-legged Hawk
Snowy Owl