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Take Bird Feeding to the Next Level!

Our Winter Bird Feeding Guide covers what you need to know.

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Ontario FeederWatch

Location: Ontario, Canada

Camera Host: Tammie & Ben Haché

December 03, 2014

First Downy Woodpecker Sighting Since the Summer

According to feeder owner Tammie this is the first female Downy Woodpecker sighting she has had since the Summer. They are considered a year round resident of the area, however according to eBird data, there are few sightings in Manitouwadge, Ontario, Canada at this time of year. More...

December 03, 2014

Hoary Redpoll Sighting Confirmed

A great view of a single Hoary Redpoll was noted, eating on the feeder tray in the company of 3 Pine Grosbeaks. Two subspecies of Hoary Redpoll are recognized: the southern (C. h. exilpes) and the Greenland (C. h. hornemanni) forms. The southern form breeds across Canada, Alaska, and Eurasia, and is slightly darker and sleeker. The Greenland form breeds only in the very high Arctic of Greenland and neighboring Canada, and is very pale with a large white rump. More...

December 01, 2014

Possible Hoary Redpoll Spotted

A rare sighting for the Ontario feeders, but we think a Hoary Redpoll is visible in this clip towards the back of the feeder tray. Hoary Redpolls are similar to Common Redpolls, but much paler overall, with a smaller bill. The black at the base of the bill clearly contrasts with the paler white face. The grey/ brown streaking is also much fainter or mostly absent on the lower belly/undertail coverts. A small pale bird of the high Arctic, the Hoary Redpoll is a rare winter visitor to southern Canada and the northern United States. During redpoll invasions, a few paler Hoary Redpolls can sometimes be spotted within flocks of Common Redpolls. 

December 03, 2014

Hoary Redpoll Sighting Confirmed

A great view of a single Hoary Redpoll was noted, eating on the feeder tray in the company of 3 Pine Grosbeaks. Two subspecies of Hoary Redpoll are recognized: the southern (C. h. exilpes) and the Greenland (C. h. hornemanni) forms. The southern form breeds across Canada, Alaska, and Eurasia, and is slightly darker and sleeker. The Greenland form breeds only in the very high Arctic of Greenland and neighboring Canada, and is very pale with a large white rump. More...

December 03, 2014

First Downy Woodpecker Sighting Since the Summer

According to feeder owner Tammie this is the first female Downy Woodpecker sighting she has had since the Summer. They are considered a year round resident of the area, however according to eBird data, there are few sightings in Manitouwadge, Ontario, Canada at this time of year. More...

December 01, 2014

Possible Hoary Redpoll Spotted

A rare sighting for the Ontario feeders, but we think a Hoary Redpoll is visible in this clip towards the back of the feeder tray. Hoary Redpolls are similar to Common Redpolls, but much paler overall, with a smaller bill. The black at the base of the bill clearly contrasts with the paler white face. The grey/ brown streaking is also much fainter or mostly absent on the lower belly/undertail coverts. A small pale bird of the high Arctic, the Hoary Redpoll is a rare winter visitor to southern Canada and the northern United States. During redpoll invasions, a few paler Hoary Redpolls can sometimes be spotted within flocks of Common Redpolls. 

October 26

First Pine Grosbeak Sighting of the Season

The largest and rarest 'winter finch' arrives. The Pine Grosbeak is a large, unwary finch, it makes periodic winter irruptions into southern Canada and northern United States.  

October 25

Rare Female Northern Cardinal Sighting

Northern Cardinals are year-round residents throughout range, however their recorded range does not reach as far north as the Ontario FeederWatch cam, located in Manitouwadge, north of Lake Superior. 

October 23

FeederWatch Cam Wallpaper

Check out our new FeederWatch Cam wallpaper, illustrated by artist Anna Rettberg, and featuring nine species from our two cams! Download your own copy at http://bit.ly/feederwatchcam_wallpaper or click 'More...' for the link. The species featured in the wallpaper are: top left- Rose-breasted Grosbeak, middle left- American Goldfinch, bottom left- Northern Cardinal, on the feeder, top- White-breasted Nuthatch, middle- Hairy Woodpecker and bottom- Black-capped Chickadee and on the top right- Evening Grosbeak, middle right- Common Redpoll, bottom right- Gray Jay. More...

Commonly Seen Species

Common Redpoll

Common Redpolls are brown and white birds with heavily streaked sides. Look for a small red forehead patch, black feathering around a yellow bill, and two white wingbars. Males have a pale red vest on the chest and upper flanks. More

Hoary Redpoll

A small pale bird of the high Arctic, the Hoary Redpoll is a rare winter visitor to southern Canada and the northern United States. Compared to a Common Redpoll, Hoarys are paler with faint, almost nonexistent streaking on the sides, a smaller-looking bill, and an overall stockier appearance. More

Pine Grosbeak

Male Pine Grosbeaks have a pinkish-red head, breast, back and rump. Their wings are dark blackish brown with white wingbars and tertial edges. Females are yellowish olive on their head and rump with gray underparts and back. More

Evening Grosbeak

Adult male Evening Grosbeaks are yellow and black birds with a prominent white patch in the wings. They have dark heads with a bright-yellow stripe over the eye. Females and immatures are mostly gray, with white-and-black wings and a greenish-yellow tinge to the neck and flanks. More

Hairy Woodpecker

A medium-sized black and white woodpecker with a fairly square head, a long, straight, chisel-like bill, and stiff, long tail feathers to lean against on tree trunks. The bill is nearly the same length as the head, and males have a flash of red on the back of the head. More

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpeckers are small black and white versions of the classic woodpecker body plan. They have a straight, chisel-like bill, blocky head, wide shoulders, and straight-backed posture as they lean away from tree limbs and onto their tail feathers. The bill tends to look smaller for the bird’s size than in other woodpeckers. More

Black-capped Chickadee

A bird almost universally considered “cute” thanks to its oversized round head, tiny body, and curiosity about everything, including humans. The chickadee’s black cap and bib; white cheeks; gray back, wings, and tail; and whitish underside with buffy sides are distinctive. More

Gray Jay

Gray Jays are dark gray above and light gray below, with black on the back of the head forming a partial hood. Juveniles are grayish black overall, and usually show a pale gape at the base of the bill. They are stocky, fairly large songbirds with short, stout bills, round heads, and long tails. More

About the Site

The FeederWatch cam is located in a residential neighborhood in Manitouwadge, Ontario. This northern site is an excellent location to see winter finches like redpolls and grosbeaks as well as two species of Jays and even Ruffed Grouse! The feeders sit in the middle of a large backyard with a large birch tree that the birds love, as well as a mixed stand of conifers and several fruit and berry producing shrubs. There’s a small swamp just beyond the backyard as well as larger stands of woods and a small lake.The feeder system is the product of the camera hosts’ ingenuity, making use of plastic piping to support the feeders high enough above ground to foil the occasional squirrel, and a rotating set of feeders that provide black oil sunflower seeds, nyjer seed, whole and shelled peanuts, and peanut butter suet in a homemade hanging log to the dozens of species that visit.

About the Hosts

Tammie and Ben Hache have been members of Project FeederWatch since 2002, meticulously counting their backyard birds to help better understand what birds are doing throughout the winter. The years of FeederWatching have brought amazing views to the Haches; some of the highlights included counts with over 200 Evening Grosbeaks seen at once, high counts of 20+ Hoary Redpolls, an extremely out-of-range White-winged Dove, and the constant buzzing of hummingbirds in the summer. A winter of bird feeding requires a lot of food, too—last year over 750 lb of sunflower seeds were consumed by the hungry birds!

About Project FeederWatch

Project FeederWatch is a winter-long survey of birds that visit feeders at backyards, nature centers, community areas, and other locales in North America. FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance. Anyone with an interest in birds can participate in Project FeederWatch! There are people of all skill levels and backgrounds conducting FeederWatch counts, including children, families, individuals, classrooms, retired persons, youth groups, nature centers, and bird clubs.Learn More and Sign up Online

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