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Ontario FeederWatch

Location: Ontario, Canada

Camera Host: Tammie & Ben Haché

October 31, 2014

Pine Grosbeaks in the Snow

Did you know that the tameness and slow-moving behavior of the Pine Grosbeak gave rise to local name in Newfoundland of "mope"? 

October 30, 2014

Gross of Evening Grosbeaks

Although they are songbirds by lineage, Evening Grosbeaks do not have regular songs. They may rarely give short, uneven warbles. In this clip we hear sweet, piercing calls and burry chirps. 

October 26, 2014

A Pine Grosbeak has Arrived!

One of the larger members of its family, the Pine Grosbeak is a bird of the boreal forests, found across northern Eurasia and North America, and south into the mountains of western Canada and the United States. A large, unwary finch, it makes periodic winter irruptions into southern Canada and northern United States. It is the largest and rarest of the "winter finches." More...

October 31, 2014

Pine Grosbeaks in the Snow

Did you know that the tameness and slow-moving behavior of the Pine Grosbeak gave rise to local name in Newfoundland of "mope"? 

October 30, 2014

Gross of Evening Grosbeaks

Although they are songbirds by lineage, Evening Grosbeaks do not have regular songs. They may rarely give short, uneven warbles. In this clip we hear sweet, piercing calls and burry chirps. 

October 26, 2014

Gray Jay and Blue Jay Face-off

Territorial Gray Jays in mild interactions, crouch, then fly towards an intruder, supplanting it from its perch, as we see in this clip. The process is typically repeated until the intruder leaves or energetic aerial pursuit develops. The pursuer may snap their bill, but rarely strikes the intruder, or birds grapple face to face with interlocking claws and tumble on the ground. A Gray Jay standing on food may react to the approach of a subordinate nonbreeder or a Blue Jay by extending its lowered head and running at the other bird, in this case the Gray Jay lowers its wings, puffs up its feathers and flies towards the intruder. Thanks to ellyk for the great video. 

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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