LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for VTBIRD Archives


VTBIRD Archives

VTBIRD Archives


VTBIRD@LIST.UVM.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

VTBIRD Home

VTBIRD Home

VTBIRD  October 2003

VTBIRD October 2003

Subject:

FW: Winter Finch Forecast

From:

Michael Blust <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 13 Oct 2003 11:27:20 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (138 lines)

VT Birders - This was forwarded to me and I am passing it on. It is a nice set of info not only for this year's winter birding, but for an understanding of the details influencing irruptive species.

Enjoy!

Mike Blust, Professor of Biology
101 Ames Hall
Green Mountain College
Poultney, VT   05764
802-287-8387
[log in to unmask]

"Good things come to those who wade"

-------------------------------------------------



Subject: Winter Finch Forecast in Ontario
From: Jean Iron <jeaniron(AT)sympatico.ca>
Date: 8 Oct 2003 5:29am

Hello Birdchatters,

Many people have asked for my annual prediction on winter finches. This
fall and winter I forecast a good flight of boreal winter finches to the
south because of the failure of most tree seed crops, except White Spruce,
over a large area of northern Ontario. I contacted sources in central and
northern Ontario who are knowledgeable about tree seed crops. Based on
their information and my own observations, here are my predictions for
seeing winter finches in traditional spots such as Algonquin Park (one of
the best places in the world to see them) and at bird feeders in southern
Ontario. I also comment on a few other species, such as Red-breasted
Nuthatch, which often move in association with winter finches.

TREE SEED CROPS: (1) Conifers: Except for an excellent crop on spruces,
most conifers have poor cone crops. There are local good cone crops on
White Pine around North Bay and in the Upper Ottawa Valley. There is a good
crop of cones on White Cedar, but it usually is not a key species for
winter finches. Eastern Hemlock has retained cones from last year, which
may hold some seeds. (2) Hardwoods/Deciduous: The White Birch seed crop is
poor in most areas, but there are pockets with moderate crops. A large
outbreak of Birch Leaf Skeletonizer has reduced seed quantity and quality
over much of central Ontario and in northern Ontario from Lake Nipigon to
the Quebec border. Good crops of American and Showy Mountain-ash berries
are reported in northeastern Ontario, but there are poor crops in some
northern areas.

PINE GROSBEAK: Movements of Pine Grosbeaks are keyed to mountain-ash
berries. They irrupt into southern Ontario when mountain-ash berries are in
low supply in the boreal forest. Last year was an excellent year for
mountain-ash berries and Pine Grosbeaks stayed in the north. This year the
crop is good in some areas and poor in others so we can expect a moderate
flight of Pine Grosbeaks into Algonquin Park and probably into southern
Ontario. Watch for them on European Mountain-ash (rowan berries) in
southern Ontario, which has a moderate crop of berries if the robins and
starlings leave any. Pine Grosbeaks also feed on ornamental crab apple
seeds, which are commonly planted in urban areas. At bird feeders, Pine
Grosbeaks prefer sunflower seeds.

PURPLE FINCH: Already a few have been seen migrating south through southern
Ontario in September. I expect that most will migrate out of Ontario into
the United States in October and November because tree seed crops are
generally poor across most of northern Ontario. Don't expect to see Purple
Finches in Algonquin Park this winter. A few may winter at feeders in
southern Ontario. Purple Finches have declined in recent years.

RED CROSSBILL: Two main forms occur in Ontario. One is adapted to hemlock
and the other to pines. The hemlock form (sitkensis) has a small bill, even
smaller than White-winged Crossbill. Hemlock cone crops are poor this year
(some cones retained from last year) so sitkensis Red Crossbills are not
expected this winter. In most areas, White Pine and Red Pine cone crops are
poor. However, there are pockets of good cone crops on White Pine around
North Bay and the Upper Ottawa Valley and in Simcoe County. Red Pine also
has some locally good crops. Watch for a few Red Crossbills where there are
pine cones.

WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL: Currently there are no White-winged Crossbills in
Algonquin Park. However, this winter they should be widespread in small
numbers across the north and in Algonquin Park because of big cone crops on
spruce. We also may see White-winged Crossbills in southern Ontario
attracted to the big cone crops on spruces. Many ornamental spruces in
Toronto are bending over with a heavy load of cones.

COMMON and HOARY REDPOLLS: I expect a good flight of redpolls. In winter
redpolls are keyed to birch seeds. The White Birch seed crop is poor in
many northern areas. Watch for redpolls in weedy fields and at bird
feeders. They love nyger (niger) seeds in silo feeders. Flocks of Common
Redpolls always bring the chance of seeing Hoary Redpolls.

PINE SISKIN: Expect to see many siskins migrating south out of Ontario in
October and November because most conifers, except spruce, have poor cone
crops. However, the excellent spruce cone crop should hold some siskins in
places such as Algonquin Park for the winter.

EVENING GROSBEAK: Recently this species has become more of a mystery bird.
Once regular in winter at feeders in southern Ontario, its numbers seem to
be declining. I saw only one pair this July in Haliburton County, where 10
- 20 years ago I often saw them in summer. Because seed crops are generally
poor across the north, I expect a southward movement at the usual time in
late November and early December. A few should winter in Algonquin Park and
visit feeders in southern Ontario.

AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: Large numbers are currently migrating in southern
Ontario. This is another indication of poor seed crops in central and
northern Ontario.

RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH: They are migrating south now. I expect some to stay
north this winter because of heavy cone crops on spruce in central and
northern Ontario. In Algonquin Park, there is a strong correlation in
numbers (both high and low) between Red-breasted Nuthatches and
White-winged Crossbills. Pine Siskin numbers are moderately correlated with
numbers of Red-breasted Nuthatches.

BOHEMIAN WAXWING: Like Pine Grosbeaks, Bohemian Waxwings are keyed to
mountain-ash berries in the boreal forest. Because the mountain-ash berry
crop is poor in some areas, expect a small flight of Bohemians into
traditional areas such as Ottawa and Peterborough and probably elsewhere.

BLUE JAY: My sources tell me that there has been a widespread failure of
Red Oak acorns and acorns on other oaks in the northeast. The large numbers
of Blue Jays moving south in September along the shorelines of Lake Ontario
and Lake Erie indicate that acorn, beechnut and many other seed crops are
poor in Ontario. This is another indicator that a flight of winter finches
is coming.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: For information on tree seed crops, I wish to thank
Dennis Barry in Durham Region and Haliburton County, Al Foley (MNR) in
Simcoe County, Peter Hynard (MNR) in Haliburton County, Fred Pinto (MNR) in
Sudbury District, Taylor Scarr (MNR) in Sault Ste Marie, Ron Tozer in
Algonquin Park, Mike Turner (MNR) in Haliburton County, and Mike Walsh
(MNR) in Muskoka/Parry Sound.

Happy winter finch watching,

Ron Pittaway

Minden and Toronto, Ontario

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.UVM.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager