[CT Birds] Fwd: [BIRDCHAT] Winter Finch Forecast 2009-2010
htg1523 at att.net
htg1523 at att.net
Tue Sep 22 11:29:20 EDT 2009
To add to Bill Banks posting of the winter Finch forecast
I returned from 5 days in the Ct Lakes region of Northern New Hampshire this
past saturday.The cone crop is heavy there and I saw a small group of WW
Crossbills in Black Spruce trees on friday.
----- Original Message -----
From: <semismart9 at aol.com>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2009 8:17 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] Fwd: [BIRDCHAT] Winter Finch Forecast 2009-2010
> Here is the Winter Finch Forecast for those who do not read all of
> Bill Banks
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jean Iron <jeaniron at SYMPATICO.CA>
> To: BIRDCHAT at LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
> Sent: Sat, Sep 19, 2009 9:27 pm
> Subject: [BIRDCHAT] Winter Finch Forecast 2009-2010
> WINTER FINCH FORECAST 2009-2010?
> General Forecast: The theme this winter is there will be no major finch
> irruptions outside their normal ranges. Finch numbers will be low and
> thinly distributed or absent in southern and northeastern Ontario and
> Quebec, where seed crops are poor. Higher numbers of finches should be
> attracted to much better cone crops in northwestern Ontario and west into
> northern Saskatchewan, the Maritime Provinces and Newfoundland, and
> northern New England States.?
> Key Finch Trees: The key tree species in Ontario's boreal forest
> triggering finch movements and distribution are white and black spruces,
> white birch, and mountain-ashes. South of the boreal forest in the mixed
> coniferous/deciduous forest region, white pine and hemlock are additional
> key finch trees. Other trees play a lesser role in finch movements, but
> often buffer main seed sources. These include tamarack, balsam fir, red
> pine, white cedar, alders, and yellow birch.?
> Tree Seed Crops: Spruce cone crops are poor in central Ontario such as
> Algonquin Park and in northeastern Ontario and Quebec. However, spruce
> crops are good to excellent in the boreal forest north of Lake Superior
> and west into Saskatchewan. Spruce cone abundance is lower in Alberta and
> eastern Rocky Mountains, Yukon and Alaska, but is excellent in some high
> spruce zones of central British Columbia. East of Quebec, spruce crops are
> good to excellent in much of Eastern Canada including the island of
> Newfoundland. Heavy spruce crops are also reported in the northern New
> England States. The white pine cone crop is poor in central Ontario such
> as Algonquin Park and fair to good elsewhere in the province, but spotty.
> White pine crops are heavy in New Hampshire. The hemlock crop is almost
> zero in the province. The white birch crop is poor in central and
> northeastern Ontario and Quebec, but improves westward in Ontario,
> becoming very good in Saskatchewan. Birch seed supplies are lower in
> Alberta and Alaska. The mountain-ash (rowan berry) crop is excellent
> across most of the boreal forest in Canada, including the island of
> Newfoundland where it is called dogberry.?
> INDIVIDUAL FINCH FORECASTS?
> Individual finch forecasts below apply mainly to Ontario, but neighboring
> provinces and states may find the forecast applies to them. An irruptive
> raptor and three irruptive passerines are also discussed.?
> Pine Grosbeak: Expect very little or no southward movement into southern
> Ontario because mountain-ash berry crops are excellent in most of the
> boreal forest. A few should get south to Algonquin Park as in most
> Purple Finch: Most Purple Finches should migrate south out of the province
> this fall because many seed crops are poor in the north. This finch has
> declined significantly in recent decades.?
> Red Crossbill: This crossbill comprises at least 10 "call types" in North
> America. Each type has its cone preferences related to bill size and
> shape. The types are exceedingly difficult to identify in the field. Types
> 2 and 3 and probably 4 occur regularly in Ontario. Most Red Crossbills
> prefer pines, but the smallest-billed Hemlock Type 3 (= subspecies
> sitkensis of AOU Check-list 1957) prefers the small soft cones of hemlock
> and white spruce when bumper in Ontario. However, it should be absent from
> traditional areas such as Algonquin Park where hemlock and white spruce
> occur together because these crops are poor there. White pine Type 2 is
> the most frequently encountered Red Crossbill in the province. Since white
> pine crops are low in most of the province, it should be rare to absent
> this winter. Other Red Crossbill types are possible in the province.?
> White-winged Crossbill: This crossbill has no subspecies or types in North
> America. In Ontario, it prefers the small soft cones of white, black and
> red spruces and hemlock. Many White-winged Crossbills left the province
> this past summer after last winter's irruption. Some went into northern
> Ontario attracted to the good spruce cone crops and were singing and
> presumably nested. These birds may remain in the north this winter and
> could breed again in mid winter if seed supplies last. White-winged
> Crossbills will be rare or absent this winter in traditional areas such as
> Algonquin Park because spruce and hemlock cone crops are low. White-winged
> Crossbills should appear this winter in Newfoundland and the Maritime
> Provinces and the northern New England States, where spruce cone crops are
> good to heavy.?
> Common and Hoary Redpolls: Redpolls are a birch seed specialist in winter.
> Since the birch crop is poor in northeastern Ontario and Quebec, a few
> Common Redpolls should move south into southern Ontario and farther east
> and south. However, most redpolls may be drawn to good birch crops in
> northwestern Ontario and westward in the boreal forest into Saskatchewan.?
> Pine Siskin: Siskins are a conifer seed specialist when they winter in
> northern Ontario. Hemlock seed is another favorite in central Ontario.
> Most siskins departed the province early this past summer and appear to
> have gone mainly to western Canada. Banding recoveries show that siskins
> wander both ways between eastern and western North America. Siskins are
> currently very scarce in the Northeast. If siskins find good conifer crops
> in the Northwest, such as the interior of British Columbia, they will stay
> to winter and breed. It is uncertain whether many will return east this
> fall to winter in northwestern Ontario, the Maritime Provinces and
> northern New England States, where cone crops are good to excellent.?
> Evening Grosbeak: Breeding populations are much lower now than 35 years
> ago due mainly to a decrease of large outbreaks of spruce budworm
> beginning in the 1980s. A very few grosbeaks may move south from
> northeastern Ontario and Quebec where coniferous and deciduous seed
> supplies are generally poor. If any come, there are large crops of
> Manitoba maple seeds and plenty of sunflower seeds at feeders waiting for
> FOUR MORE IRRUPTIVE SPECIES?
> Northern Goshawk: A good flight is very possible this fall or next.
> Goshawks in the boreal forest in winter prey on hares, grouse and red
> squirrels. Snowshoe Hares have been abundant in parts of northern Ontario
> the past few years and they should crash soon. Also, Ruffed Grouse likely
> had a poor breeding season due to a cool, wet spring and summer, which
> lowered chick survival.?
> Blue Jay: The flight began in the second week of September. This year's
> flight is much larger than in 2008 along the north shorelines of Lakes
> Ontario and Erie because most acorn, beechnut and hazelnut crops were poor
> this summer in Ontario with some local exceptions. Many fewer jays will
> winter in Ontario because most could not find enough food to store.?
> Red-breasted Nuthatch: Movements of this nuthatch in Ontario are linked to
> cone crop abundance, particularly white spruce, white pine and balsam fir
> when bumper. There has not been a noticeable southward movement along
> Lakes Ontario and Erie, indicating this is not an irruption year for it
> and associated winter finches such as White-winged Crossbills and Pine
> Siskins. However, Red-breasted Nuthatches will be scarce this winter in
> central Ontario such as Algonquin Park and in northeastern Ontario and
> Quebec because cone crops there are generally poor in these areas. Many
> nuthatches likely dispersed to better cone crops north and west of Lake
> Superior and east to the Maritime Provinces.?
> Bohemian Waxwing: Like the Pine Grosbeak, this waxwing is a mountain-ash
> berry specialist in winter. Mountain-ash crops are high around Lake
> Superior and in many areas of northern Ontario. Crops are also good in
> Quebec, Newfoundland and northern New England States so this nomad may
> show up in these areas this winter. Its breeding and winter ranges in
> eastern North America have expanded in recent times. Range maps in field
> guides show Bohemians breeding east to James Bay, but recently they have
> been found in summer scattered across northern Quebec and Labrador.
> Historically they were very rare in winter on the island of Newfoundland,
> but are now abundant there some winters. Their winter range movements have
> also expanded to other eastern areas because of planted European
> mountain-ashes and ornamental crabapples.?
> WHERE TO SEE FINCHES: A winter trip to Algonquin Park is always a birding
> adventure. The park is a three hour drive north of Toronto. Finch numbers
> will be low in Algonquin this winter, but the feeders at the Visitor
> Centre should attract a few Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Grosbeaks and
> redpolls. Gray Jays frequent the suet feeder and sometimes a Pine Marten
> or Fisher feeds on the suet. An observation deck overlooks a spectacular
> boreal wetland and black spruce/tamarack forest. Eastern Canadian Wolves
> (Canis lycaon), which until recently was a subspecies of the Gray Wolf,
> are seen occasionally from the observation deck feeding on road-killed
> Moose put out by park staff. The Visitor Centre and restaurant at km 43
> are open on weekends in winter. Arrangements can be made to view feeders
> on weekdays. For information, call the Visitor Centre at 613-637-2828. The
> Spruce Bog Trail at km 42.5 near the Visitor Centre and the gated area
> north on the Opeongo Road are the best spots for finches, Gray Jay, Boreal
> Chickadee, Spruce Grouse and Black-backed Woodpecker.?
> FINCHES AND TREES: A good knowledge of trees is essential to understanding
> winter finch habitats, food preferences and distributions. By coincidence,
> the finch forecast comes out the same week as the new "The Sibley Guide to
> Trees". In a recent interview with Birder's World, David Sibley said "I
> wanted it to be a tree guide for birdwatchers".?
> Previous finch forecasts archived at OFO website.?
> Previous finch forecasts archived at Larry Neily's website.?
> ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: I thank staff of the Ontario Ministry of Natural
> Resources from across the province designated by an asterisk* and many
> others whose reports allow me to make annual forecasts: Ken Abraham*
> (Hudson Bay Lowlands), Dennis Barry (Durham Region), Eleanor Beagan
> (Prince Edward Island), Syd Cannings (Yukon), Ken Corston* (Moosonee),
> Pascal Cote (Tadoussac, Quebec), Shirley Davidson (Minden/Dorset), Bruce
> Di Labio (Ottawa), Carrolle Eady (Dryden), Cameron Eckert (Yukon), Nick
> Escott (Thunder Bay), Brian Fox* (Timmins), Marcel Gahbauer (Alberta),
> Stacy Gan* (James Bay), David Govatski (New Hampshire), Skye Haas
> (Michigan), Charity Hendry* (Ontario Tree Seed Plant), Leo Heyens*
> (Kenora), Tyler Hoar, George Holborn* (Thunder Bay), David Hussell*, Peter
> Hynard (Haliburton and Maine), Jean Iron (Northeastern Ontario/James Bay),
> Bruce Mactavish (Newfoundland), Erwin Meissner (Massey), Brian Naylor*
> (North Bay), Stephen O'Donnell (Parry Sound District), Mark O'Donoghue
> (Yukon), Fred Pinto* (North Bay), Rick Salmon* (Lake Nipigon), Harvey and
> Brenda Schmidt (Creighton, Saskatchewan), Chris Sharp (Trent University),
> Don Sutherland* (Northern Ontario), Eve Ticknor (Ottawa), Ron Tozer
> (Algonquin Park), Declan Troy (Alaska), Mike Turner* (Minden), Mike Walsh*
> (Muskoka), John Woodcock (Thunder Cape Bird Observatory), Matt Young has
> been very helpful with seed crop information from New York State, and Kirk
> Zufelt (Sault Ste Marie ON). Jean Iron provided many helpful suggestions
> and proofed the forecast.?
> Ron Pittaway?
> Ontario Field Ornithologists?
> Minden ON?
> 19 September 2009?
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