Ontario Birds Issues Summaries


December 2010 (28:3)


Painting of a Turkey Vulture by Barry Kent MacKay


  • What Birders in Ontario think about Wind Energy in Relation to Birds by Edward Cheskey and Ahmed Zedan

  • Distinguished Ornithologists: Erica Dunn and David Hussell by Erica Nol

  • Dome-less Nest of the Ovenbird from the Bruce Peninsula by Michael Patrikeev

  • The Autumn Blue Jay Migration in Ontario by Geoffrey Carpentier

  • Black Terns in the Dryden District of Northwestern Ontario, 2001-2010 by Darlene J.M. (Scott) Salter

  • Successful Diurnal Foraging by a Barred Owl in Open Field Habitat in Winter by Donald A. Sutherland and Ian L. Jones

  • Book Review: A Birding Guide to the Long Point Area by Glenn Coady

  • Successful Renesting of Caspian Terns on Mohawk Island, Lake Erie, After Complete Colony Failure by Laura E. King and Shane R. de Solla

  • 2011 OFO Board of Directors and Committees

August 2010 (28:2)


Painting of a Roseate Spoonbill by Barry Kent MacKay


  • Ontario Bird Record Committee Report for 2009 by Mark H. Cranford. This year’s report presents the results of the review of 152 records. New for the province are Roseate Spoonbill and Black‐tailed Gull; MacGillivray’s Warbler is removed from the provincial list. There are 26 illustrations of birds and one of the committee accompanying the article.

  • Wind Turbines and Birds: Behaviour of Migrant Blue Jays in Relation to Tree Cover and Wind Turbines by Ross D. James. The article compares responses of Blue Jays when confronted with flying across open fields (many turn away) vs. flying close past a modern wind turbine (many fly right past).

  • Star-nosed Mole in the Diet of Northern Saw-whet Owl by D.A. Sutherland and R. Ridout. Report of a Northern Saw-whet Owl feeding on a Star-nosed Mole. Two photos accompany the article.

  • Trumpeter Swans in Ontario 2008-2009 by Harry Lumsden. Provides an update on the status of the birds in Ontario, indicates that records have been computerized, discusses winter distribution of marked birds and comments on the potential summer and winter ranges in eastern North America. A photo of some swans in flight and a wintering range map are included.

  • Greater Snow Geese in Eastern Ontario by Brian Morin and Jack Hughes. An expending population of migrant Greater Snow Geese is documented in eastern Ontario. There are six spectacular photos of flocks with the article.

April 2010 (28:1)


Painting of nesting Forster’s Terns by Barry Kent McKay


  • Forster’s Terns Breeding in Ontario: Historical Trends and Recent Surveys of Eastern Lake St. Clair and Long Point by David J. Moore, D.V. Chip Wesloh, Jon McCracken and Christian A. Friis. Three maps, two tables and a graph help to document recent colony locations and numbers, following a review of historical information on Forster's Tern in southern Ontario.

  • Reproductive Success and Banding Returns of American Kestrels in Agroecosystems in the Southern Ontario Landscape by Kimberly O’Hare, Pamela Martin, Glenn Barrett. Reproductive success as revealed by nest box monitoring of 219 nests over four years, and banding returns from 1270 birds are provided. Two photos, a map and three tables accompany the article.

  • Ontario’s Recovering Peregrine Falcon Population: Results of the 2005 Survey by Ted (E.R.) Armstrong and Brian Ratcliff. A map, 2 figures and 4 tables document the results of surveys throughout both rural and urban Ontario in 2005, and results are compared with results of previous surveys. Projected future trends and three photos compliment the article.

  • The Great Egret Roost at Muddy Creek, Essex County, Autumn 2006 by D.V. Chip Wesloh, Alan Wormington and David J. Moore. Discussions centre on the results of surveys at one roost, the importance of roosts to egrets and the timing of use, but information is provided about other roosts and the probable origins of birds using the roosts. Two maps and 4 tables accompany the article.

  • How a Snowy Owl hunts Boneparte’s Gulls on the Wing by Stuart A. Mackenzie. A fascinating note on an observed hunting method to secure gulls in flight.


December 2009 (27:3)


Painting of Cooper’s Hawk by Barry Kent McKay


  • Red-headed Woodpecker Habitat Preference in the Rainy River Area of Ontario by David H. Elder and John Van den Broek. Discusses the habitat choice of the woodpeckers and the influence of cattle grazing on maintaining that habitat; three photos illustrate the bird and its habitat.

  • Early nesting of Pine Siskin in Ontario by Antonio Salvador, Sue Blue and Richard Frank. Based on banded young, an early date for nesting is indicated in a year of a big influx of siskins in late winter 2009.

  • Ronald G. Tozer: Distinguished Ornithologist by Margaret Bain. The commendation presented at the annual meeting by Margaret Bain, with a photo of Ron and Margaret.

  • Apparent hybrid White-rumped Sandpiper X Dunlin at Rock Point Provincial Park by James Pawlicki. Two photos of the apparent hybrid and a photo of a similar‐plumaged Dunlin accompany a detailed description of the bird.

  • Presumed Defence of Hunting Territory by a Cooper’s Hawk by Randy Horvath. An aggressive wintering Cooper's Hawk attacking a Peregrine Falcon.

  • Two novel behaviours in a Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus) by Mike Boyd. Scavenging and subterranean concealment are described for an autumn migrant at Long Point, Ontario.

  • In Memoriam: Jon Charles Barlow (1935-2009) by Cathy Dutton

  • 2010 OFO Board of Directors and Committees

August 2009 (27:2)


Painting of Merlins by Barry Kent McKay


  • Ontario Bird Records Committee Report for 2008 by Ian Richards. Presents the results of adjudication of 113 reports submitted for 2008. Barnacle Goose and Mottled Duck are added to the Ontario list. Seventeen photos of birds, with photos of a page of field notes and of the committee accompany the article.

  • The Southern Expansion and Urbanization of The Merlin in Ontario: Nesting Merlins in Waterloo Region, 2008 by Bill Read and William G. Wilson. Details the expansion of Merlins into urban southern Ontario, and of a nesting in Waterloo region. Eight photos of the birds and their Cambridge nesting habitat accompany the article.

  • Northern Mockingbird in Kenora in 1965 by Martin K. McNicholl. Gives details of an observation at Kenora in 1965 recorded in an often overlooked newspaper source.

April 2009 (27:1)


Painting of Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers and their hybrids - Lawrence’s and Brewster’s Warblers, by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • Population densities of Golden-winged Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler and their hybrids, in eastern Ontario, by Laura King, Virginia Emery, Raleigh Robertson, Rachel Vallender and Paul Martin. They discuss the methods and findings of population surveys for these warblers, at three study areas north of Kingston, Ontario. The article is illustrated with three photos of the birds, two range maps, and three maps of the study areas showing census points and the distribution of the warblers in those areas.

  • A long-eared Owl X Short-eared Owl (Asio otus X Asio flammeus) specimen from Ontario, by Michel Gosselin and Kristen Keys. They describe an owl specimen from eastern Ontario that by plumage appears to be a hybrid between the two species. They discuss the significance of this heretofor unknown hybrid. There are 6 illustrations of the hybrid compared to parental types.

  • Wind turbines and birds - the Erie Shores Wind Farm experience: breeding bird surveys, by Ross James. This paper presents the results of breeding bird point counts conducted over two years following the operation of the wind farm, in nearby woodlands, wooded ravines and fields, noting any changes in pairs of censuses at closer and more distant point counts. The results of studies at some other wind farms are also included in the discussion.

  • First nesting of American White Pelican on Lake Superior, Ontario, Canada, by Cynthia Pekarik, Clive Hodder, Chip Weseloh, Carolyn Matkovich, Laird shutt, Tom Erdman and Sumner Matteson. In addition to providing details of the discovery of a pelican nesting colony in Black Bay, Lake Superion, they discuss the slow eastward expansion of the pelican population in North America and the Great Lakes.

  • Aberrantly-coloured eggs of Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) from Lake Huron, by Michael Patrikeev, Scott Parker and Jeff Truscott. Several cormorant nests were found in a single colony on Lake Huron containing eggs that were heavily spotted, unlike the typical pale blue eggs. Photos of two such clutches are presented along with two normal clutches. The cause of the spotting are still uncertain and warrant further investigation.


December 2008 (26:3)


Painting of Least Bitterns by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • Occurence and habitat of breeding Least Bitterns at St. Clair National Wildlife Area. Shawn Meyer and Christian Friis review the breeding biology of the Least Bittern at one of its best known Ontario breeding locations. This article is illustrated with twelve photographs.

  • Bohemian Waxwings selectively feeding on the stamens of Silver Maple. Winnie Poon illustrates and explains a very unique feeding strategy employed by waxwings in winter. This article is illustrated with five phtographs.

  • Saving the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike: fifteen years of recovery success. Elaine Williams and Jessica Steiner summarize the results of the recovery plan for the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike, one of Ontario’s most endangered breeding birds. This article is illustrated with six photographs, one map and three graphs.

  • Harry G. Lumsden - Distinguished Ornithologist. Ken Abraham pays tribute to the impressive body of work of one of his mentors, Harry Lumsden, the recipient of the 2008 Ontario Field Ornithologists Distinguished Ornithologist Award. This article is illustrated with one photograph taken at the award presentation at the 2008 OFO Annual Convention.

  • Black Swift: First Record for Ontario. Stuart Mackenzie recounts the discovery of the first Black Swift ever seen in Ontario. This article is illustrated with two field sketches.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady presents an identification analysis of a “little brown job” in fall migration.

August 2008 (26:2)


Painting of a female Black Scoter with a brood of five young by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • Ontario Bird Records Committee Report for 2007. By Ian M. Richards. This year’s OBRC Report is illustrated with 18 colour photographs and 2 field sketches.

  • First documentation of Black Scoter breeding in Ontario. By Kenneth F. Abraham, Donald M. Filliter and Donald A. Sutherland. The article is illustrated with 7 colour photographs and 1 map detailing the first records confirming this new breeding species for Ontario.

  • Wind turbines and birds - the Erie Shores wind farm experience: nesting birds. By Ross D. James. A review of the nesting birds found adjacent to a new wind turbine installation in southern Ontario.

  • A colour-banded Great Egret from Ontario sighted in the Azores Islands. By D.V. Chip Weseloh and Dave Moore. A note on an interesting extralimital banding recovery of an Ontario breeding bird.

In Memoriam

Donald H. Baldwin (1934-2007): A classical naturalist remembered. By Gregor G. Beck. A tribute to a long‐time Ontario ornithologist Don Baldwin. Illustrated with two black-and-white photographs.

In Memoriam

Marshall H. Field (1919-2007): Remembering a St. Thomas force of nature. By Winifred Wake. A tribute to the late Marshall Field, founding member of many Ontario ornithological organizations. Illustrated with 2 colour photographs.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady tests us with a photograph giving a “scope view” of an adult passerine.

April 2008 (26:1)


Painting of a pair of Kirtland’s Warblers feeding young at the nest by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • Confirmed occurrence and nesting of the Kirtland’s Warbler at CFB Petawawa, Ontario: A First for Canada. By Tammy Richard. The article is illustrated with 10 colour photographs of this historic nest record.

  • The successful nesting of the Piping Plover at Sauble Beach marks a return to the Canadian Great Lakes after 30 years. By Brendan A. Toews, Kimberly J. Toews and Cindy E.J. Cartwright. The article is illustrated with 20 colour photographs detailing the return of this breeding species to southern Ontario.

  • Manx Shearwaters on the Great Lakes. By Robert Curry and Bruce Di Labio The article reviews the Great Lakes occurrences of Manx Shearwater. It is illustrated with 4 colour photographs pertaining to the Ottawa and Hamilton records.

  • Another Leucistic Bird: Common Goldeneye. By Barry Cherriere. The article is illustrated with 1 colour photograph.

  • Use of Black Alder (Ulnus glutinosa) by birds in southern Ontario. By Kenneth W. Dance.

  • Nectar‐feeding by a Nashville Warbler. By Justin Peter. The article is illustrated with 1 colour photograph.

Book Review

  • Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, 2001‐2005. Our recently published Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas is reviewed by Dr. Chandler S. Robbins, founder of the North American Breeding Bird Survey and widely regarded as the father of North American Breeding Bird Atlas projects.

Photo Quiz

In honour of the publication of our Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, Glenn Coady tests us with photographs of an interesting Ontario nest.


Dave Moore, Ralph Morris and Chip Weseloh provide a correction to their recent article on nesting Great Black‐backed Gulls on Lake Erie.


1. Baillie Birdathon 2008. A pledge form is enclosed to give you another chance to sponsor our 2008 OFO Celebrity Birdathoners, “The Grippers“ (fathers and sons Pete and Rob Read & Ian and Gavin Platt).
2. Annual Convention and Banquet 2008. A registration form is enclosed for the OFO 2008 Annual Convention and Banquet, to be held in Hamilton, 4‐5 October 2008. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Donald E. Kroodsma, author of the award‐winning “The Singing Life Of Birds“, and widely acknowledged as the reigning authority on avian vocal behaviour.


December 2007 (25:3)

Letter to the editors

Letter from George Peck correcting some of the information in the Little Gull article by D.V. Chip Weseloh in Ontario Birds 25:90-103.


  • Leucistic birds in Ontario by Barry Cherriere. Photos of leucistic American Kestrel, Black-crowned Night Heron and Horned Grebe, with comments on leucism, and a description of a leucistic Red-necked Grebe.

  • An unusual nest of the Hermit Thrush by Christopher M. Lemieux and Donald A. Sutherland. A nest discovered in a potted plant on the deck of a cottage, with photos of the location and the nest and eggs.

  • First nesting records of the Great Black-backed Gull on Lake Erie by Dave Moore, Ralph Morris and D.V. Chip Weseloh. Documents the nesting of Great Black-backed Gull on Lake Erie, with 2 photos of nesting sites and one of a bird.

  • Discovery of a Piping Plover on Akimiski Island, James Bay, Nunavut by Carmen Lishman. Details the discovery of a Piping Plover on the island, with 3 photos of the bird, two maps and a photo of typical coastal habitat where the bird was seen in June 2007.

  • Colony distribution and nest numbers of Double-crested Cormorants on the upper St. Lawrence River, 1991-2007 by D.V. Chip Weseloh, Irene Mazzocchi, Tania Havelka, Lee Harper, James Farquhar III, Cynthia Pekarik and Bud Andress. A map of colony locations with a table and graph of numbers and photos of 3 colony sites and two of birds document the rise in numbers in the St. Lawrence River area.

  • Red-bellied Woodpecker Nesting in Rainy River District by Glenn Coady. This article with 3 photos of birds at or in the nest cavity document the first nesting of this species in the Rainy River area of western Ontario.

Book Review

Kevin McLaughlin reviews Gulls of North America by Steve N.G. Howell and Jon Dunn (2007). Houghton Mifflin.

Distinguished Ornithologist: Michael D. Cadman

The commendation by Mark K. Peck in presenting the award to Mike at the annual meeting in 2007, with a photo of Mike and Mark.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady presents clues to the identification of one of the mergansers.

August 2007 (25:2)


A colour painting of Manx Shearwater by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • The Ontario Bird Records Committee Report for 2006 OBRC Secretary Bill Crins reports on the Accepted and Not Accepted records for 2006, with comments on the status of several species, subspecies and morphs. The report includes 14 colour photographs of accepted rarities.

  • When Orioles Turn Red Dan Derbyshire and Tom Flinn discuss a case of diet-induced erythrism in the Baltimore Oriole involving the carotenoid rhodoxanthin. This article is illustrated with 4 colour photographs.

  • The Sandhill Cranes of the Rainy River Area of Ontario Dave Elder reviews the status of the two subspecies of Sandhill Crane that occur in the Rainy River area. This article is illustrated with 1 colour photograph.

  • Breeding Season Records of Dickcissel in the Greater Toronto Area Glenn Coady reviews the history of breeding season records of Dickcissel in the GTA. This article is illustrated with 1 colour map and 7 colour photographs.

  • Discovery and Nesting of the Little Gull on North Limestone Island, Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, 1979-1991 Chip Weseloh reviews the discovery and history of nesting Little Gulls at North Limestone Island in Georgian Bay. This article is illustrated with 5 colour photographs.

Book Reviews

  • Ross James reviews the book Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Headaches? by Mike O’Connor.

In Memoriam

Ron Pittaway pays tribute to one of his ornithological heroes, the late Kenneth C. Parkes, Curator Emeritus of Birds at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Photo Quiz

By Glenn Coady. Glenn tests us with a summer tern.

This is the second issue by new editors Ross James, Glenn Coady and Chip Weseloh with design and production by Judie Shore. We wish to thank the cover artist, authors, photographers and advertisers who contributed to this issue.

April 2007 (25:1)


Painting of a pair of Ross's Geese at their nest by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • Notes on feeding and nesting behaviour of Northern Saw-whet Owl (Aegolius acadicus), and its status in the vicinity of Wawa, Ontario By Michael Patrikeev. The article has 10 photos of the nesting owls with various small mammal and bird prey at the nest hole.

  • Barred Owl Snow-plunging in an Open Field in Daylight By Ross James. Includes photo of a Barred Owl by George Peck.

  • First Documented Nest Records of Ross's Goose in Ontario By Glenn Coady, Don Sutherland, Colin Jones, Mark Peck and Gerry Binsfeld. The article includes 8 photos of Ross's Geese, their breeding habitat, nest and eggs.

Book Reviews

  • Birds of Hamilton and Surrounding Areas Reviewed by Ross James.

  • Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica Reviewed by Sandy Darling.

  • Birds of Argentina & Uruguay - A Field Guide Reviewed by Sandy Darling.

In Memoriam

John Keith Reynolds (1919 - 2006): By John D. Reynolds and Ronald G. Tozer.

A Tribiute to Our Outging Editors

By Chip Weseloh. Chip thanks the previous editors and outlines their accomplishments with Ontario Birds.

Photo Quiz

By Glenn Coady. Glenn tests us with a fall warbler.


  • Baillie Birdathon 2007 Cheryl and Ben Edgecombe, mother and son, of Burlington are OFO's Celebrity Birders this year. They are scouting now and will probably do their birdathon on Thursday depending on weather. A pledge form to sponsor Cheryl and Ben (age 11) is enclosed with this issue.

  • Annual Convention and Banquet 2007 is OFO's 25th Anniversary. The Board of Directors is planning a big celebration and special events for the Annual Convention at Point Pelee on 13 - 14 October weekend at Point Pelee. A registration form is enclosed.

  • OFO 25th Anniversary Decal Enclosed with this issue is a Pileated Woodpecker decal for your car window.

This is the first issue by new editors Ross James, Glenn Coady and Chip Weseloh with design and production by Judie Shore. They thank the cover artist, authors, photographers and advertisers who contributed to this issue.


December 2006 (24:3)


Painting of a Northern Mockingbird in a juniper by Christine Kerrigan.


  • Changing Status of the Northern Mockingbird in the Greater Toronto Area Roy Smith and Winnie Poon document the increase in breeding and wintering populations of the Northern Mockingbird in the Greater Toronto Area. This comprehensive article also provides an excellent overview of the historical population changes and range expansion in Ontario. Included are 3 maps, 24 figures and 6 tables.


  • Northern Shrike Preys on Pine Grosbeak Barry Kinch describes the manner in which a Northern Shrikes plucks and carries large prey.

  • Kenneth F. Abraham - Distinguished Ornithologist Jean Iron outlines the accomplishments of Ken Abraham leading to Ken becoming the recipient of OFO's Distinguished Ornithologist Award.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady challenges us with one of his photos of a gallinaceous bird.


2007 OFO Board of Directors and Committees: This issue has a list of board and committee members with their responsibilities in 2007.


A reminder is enclosed with this issue for those who have not renewed for 2007.

Editors Are Retiring

After 16 years, this issue marks our retirement as editors of Ontario Birds. This has been a wonderful experience for us, and we hope enjoyable and informative for you, our readers. We would like to thank all the authors, artists, photographers, reviewers and consultants that we have had the pleasure of working with during the preparation of 48 issues of Ontario Birds. It has been great, but now we want to free up some time for our many other interests. Special thanks go to Christine Kerrigan, also retiring as art consultant, for her enthusiastic assistance with artwork over the years. John Aben of Aben Graphics, our printer in Huntsville, has done a superlative job in the design, layout and printing of Ontario Birds. We look forward to assisting the new editorial team of Ross James, Glenn Coady and Chip Weseloh (editors), Judie Shore (design and layout), and Barry MacKay (art consultant) as they embark on a new era in the production of Ontario Birds. We hope to continue to contribute articles, reviews and peer reviews to Ontario Birds, and we are confident that it will flourish in the coming years. Ron Tozer, Ron Pittaway, Bill Crins Ontario Birds Editors, 1991-2006 Ontario Field Ornithologists

August 2006 (24:2)


Painting of a Neotropic Cormorant by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • Ontario Bird Records Committee Report for 2005 Bill Crins, OBRC Secretary, gives the decisions on 120 records reviewed by the committee in 2005. The report adds Neotropic Cormorant and McCown's Longspur to the Ontario Checklist bringing the total to 479 species for the province. The report includes 12 photos of accepted rarities and a photo of the 2005 committee members. The OBRC report is the perennial highlight of the August issue.

  • First Documented Nest of Stilt Sandpiper in Ontario By Peter Burke, Marty Obbard, Don Sutherland, Colin Jones, Jon McCracken and Ron Ridout. One map and five photos of incubating adult, downy young and tundra breeding habitat.

  • Neotropic Cormorant: New to Ontario and Canada Ron Tozer and Dave Milsom describe their discovery of Canada's first confirmed Neotropic Cormorant. The authors discuss the casual occurrences in the United States beyond the normal postbreeding dispersal range. One photo by Dave Milsom.

  • McCown's Longspur: New to Ontario Pete Read describes the discovery of Ontario's first McCown's Longspur. The article includes a complete description of the longspur including two photos by Pete Read and a discussion of casual records outside the normal range.


  • Co-operative Flock Feeding by Waterbirds Dave Elder describes the feeding behaviour of a flock of American White Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Ring-billed Gulls and Common Terns at Lake of the Woods. One photo of the flock by Dave Elder.

  • Hermit Thrush Preys on Snake Seabrooke Leckie describes the behaviour of a Hermit Thrush preying on an apparent DeKay's Brownsnake on Pelee Island.

Book Reviews

The Shorebird Guide by M. O'Brien, R. Crossley and K. Karlson (2006) is reviewed by Ron Pittaway.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady presents a different type of challenge as a tribute to the 50th year of the Ontario Nest Record Scheme. You are asked to identify a nest photograph by Jim Richards of an egg and three recently hatched nestlings.

April 2006 (24:1)


Photo of an erythristic (red) male Rose-breasted Grosbeak by Jean Iron.


  • Erythristic Rose-breasted Grosbeak by Ron Pittaway and Jean Iron. Provides a description of a grosbeak with an unusual amount of red on the breast and a red rump.

  • The Black-billed Magpie in Ontario by Dave H. Elder. Discusses the history of the spread of the species into northwestern Ontario and provides a map of the two main breeding areas at present. Two photos of nests, two photos of habitats and one of a bird accompany the article.

  • The Importance of Wetlands to Waterbirds in the Boreal Forest of Ontario by Fergus I. Nicoll and J. Ryan Zimmerling. Discusses the many species that make use of the extensive wetlands in Ontario's boreal wetlands and makes recommendations for forest management in relation to the wetlands. A photo of a wetland and of a typical inhabitant accompany the paper.

  • A Review of Rufous Hummingbird Records in Ontario by Allen T. Chartier. Provides a summary of all occurrences of Rufous Hummingbirds (and Rufous/Allen's Hummingbirds), including unreviewed published sightings, provides a map of occurrences, and discusses seasonal patterns of occurrence in the province and compared to adjacent United States.


  • The Ontario Great Gray Owl Irruption of 2004-2005 Additional Records by Colin D. Jones. Additional data to the summary provided by the author in Ontario Birds last year (vol. 23:106-121).

  • Herring Gull Takes Sparrow on the Wing by Randy Horvath. An account of a Herring Gull attacking an unidentified sparrow over water, with a discussion of such predation by this gull.

  • Brewer's Sparrow: First Record for Ontario by John M. Woodcock. Provides details of the capture and identification of a bird at Thunder Cape Bird Observatory. Two photographs of the bird accompany the article.

  • An Impaled Mourning Dove by Al Sandilands. This gives observations of a dove visiting a bird feeder over nearly two weeks, with a straw passing through the birds neck.

Photo Quiz

Glenn coady discusses the identification of a juvenal-plumaged small passerine.


December 2005 (25:3)

The authors are calling this special 56-page issue of Ontario Birds the “Great Gray Owl Issue” because it has three major articles about last winter's irruption. These three articles resulted from a collaboration of the Royal Ontario Museum, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ontario Field Ornithologists.


Oil painting of a Great Gray Owl by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • The Ontario Great Gray Owl Irruption of 2004-2005: Numbers, Dates and Distribution By Colin Jones of the Natural Heritage Information Centre - MNR.

  • The Ontario Great Gray Owl Irruption of 2004-2005: Mortality, Sex, Molt and Age By Mark Peck and Glenn Murphy of the Royal Ontario Museum.

  • Ageing and Variation of Great Gray Owls By Ron Pittaway and Jean Iron of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.


  • Circumstantial Evidence for Golden Eagle Predation of a Red Fox By Al Sandilands.

  • Ron Pittaway: Distinguished Ornithologist By Bob Curry.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady analyzes a rare gull.

August 2005 (23:2)


A colour painting of a Yellow-breasted Chat by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • Ontario Bird Records Committee Report for 2004 OBRC Secretary Bill Crins outlines the Accepted and Not Accepted records for 2004, with remarks on the status of many species. The report has 11 photos of accepted rarities.

  • Breeding Status and Nest Site Selection of Common Raven in Ontario George Peck describes the historical changes, recent southward expansion, and nidiology of the raven in Ontario. The article includes a map of nest record distribution and eight photos by the author of nests, eggs, young and nest sites.


The Birds of Quetico Provincial Park and the Atikokan Area: An Update Dave Elder presents records of 11 new species and noteworthy changes in status since the 1994 publication of his book on the birds of this part of northwestern Ontario.

Book Reviews

  • Shorebirds of North America: The Photographic Guide. Reviewed by Ron Pittaway.

  • A Birder's Guide to Michigan. Reviewed by Ron Tozer.

  • Hummingbirds of North America. Reviewed by Allen Chartier.

  • Birds of Ontario: Habitat Requirements, Limiting Factors, and Status - Nonpasserines: Waterfowl Through Cranes. Reviewed by Ron Tozer.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady discusses the identification of a juvenile passerine; a really confusing bird until you are aware of it.

April 2005 (23:1)


Painting by Betsy Potter of a Glaucous Gull on an ice flow.


  • Brown-headed Cowbird Parasitism of Northern Mockingbird by Winnie Poon and Roy Smith. The article provides a number of instances of cowbird parasitism of mockingbird nests in the Toronto area, discusses the frequency of occurrence, the tree species in which nests were found, the relation to the timing of nesting and the response of the hosts. Three photos of nests and/or eggs and two tables accompany the article.

  • An Unusual Ground Nest of the Merlin by Glenn Coady, Mark Peck, Karl Konze and Gerry Binsfeld. This article provides the details of a nesting of Merlin on the ground in northern Ontario. Three photos accompany the article.

  • Common Raven Nesting in the Greater Toronto Area by Theo Hofmann. Three photos of nest tree and nest by Winnie Poon and Theo Hofmann. Provides details of recent nestings of Common Raven in York Region forests north of Toronto, and discusses historical reports of ravens in southern Ontario. Three photos of recent nests are included.

  • Mute Swans in the Hudson Bay Lowland by Ken Abraham and Ken Ross. Four recent observations of Mute Swans from the Hudson Bay Lowland are detailed along with a discussion of the possible course of arrival of the birds there.


  • Ground Nesting by Bald Eagles by Chris Martin. Provides details of a ground nesting by Bald Eagles on an island in Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario. A photo of the nest and the juvenile bird is included.

  • An Apparent Bufflehead x Common Goldeneye Hybrid by Kevin McLaughlin, George Naylor and Bill Lamond. Provides the circumstances of discovery and description of a duck that appreared to be a hybrid, and a photo of a similar bird taken off the coast of Washington, U.S.A.

  • Can Migration Counts Detect the Effects of West Nile Virus? By Allen Chartier. Migration counts of Blue Jays at Holiday Beach do not seem to indicate any correlation with the effects of West Nile virus.

Book Reviews

  • The Birds of Northumberland County website prepared by Clive Goodwin. Reviewed by Ron Tozer.

  • Gulls of North America, Europe, and Asia(2003, reprinted 2004) by K.M. Olsen and H. Larsson. Princeton U. Press. Reviewed by Ron Pittaway.


Black-necked Stilt Letter to the editors from Mark Peck, Glenn Coady, Geoff Carpentier and Barry Cherriere. Provides corrections to the First breeding of Black-necked Stilt in Ontario Birds 22:106-119 (2004).

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady discusses the identity of a sparrow.


December 2004 (22:3)


A colour painting of a Black-necked Stilt by Barry Cherriere.


  • First Breeding and Nest Record of Black-necked Stilt in Ontario by Mark Peck, Glenn Coady, Geoff Carpentier, and Barry Cherriere. The documentation represents the easternmost nesting record for Canada of an ongoing range expansion of this species in eastern North America. Includes a chronology of occurrences of Black-necked Stilts in Ontario and the nest records in adjacent states.

  • Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas Expeditions Yield Additional Information on Solitary Sandpiper Nests by Mark Peck, Glenn Coady, Gerry Binsfeld, Karl Konze, Patrick Hodgson, and Steve Furino. Provides details of two nests of Solitary Sandpiper found by atlas crews in northern Ontario in 2004, accompanied by two photos of the nests and two photos of the habitats near the nests.

  • Birding in the Rainy River Area by Dave Elder. A fully updated version of Dave's 1991 birdfinding guide. Seven new maps by Andrew Jano.

  • Suspected Nest Usurpation of a Spotted Sandpiper by a Common Tern by Colin Lake. A nest with 3 Common Tern and 4 Spotted Sandpiper eggs (photo included) indicated the nest of the sandpiper had been taken over by a tern. Egg dumping, nest parasitism and nest usurpation are discussed in relation to this finding.


  • Barred Owl Mating Behaviour Chris Robinson describes the behaviour he observed after playing a taped call to a territorial pair.

  • James D. Rising - Distinguished Ornithologist by Bruce Falls.

  • Thunder Bay Fire 21 Revisited Nick Escott describes the birds that have benefited from a large forest fire in the boreal forest near Thunder Bay.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady challenges us with a shorebird in flight.

August 2004 (22:2)


Colour painting of a Black-backed Woodpecker by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • Ontario Bird Records Committee Report for 2003 by Bill Crins. This 22nd annual report lists the results of a review of 115 reports reviewed. No changes to the provincial list were made. Photos of the committee and 12 birds accompany the article.

  • Feeding Strategies of American Three-toed and Black-backed Woodpeckers by Dave Elder. American Three-toed Woodpeckers tended to quietly flake bark for bark beetle larvae, while Black-backed Woodpeckers tended to vigourously removed bark and drilled into wood for wood boring beetle larvae, while feeding in the same stand of dead trees. Two photos of the different feeding activities on tree trunks are provided.

  • Bird monitoring at a wind turbine Presents the results of spring and autumn searches for dead birds, scavenger removal studies, and bird species seen in the area of the Toronto Exhibition Place where the turbine is located. A photo of the turbine in the urban setting is included.

  • Gray Flycatcher: Third Record for Ontario by Jeff Skevington. The occurrence of a Gray Flycatcher at Cayuga, from 14 December 2003 to 7 January 2004, is detailed, with three photos of the bird.

  • Common Grackle Anting with Moth Ball by Dave Elder. An observation of a Common Grackle anting with a moth ball on a lawn in Atikokan, Ontario.

  • Ring-billed Gulls Steal Food from Dunlin by Dave Elder. Gulls were waiting for Dunlin to pull earthworms from a temporarily flooded field, then attacking to cause the shorebird to drop the worm.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady discusses the identity of a basic (winter) plumaged loon.

April 2004 (22:1)


Painting of a Solitary Sandpiper by Ron Ridout.


  • First Documented Nest Record of Pine Grosbeak in Ontario by Mark Peck, Glenn Coady, Gerry Binsfeld, and Karl Konze. With four photos. Details the habitat and nest site of a nest near the coast of James Bay north of Swan River in 2003, with photos the habitat from the air and on the ground, the nest and eggs and the bird on the nest.

  • First Documented Nest Record of Bohemian Waxwing in Ontario by Mark Peck, Glenn Coady, Gerry Binsfeld, and Karl Konze. With three photos. Details the habitat and nest site of a nest near the coast of James Bay north of Swan River in 2003, with photos of the habitat from the air and on the ground, and the nest and eggs.

  • Wintering Warblers in Cuba by David Tomlinson. Discusses 19 species of warblers, their habitat, behaviour and foraging methods in a small patch of woodland in early January 2003.

  • Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the Summer Distributions of Southern Ontario’s Passerine Birds by Jeff Price. Discusses the projected climate change models and he potential effects on the distribution of many bird species in Ontario. Three maps of House Wren distribution and projected changes for this species accompany the article.

  • Third Nest of Solitary Sandpiper in Ontario by Jake Walker. Details the finding of a nest in Wakami Lake Provincial Park, Sudbury District, in 2003.

  • Lapland Longspur Feeding on “Hidden” Grains by Bill Crins. Documents a migrant longspur feeding on seeds of a grass on which the seeds are completely enclosed in leaf sheaths.

  • Turkey Vulture Nest Sites in Southeastern Ontario by Dan Brunton. Reports nests in Ottawa city and Lanark County, the latter documented with photos of the nest site and a young vulture.

  • Anting by Common Grackle by Paul Smith and Ron Tozer. Details of a group of grackles preening with small red ants near Hamilton, Ontario.

Book Reviews

  • Eighteenth-Century Naturalists of Hudson Bay 2003, by S. Houston, T. Ball and M. Houston. reviewed by Glenn Coady.

In Memoriam

Tom Murray 1916 - 2003 remembered by Peter Middleton. Includes a photo of Tom.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady discusses the identity of a small alternate-plumaged sandpiper.


December 2003 (21:3)


Painting by Betsy Potter of an Eastern Screech-Owl roosting in an old pear tree.


  • Twenty-five Years of the Detroit River (Michigan-Ontario) Christmas Bird Count Julie Craves and James Fowler, Jr., summarize 25 years of results for this count, and discuss the trends over this period for Canada Goose, American Black Duck, Ring-necked Pheasant, Carolina Wren, and House Finch.

  • Breeding Status and Nest Site Selection of Turkey Vulture in Ontario George Peck provides an update on this expanding species, including photos of nesting habitat, eggs, young, and a range map.


  • Extended Incubation by a Tundra Swan Ken Abraham describes a late nest in Polar Bear Provincial Park. Photo.

  • A Birder's Guide to Second Marsh Wildlife Area, McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve, and Surroundings Update. Jim Richards and Tyler Hoar provide revisions to the birds and breeding species of this superb wildlife reserve in the Oshawa area.

  • Early First Prebasic Molt in Short-billed Dowitcher Kevin McLaughlin and Ron Pittaway document the first case of Prebasic I molt in this species in Ontario. Photo by Ken Newcombe showing the new basic feathers.

  • Robert Curry: Distinguished Ornithologist Bill Crins describes the accomplishments of Bob Curry who received the Distinguished Ornithologist Award for 2003.

Book Reviews

  • Raptors of Eastern North America. Reviewed by Ron Pittaway.

  • Grebes of Our World. Reviewed by Geoff Carpentier.

In Memoriam

Jean Marianne Niskanen (1943-2003. Mark Cranford describes some of his birding experiences with this well-known and popular OFO member.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady discusses the age and identification of a rare species of gull in Ontario.

August 2003 (21:2)


Colour painting of a Tropical Kingbird by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • Ontario Bird Records Committee Report for 2002 Bill Crins, secretary, gives the decisions of 110 records reviewed by the OBRC in 2002 of which 82% were accepted. Includes remarks and colour photos of rarities.

  • White-collared Swift - New to Ontario and Canada Tristan ap Rheinallt, a visiting birder from Scotland, describes the bird and circumstances of his sighting at Rondeau Provincial Park on 10 June 2002.

  • Bird Observations at the Pickering Wind Turbine Ross James discusses the results of his study on bird mortality and impacts of the turbine on bird populations.

  • Manx Shearwater - The Possible First Ontario Record? David Brewer suggests that the Manx Shearwater recorded on 19 August 2000 in southeastern Michigan probably got there by passing through Ontario.

  • An Unusual, Late, Second Nest by a Canada Goose Ken Abraham discusses a September nest in southern Ontario.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady challenges us with a waterbird. Compare your identification with Glenn's analysis.

April 2003 (21:1)


A displaying Sharp-tailed Grouse by Christine Kerrigan to go with the first article.


  • The Sharp-tailed Grouse in Thunder Bay District by Nick Escott. Discusses the subspecies found, historical occurrence, southward irruptions of northern birds, recent sightings and the breeding population in the district. A map and table of lek sites, with four photos of displaying birds accompany the article.

  • Ontario Gray Jays on the World Stage: Part 2 by Dan Strickland. Discusses the question of why the jays suppress allofeeding by nonbreeding birds, including their own offspring, whereas other jays allow allofeeding. Support is provided that it is likely to reduce the risk of predation in this northern environment.

  • First “Greenland” Dunlin for Ontario and Canada by Bob Curry, Kevin McLaughlin and Bill Crins. Provides a detailed description of a small, short-billed Dunlin at Hamilton that appears to be of Greenland/Iceland origin. A detailed discussion of Dunlin subspecies is included.


  • Common Ravens Kill a Common Loon by Kathy Irwin, Bob Irwin and Ron Tozer. Reports and discusses an observation of a group of ravens killing a juvenile loon in early December, near Bancroft, Ontario.

  • White-winged Crossbill Predation by Blue Jay by Brad Steinberg and Ron Tozer. Reports and discusses a case of predation on a very young crossbill by a Blue Jay in winter in Algonquin Park, Ontario.

Book Reviews

  • Lars Jonsson: Birds and Light (2002), translated by D.A. Christie and E. Hirschfeld. Princeton U. Press. by Bob Curry.

  • Ron Tozer provides a brief overview of Sibley's Birding Basics (2002), by D.A. Sibley. A.A. Knopf.

In Memoriam

William Earl Godfrey (1910 - 2002) by Ron Pittaway. Ron Pittaway remembers William Earl Godfrey, with a photograph and a list of awards and selected publications.

Photo Quiz

Glenn Coady reviews the identification of a warbler.


December 2002 (20:3)


Painting of a male Smith's Longspur by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • Breeding Records of Eared Grebe in Ontario Glenn Coady, Mark Peck, Dave Elder and Brian Ratcliff document all of Ontario's breeding records to date. There are three photos by Mark Peck of an incubating adult, an adult inspecting four eggs and a nest with four eggs.

  • Smith's Longspur: First record for Ontario in Winter and the Hamilton Area by Bob Curry, John Miles and Curtis Marantz. Full documentation of last winter's individual, including information on identification, habitat, migration and wintering areas. Two photos by Harold Stiver.

  • Ontario Gray Jays Help on the World Stage: Part 1 Dan Strickland, who has been studying Gray Jays since the 1960s, discusses the act of “helping” in birds. This fascinating article is perfect for those interested in bird behaviour and ecology. Two photos by the author.

  • About Crossbills Bills John Schmelefske describes some probable bill deformities caused by using niger feeders, including lots of information on how crossbills use their bills. Two photos of White-winged Crossbill by the author.

  • J. Bruce Falls: Distinguished Ornithologist Ron Tasker describes the life and many accomplishments of Bruce Falls, who received the Distinguished Ornithologist Award at the OFO Annual Convention in Kingston on 28 September 2002. Photo of Bruce at the convention by Rory MacKay.

  • American Crow Nesting on Building Mark Peck describes an unusual nesting of an American Crow on a ledge of the Royal Ontario Museum in downtown Toronto.

Photo Quiz

Bob Curry analyzes a juvenile shorebird. This is Bob's last quiz having served as photo quiz editor from December 1993 to December 2002. The OFO board and the editors are grateful to Bob for producing so many quality learning experiences. We are pleased to announce that Glenn Coady is the new photo quiz editor and Glenn's first quiz will appear in the April issue.

August 2002 (20:2)


An adult male Blue Grosbeak by wildlife artist Peter Lorimer


  • Ontario Bird Records Committee Report for 2001 by secretary Kayo Roy. The OBRC annual report in the August issue is eagerly awaited by birders. The report has the decisions of 133 records and includes 13 colour photos of accepted rare birds.

  • An Influx of the Northern Hawk Owl in Thunder Bay District by Nick Escott. Nick describes the habitat, nests, food habits, behaviour and vocalizations. There are 14 photos of adult and young hawk owls including nest trees and nests.

  • The 2000 Ontario Peregrine Falcon Survey by Brian Ratcliff and Ted Armstrong. Presents the results of the 2000 Peregrine Falcon survey in Ontario. Included are a map of historical distribution and a map of current distribution, a table of numbers found in 2000 and a graph of trends in numbers from 1970 to 2000.

  • American Robin Nest Supported by Cattails by Doug Tozer. Reports an American Robin nest over water in a clump of cattails in a large marsh. A photo of the nest is included.

Book Reviews

  • A Field Guide to the Birds of Peru reviewed by Geoff Carpentier

Photo Quiz

Bob Curry reviews the identity of a warbler.

April 2002 (20:1)


A Blue Jay painting by Barry Kent MacKay complements two articles on this species.


  • Birding the Hamilton Area John Olmsted and Ron Scovell have revised their extremely popular 1990 birding site guide. There are 25 pages packed with new information about where to see the rarities and specialties of the Hamilton area. Includes five maps and two illustrations by Ron Scovell and seven photos by Barry Cherriere.

  • European Herring Gull in Ontario Michel Gosselin and Ron Pittaway report the first record of this form for Ontario and the first specimen for Canada.

  • Of Blue Jays and Mimicry Ross James examines the various explanations of why Blue Jays mimic hawk calls such as those of the Red-shouldered Hawk.

  • Consumption of Dead Bald-faced Hornets by Blue Jays in Winter Doug Tozer reports the first mention in the literature of Blue Jays eating dead adult and larval hornets of this species in winter.

  • Cedar Waxwings Eating Tussock Moth Females in Early Winter Bill Crins describes what appears to be the first report of Cedar Waxwings gleaning insect food during the winter in a cold climate.

  • Feeding Behaviour of Bohemian Waxwings Dave Elder describes the feeding habits of Bohemian Waxwings, including the eating of maple buds, in northwestern Ontario in winter. Waxwings may eat buds in winter for protein which is lacking in fruit.

In Memoriam

Jim Richards and Ron Tozer pay tribute to the late George A. Scott, legendary birder and all-round naturalist, of Oshawa and Durham Region.


Kevin McLaughlin discusses the aging of the Pomarine Jaeger in the December photo quiz with comments by Bob Curry

Photo Quiz

Bob Curry tests us with a perched hawk.


December 2001 (19:3)


A colour painting of a male White-winged Crossbill by Christine Kerrigan.


  • First Nest Record of White-winged Crossbill in the Greater Toronto Area by Glenn Coady. Includes three photos of the nest, eggs, and adults at the nest. Glenn gives an excellent account of the breeding biology and a thorough review of the literature. He also summarizes records from the Ontario Nest Record Scheme.

  • Variation in First Year Ring-billed Gull by Kevin McLaughlin. Using six photos showing the variation in plumage and molt, Kevin points out that the first prebasic molt often includes wing coverts and tertials, which is not mentioned in the main literature.

  • A Concentration of Black-backed Woodpeckers in Thunder Bay District by Nick Escott. Nick reports (map and photos) a wintering population in January 1999 of at least 20,328 Black-backed Woodpeckers feeding on Sawyer Beetle larvae in forest fire burn west of Lake Nipigon.


  • A Northern Shoveler-Mallard Pair by George Fairfield.


Molt of Heermann's Gull and other gulls by Steve Howell. Reply by Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway.

Photo Quiz

Bob Curry analyzes two photos to identify a seabird.

August 2001 (19:2)


Illustration of a Townsend's Warbler by Ron Scovell.


  • Ontario Bird Records Committee Report for 2000 the latest decisions on 126 records in this 20 page report.

  • Molts and Plumages of Ontario's Heermann's Gull Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway describe the Prealternate I and Prebasic II molts.

  • Chipping Sparrow Feeds Young of Eastern Kingbird by Janet Foster and Ron Tozer.

  • Subnival Foraging by a Golden-crowned Kinglet by Ross James.

  • Forest Tent Caterpillars and Birds by Dave Elder.


  • Sparrow and kingbirds Details the observations of a Chipping Sparrow helping to feed three nestling Eastern Kingbirds, even in the presence of the adult kingbirds, over a period of at least 7 days. Two photos of the feeding sparrow are included.

  • Subnival foraging Documents a kinglet entering small holes in deep snow cover in February, to access areas clear of snow on the ground, apparently to forage there.

  • Tent caterpillars Notes a Pine Siskin becoming hopelessly entangled in caterpillar threads, and discusses the potential impact of severe defoliation on bird foraging.

Book Reviews

  • Book Review: The ROM Field Guide to Birds of Ontario (2001) reviewed by Bob Curry.

  • Book Review: Lone Pine Publishing Birds of Ontario (2000) reviewed by Ron Tozer.

Photo Quiz

Analysis of a rare female duck by Bob Curry.

April 2001 (19:1)


Illustration in colour of an American Woodcock and downy young by Barry Kent MacKay.


  • “Peent” calls of American Woodcock by Michael Morris. The paper presents the results of calling rates for six males and compares these to other studies. A table of calling rates is included.

  • Cowbird Parasitism of House Finches at Guelph by Rohan van Twest. This article looks at the incidence and significance of cowbird parasitism on the nesting success of House Finches. Although most cowbirds cannot survive on the finch diet, apparently some do, as documented in this paper. A photo of a young cowbird in a nest and two tables accompany the article.

  • Colonial Waterbird Population Targets in Hamilton Harbour by Ralph Morris, Cynthia Pekarik, Chip Weseloh, and James Quinn. Looks at the numbers of various colonial waterbirds nesting in Hamilton Harbour historically and currently, and relates efforts to increase numbers as part of a Remedial Action Plan. A map of the study area and four tables of numbers accompany the article.

  • Parking Garage Swallows by George Fairfield. Documents a colony of Barn Swallows nesting in an underground parking garage of an apartment building, where the birds only had the ability to come and go when cars entered or left the garage and opened the doors long enough to do so.

  • Re-use of Nesting Material by Blue-gray Gnatcatchers by Bill Crins. Records a pair of gnatcatchers dismantling an old nest for material to use in a new nest nearby.

  • Mink Predation of a European Starling Nest by Ross James. Records a mink removing all the young from a European Starling nest, climbing repeatedly about 9 m up the trunk of a tree to access the nest.

Book Reviews

  • Birds at Your Feeder: A Guide to Feeding Habits, Behavior, Distribution, and Abundance. By Ron Tozer.

  • Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds. By Mike Street.

In Memoriam

Remembering Cliff MacFayden 1925-1999 by Chris Harris.

Photo Quiz

Bob Curry discusses the identity of a gull.


December 2000 (18:3)


Anhinga by Peter Burke.


  • Anhinga Feature article by Peter Read on the Anhinga Near Delaware, Ontario with a fine photo by Alf Rider.

  • Anhinga Status in Ontario by Ron Tozer. Ron does a thorough status analysis of the current and previous Ontario reports.

  • First Breeding Record of Canvasback for Toronto by Roy Smith. Roy fully documents this record and includes his photo of the female with three downy young.

  • First Nest Records of Canvasback in Ontario by Glenn Coady. Glenn examines the historical and modern breeding records based on a compete examination of the literature, museum records and information from birders. Colour photos of this first record for Ontario of Canvasback nest with eggs by Mark Peck, and the incubating female Canvasback by Jim Richards accompany the article.

  • J. Murray Speirs: Distinguished Ornithologist Bruce Falls writes a fine tribute about his good friend Murray who is the year 2000 recipient of OFO's Distinguished Ornithologist Award. There is an excellent photo of Murray taken by Phill Holder.


  • Unusual Mating Behaviour by a Tree Swallow by Geoff Carpentier. Documents an attemped copulation with a bird that was dead on the road.

  • An Observation of Solitary Sandpiper Feeding Behaviour by Bill Crins. Reports a bird using its foot to stir up potential food items, while wading in shallow water during spring migration.

  • Caspian Tern Night Roost on Roof by Jean Iron. Documents the use of a flat roof of a building near Toronto Harbour, in late summer 2000, as a night roost for as many as 256 birds.

Book Reviews

  • Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 5. Barn-owls to Hummingbirds reviewed by Geoff Carpentier.


California Gull Robin Behaviour Oshawa Guide Update.

Photo Quiz

Kevin McLaughlin identifies the species and discusses the characters of a large gull in its first prebasic molt.

August 2000 (18:2)


Male Painted Bunting by Peter Lorimer. A male Painted Bunting in Definitive Alternate Plumage was accepted from Kenora in the OBRC Report mentioned below.


  • Secretary Kayo Roy covers 156 records in the Ontario Bird Records Committee Report for 1999. With the publication of this OBRC Report, Heermann's Gull is officially added to the Ontario checklist, bringing the provincial total to 473.

  • The 1999 Slaty-backed Gull at Toronto is described by Bob Yukich and documented with photos by Juha Varella of Finland.

  • Hawkwatchers will be interested in the paper by Don Barnett that discusses Some Relationships Between Fall Hawk Migration and Weather Features at High Park, Toronto.

  • Geoff Carpentier analyzes last fall’s Avian Botulism Outbreak Along the Lower Great Lakes that killed thousands of waterbirds.

Photo Quiz

by Bob Curry features a female eider. Learn the fine points of separating female Common and King Eiders in Ontario.