OFO News Issue Summaries

2014 IssuesTop

Volume 32 Number 1 February

Spring Shorebird Viewing at Hillman Marsh - A new shorebird blind enhances viewing at this managed wetland near Point Pelee, which is a magnet for birders and northbound shorebirds. Jean Iron provides an overview of what to expect in spring 2014.

The Enigma of Migration - Roy John discusses new research from Britain about the importance of the timing of migration.

Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz - Mike Burrell asks birders to become involved in a new initiative to save this declining species.

Grimsby: Ontario's Spring Raptor Watch - John Stevens describes the what, where, when and why of migrating hawks and invites birders to Beamer Conservation Area to see this spectacle. Photos by Barry Cherriere.

Ontario Bird Records Committee Update - Brandon Holden provides the latest information.

Boreal Birding Challenge: Breeding Bird Surveys in Northern Ontario - Audrey Hagey seeks volunteers for some difficult to access areas of the province.

North Durham Nature Club - Geoff Carpentier describes the activities and focus of a new club.

ABA Checklist Committee Re-elects Ron Pittaway - an appropriate honour to an OFO member.

Birding Carden Alvar on Foot – this brochure takes birders onto new off-road trails: here or you can follow the birding site guide on the OFO website: here

Carden Bluebirds - 2013 was not a good breeding season but Herb Furniss looks forward to 2014 with optimism.

Ontario's Important Bird Areas Program - Mike Burrell, recently appointed as the IBA Coordinator, rekindles our interest in habitats that are vital to many species of birds.

Nikon Photo Quiz - Willie D'Anna gets us to test our skill with this photo by Heather Pickard.

Kawartha CBC - A note on one of many of Ontario's Christmas Bird Counts by Janice Melendez.


1. Baillie Birdathon Flyer – Please sponsor Doug McRae, OFO's celebrity birder.

2013 IssuesTop

Volume 31 Number 1 February

1. Ontario’s Mystery Scoters – Rod Brook reveals the latest information about nesting Black and Surf Scoters in Ontario and what we have learned from aerial surveys.

2. News from OFO President, Rob Maciver updates the membership on OFO’s latest accomplishments.

3. OFO’s Trip Organizer: Dave Milsom – close friend and fellow birder, Jim Coey, divulges stories of Dave’s fascination with birds and his contributions to the success of OFO.

4. The OFO Convention: You Have Spoken – Lynne Freeman summarizes feedback from members.

5. Crazy About CBCs – Cindy Cartwright tells why birders brave all kinds of weather to participate in Christmas Bird Counts.

6. Birding in Bruce Grey - Cindy Cartwright compiles a brief history of birding organizations and activities.

7. Spring Hawk Watching – Cindy Cartwright explains the basics of spring hawk migration and recommends a trip to Beamer Conservation Area.

8. Birding – inspires Caroline Biel, a 14 year old Toronto birder, to write a poem.

9. Harris’s Sparrow for the Holidays – a lifer for author and photographer, Janice Melendez.

10.Northern Canadian Red-tailed Hawk – photo by Janice Melendez – links to distinctions and discussions.

11.Book Reviews: On Rare Birds by Anita Albus and Birds of Central Asia by Raffael Aye, Manuel Schwejzer and Tobias Roth.

12.Update from the 2012 Ontario Bird Records Committee – Brandon Holden provides insights into recent actions of the committee: how the committee votes, the role of the secretary, and a desire to improve operations and relations.

13.Nikon Photo Quiz – Willie D’Anna presents a discussion of Bruce Di Labio’s photo for our consideration.

14.Building Owners not Responsible for Deaths of Birds – a notice of dismissal of charges against owners of large buildings for killing birds that flew into plate glass windows.

Volume 31 Number 2 June

1. Shorebirds and Climate Change – Jean Iron’s article and photos document her participation in a new study about breeding shorebirds and their response to disappearing permafrost along the Hudson Bay coast.

2. eBird update – Mike Burrell brings us the latest on the dramatic rise in the use of eBird among Ontario birders.

3. Owen Sound Field Naturalists – Peter Middleton presents the history, activities and birding focus of this energetic club, illustrated with photos.

4. Sarnia Lakewatch – Blake Mann visits this fall hotspot on Lake Huron for seeing pelagic species and recalls the database of bird migration compiled by the late Dennis Rupert.

5. Book Reviews: The Birds of Georgian Bay by Bob Whittam; The World’s Rarest Birds by Andy Swash; and The Crossley ID Guides – Raptors by Richard Crossley.

6. Blackbird Migration Spectacle - Larry Monczka and Kathy Pickard witnessed an endless spectacle of blackbirds moving en masse overhead.

7. An Ontario Big Year – Josh Vandermeulen breaks the former Ontario record, documents his sightings with photos, and shares his strategy for success.

8. Whooping Crane Legal Cases – Roy John discusses three recent cases in the U.S. involving Whooping Cranes.

9. In Memoriam: A Life with Birds: Ross Snider – this well-known bird rehabilitator and waterfowl expert passed away on 19 October 2012, and is remembered by Dave Martin.

10.Nikon Photo Quiz – Willie D’Anna puzzles us with his photo of a mystery tern. This seems easy, but is it?

11.2012 Carden Bluebirds – Herb Furniss provides his annual update on breeding success.

Volume 31 Number 3 October

Windows and Birds - Geoff Carpentier explains the outcomes of a court case where the owners of buildings in Toronto were charged with killing and injuring hundreds of birds in window strikes.

A Painted Bunting in my Office - While sifting through a collection of birds collected by Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) after hitting plate glass windows in Toronto, Brandon Holden makes a surprising find.

Birding by Kayak - A new way to go birding gets Allen Woodliffe close to the birds and is excellent for photography.

Moonbird Spotted Again - Roy John reports that a 19 year old Red Knot bearing an orange flag, B95, is seen again in 2013 in New Jersey and Mingan, Quebec.

OFO Convention 2013 - Highlights from this year's Convention, including photos of Brown Pelican and Laughing Gull by Jean Iron.

Return of a Red-shouldered Hawk - Mike Burrell recounts the excitement at seeing this bird again for its 10th winter season near Hawkesville in Waterloo Region.

Announcement: OFO Gull Trip to Niagara Sunday December 1 2013 and special hotel rates.

Book Reviews: Birds of Central Asia by Raffael Aye, Manuel Schweizer and Tobias Roth; For the Birds - Recollections and Ramblings by Fred Helleiner; Birdfinding in British Columbia by Russell and Richard Cannings.

The Emerald Ash Borer - This invasive tree pest is destroying the ash trees of eastern North America, but Roy John points out that some species of birds thrive on its larva.

Thank You OFO Donors - OFO appreciates the support of its donors.

Nikon Photo Quiz - Willie D'Anna helps us figure out the ID of the waterbird in Barry Cherriere's photo.

2012 IssuesTop

Volume 30 Number 1 February

Snow Buntings - Cindy Cartwright looks forward to seeing these Arctic breeders come south each winter. Banding gives insights into migratory movements, so birders should look out for leg bands.

Hyphenation and Bird Names - Rob Maciver unravels the mystery of how to hyphenate bird names.

Loggerhead Shrike from the Carden Alvar in Virginia - Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway report that a Loggerhead Shrike banded on the Carden Alvar is wintering in Virginia, USA.

An OFO Certificate of Appreciation is presented to the staff at Beacon Environmental and Darlington Nuclear Generating Station for the Willow Ptarmigan viewing.

Help Conserve Canada's Boreal Birds and eBirding - Mike Cadman explains why going birding and entering your sightings into eBird will help with bird conservation.

Bluebird Ranch: Gateway to the Carden Alvar - Dan Bone introduces us to this latest the acquisition at the entrance to Wylie Road, which is good news for grassland birds and birders.

Announcements: The Carden Challenge and Bird the Bluebird Ranch.

Big Day Birding at Rondeau - Blake Mann takes us on an annual birding competition at Rondeau with all the excitement and hard work.

Snowy Owls - Cindy Cartwright describes what is currently known about their southbound migrations and where to see them in winter.

The Birding Word - Cindy Cartwright clarifies common words in birding, such as irruptive, migrants and nomads.

Book Reviews: Birds of Hawaii, New Zealand and the Central and West Pacific by Per van Perlo; Birds of North America and Greenland by Norman Arlott.

OFO Board Biographies: Jeff Harrison and Christian Friis are new to the OFO Board.

Nikon Photo Quiz - The subject of Willie D'Anna's bird quiz is Roy John's photo of a perplexing hawk in flight.

Board of Directors Update - President, Rob Maciver reminds members to renew their membership, come to the Annual Convention and take a young birder birding.

Volume 30 Number 2 June

1. St. Clair National Wildlife Area - Allen Woodliffe retells the history of this extraordinary marsh, its habitat and birds. What remains is a miracle of conservation.

2. OFO Board of Directors Update from OFO President, Rob Maciver.

3. Swift Birding Software - Cindy Cartwright and Jay Fitzsimmons review software for birders to keep track of their bird sightings.

4. The Kingston Field Naturalists: A Brief History of Birding in the Kingston Region - Mark Conboy retraces the club’s history and presents its scientific and conservation accomplishments.

5. The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club: 150 years of Ornithology - Daniel Brunton succinctly details this club’s long history and contributions to Ontario ornithology.

6. BlacK Vultures – Willie D'Anna documents their winter survival and roosts in the Niagara area of New York State and Ontario.

7. eBird Update - Mike Burrell, Ontario's eBird coordinator, gives the latest statistics on its speedy growth and answers frequently-asked questions.

8. In Memoriam: Jim Griffith - a former OFO Treasurer, Jim’s birding friends remember him.

9. Building your List from your Couch with Your Eyes Closed - Jeff Skevington shares an innovative use of a baby monitor to boost your birding list.

10. Book Reviews: Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 16: Tanagers to New World Blackbirds by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and David Christie (Eds) and Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia by Miles McMullen, Thomas M. Donegan and Alonso Qevedo.

11. Nikon Photo Quiz – Willie D’Anna guides us through the ID of the mystery sparrow in Jean Iron’s photo.

12. News from the Ontario Bird Records Committee by Glenn Coady.

Volume 30 Number 3 October

1. Is that a Sharpie or a Coop? – Cindy Cartwright examines peak times for fall hawk migration, where to see hawks in Ontario, and offers ID tips, illustrated with Ann Brokelman’s photos of hawks in flight .

2. The Sydenham Field Naturalists – Larry Cornelis describes the activities of this club based in Lambton-Kent and its birding and conservation efforts.

3. Birders Celebrate OFO’s 30th Anniversary – Lynne Freeman reports highlights of the OFO Annual Convention at Cobourg.

4. My First Summer Birding – A young birder, Isabel Apkarian, recounts how she got started, accompanied by her own excellent photos.

5. Taxonomic Update: Rob Maciver provides an overview of the 53rd Supplement to the AOU Checklist of North American Birds.

6. Common Raven Nesting in Toronto 2012 – photos accompany David Worthington’s article documenting breeding success of this species spreading south.

7. Book Reviews – Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding by Kenn Kaufmann, and Gifts of the Crow by Marzluff and T. Angell.

8. Announcement: The Birds of Georgian Bay by Bob Whittam.

9. Nikon Photo Quiz – Willie D’Anna challenges us to identify the little brown bird in Ken Newcombe’s photo.

2011 IssuesTop

Volume 29 Number 1 February

1. Volunteering for Bird Conservation on James Bay – Jean Iron explains how she became involved in goose and shorebird monitoring in extreme northern Ontario.

2. A Gathering of Crows – Allen Woodliffe provides an account of how American Crow populations in Ontario have increased dramatically in the past 25 years.

3. Researching Ontario’s Red-headed Woodpeckers – Barbara Frei describes for us her Ph.D. research project.

4. Christmas Bird Count for Kids – Bird educators Jody Allair and Liza Barney talk about a kids version of the CBC.

5. Cassiar Junco – description of this subspecies of Dark–eyed Junco by Ron Pittaway.

6. Product Review of Kowa Genesis 8 X 33 Binoculars – Ron Pittaway.

7. Birder’s Vocabulary – Cindy Cartwright.

8. Book Reviews – Wild Places in Canada – A Memoir by George Fairfield; and Birds of the Middle East (Second Edition) by Richard Porter and Simon Aspinall.

9. Photo Quiz – Willie D’Anna presents a fall warbler for our consideration.

10. Carden Alvar Bluebirds 2009 – an update on results from the Carden nestbox trail.


1. Baillie Birdathon information – Flyer for this year’s celebrity birder, Mike Cadman.

Volume 29 Number 2 June

1. Conserving Ontario’s Bobolinks – Barbara Frei turns regret over the loss of this grassland songster into action to raise awareness and find solutions.

12. Announcing David Brewer as the 2011 recipient of OFO’s Distinguished Ornithologist Award.

13. Birdathon 2011 - Mike Cadman recounts the excitement and challenges of being OFO’s Celebrity Birder.

14. Willow Ptarmigan at Darlington Nuclear – with photos, Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway retell a thrilling and unusual twitch.

15. National Wildlife Areas of Ontario: Long Point and Big Creek – Christian Friis takes us through this extensive marsh complex and to areas accessible for birding.

16. Ontario’s Most Wanted: Yellow Palm Warbler – Seabrooke Leckie encourages birders to look for this elusive breeding Ontario subspecies.

17. The Next Ontario Bird – Rob Maciver shares his predictions for the next additions to the Ontario list.

18. Book Review: Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 14: Bush-Shrikes to Old World Sparrows by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and David Christie (Eds).

19. Welcome Roy John, New Editor of OFO News.

10.Thank you 2010 OFO Donors – a list of donors.

11.Avibase the World Bird Database – Mike Burrell explains how to use this extensive birding resource.

12.Nikon Photo Quiz – two shorebirds in Jean Iron’s photo are the latest ID challenge by quiz master Willie D’Anna.

Volume 29 Number 3 October

1. Recognition for Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Volunteers - Dan Bone takes us to the annual dinner in Kirkfield that recognizes volunteer and landowner involvement in the recovery of the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike on the Carden Alvar.

2. End of Two Whimbrels - Roy John reports the tragic end to two satellite-tagged Whimbrel killed by hunters in Guadeloupe.

3. NGOs and Conservation - Anne Lambert says that too little is being done to conserve nature in the tropics despite its importance for human welfare and biodiversity.

4. OFO's 2011 Annual Convention - Lynne Freeman highlights the main events with photos by Jean Iron.

5. OFO Certificates of Appreciation - a list of this year's recipients presented at the Annual Convention.

6. OFO 2010 Financial Statement - signed by the OFO President, the Treasurer and the Auditor.

7. Hosting a Rarity: A Golden-crowned Experience - Dan Bone reminisces about the excitement of the finding this rarity at his feeder, then welcoming over 200 birders, and the challenges of trying to lead a normal life.

8. Taxonomic Update: 52nd Supplement to the AOU Check-list of North American Birds - Rob Maciver reviews changes to the Check-list and the implications for Ontario birders.

9. Book Reviews: Handbook of the Birds of the World: Weavers to New world Warblers, edited by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and David Christie; Antarctica - First Journey: A Traveller's Resource Guide by Geoffrey Carpentier.

10. Recent OFO Retirees from the board of Directors: John Black, Wendy Hunter and Chris Escott.

11. Nikon Photo Quiz – Willie D’Anna challenges us with Sam Barone’s excellent photo of a small streaked bird.

12. Carden Bluebirds in 2011 – Herb Furniss describes the breeding success of Eastern Bluebirds in his boxes on the Carden Alvar.

2010 IssuesTop

Volume 28 Number 1 February

1. Pelee Island Birding Guide–Tired of all the people at Point Pelee in spring? Allen Woodliffe suggests an alternative where the birds are just as good but the crowds virtually nonexistent.

2. Birdathons Around Ontario–Can’t make the drive all the way to Pelee? Our editors share some of their favourite lesser‐known regional birding destinations.

3. Ontario Field Ornithologists Annual Convention 2009–Photos from the October event.

4. Baillie Birdathon update–The results of 2009 and what’s planned for 2010

5. The Secret Lives of Birds–The stories behind two recently observed banded birds: where they grew up, where they are now.

6. Recent Updates: The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World

7. Book Reviews: The Reluctant Twitcher by Richard Pope; and The Curse of the Labrador Duck by Glen Chilton

8. Birding Festivals Around Ontario–Events celebrating Ontario’s birds: guided walks, events, speakers, and good fun.

9. Photo Quiz–New quiz writer Willie D’Anna guides us through the ID of an overhead hawk.

10. Carden Alvar Bluebirds 2009–an update on results from the Carden nestbox trail.

11. Ron Pittaway–ABA Checklist Committee–Former OFO News editor Ron Pittaway was recently elected to the committee.

12. OBRC Updated–The latest happenings from the Ontario Bird Records Committee.


1. Baillie Birdathon information–Please sponsor our celebrity birder, Margaret Bain, and help to support OFO!

Volume 28 Number 2 June

The Plight of the Prothonotary Warbler - John McCracken outlines the threats causing the steep decline in Ontario of this rare, beautiful warbler.

The Ontario Nest Records Scheme - Cindy Cartwright traces the history of this valuable program and asks OFO members to contribute their sightings.

New OFO Members - A list of new members in 2010.

Birding for the Disabled - Don Peuramaki explores good areas for birding that are accessible to birders in a wheelchair or with limited walking ability.

Where are Ontario's Shorebird Reserves? - The surprising answer to Rob Maciver's question is we don't have any, even though areas in Ontario meet the criteria for the establishment of a reserve under the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN).

The Ontario Shorebird Survey - Christian Friis outlines the history of shorebird monitoring and asks for volunteers to help monitoring a declining bird group.

A Happy Ending - A tornado devastated Susan Ross's Leamington garden but she rescued Tree Swallow nestlings from their crushed nest box.

Announcement: Niagara Birds by John Black and Kayo Roy will be published soon.

Erica Dunn and David Hussell are the recipients of the 2010 Distinguished Ornithologist Award to be presented at the OFO Annual Convention at Port Dover.

Understanding Lyme Disease - All active birders in Ontario should read this article. Allen Woodliffe traces the development of this dangerous disease carried by deer ticks in many of our favourite birding areas. He suggests protective measures and what to do if you suspect you have been bitten.

eBird Birding: The Next Generation - Mike Burrell continues to inform birders about how to use eBird and offers to help get birders started.

Book Reviews: Birds of Western North America: A Photographic Guide by Paul Sterry and Brian E. Small; Birds of Eastern North America: A Photographic Guide by Paul Sterry and Brian E. Small; and The Bird Detective: Investigating the Secret Lives of Birds by Bridget Stutchbury.

OFO 2009 Financial Statement

Nikon Photo Quiz - Willie D'Anna teases us with a photo of two woodpeckers taken by Sandra and Frank Horvath. Downy or Hairy?

Volume 28 Number 3 October

1. Hidden in Plain Sight – Seabrooke Leckie discusses the identification challenges associated with Redpolls.

2. Behind the Binoculars – an interview with OBRC member Alan Wormington

3. Bird Feeding as Backyard Wildlife Management – John Prescott considers the impact of human supplied food on bird populations.

4. Carden Alvar Bluebirds – Herb Furniss presents a summary of bluebird nest box success for 2010.

5. 2010 OFO Convention – a photographic recap of this year’s convention held in Port Rowan/Port Dover.

6. New OFO Members – welcoming our newest members!

7. Christmas Bird Counts – Allen Woodliffe reminds us that CBC season is almost upon us.

8. Algonquin Black-throated Blues – Melissa Creasey describes her recent field work.

9. Taxonomic Update – Robert Maciver provides an overview of the 51st Supplement to the AOU Check-list.

10. Book Reviews – Niagara Birds by OFO President John Black and Kayo Roy; and Molt in North American Birds by Steve N.G. Howell.

11. Photo Quiz – Willie D’Anna challenges us to identify a large gull.

2009 IssuesTop

Volume 27 Number 1 February

1. The Other Boreal Visitors by Seabrooke Leckie Discussing the Boreal Owls in southern Ontario this winter.

2. The rise and fall of the Great Black‐backed Gull on the Great Lakes by Dave Moore Examining the recent population trends of Great Black‐backs in the province.

3. What do Pileated Woodpeckers and Hydro One have in common? by Christine Vance A look at initiatives by Hydro One to maintain woodpecker habitat while still preserving their poles.

4. Green Birding by Christine Vance Reducing your environmental impact while enjoying your favourite pastime.

5. Say What? Pronouncing Difficult Bird Names by Rob Maciver

6. Christmas Bird Count Day: The Wallaceburg/Walpole Island Christmas Bird Count by P. Allen Woodliffe

7. Dunrobin Christmas Bird Count by Bruce Di Labio

8. Kenora Christmas Bird Count by Leo E. Heyens

9. Book Reviews by David H. Elder and Michael Patrikeev Cranes: A Natural History of a Bird in Crisis by Janice M. Hughes Owls of North America by Francis Backhouse

10. Baillie Birdathon 2008 Presents the results of last year’s birdathon and introduces the stars for 2009, John and Victoria Carley.

11. ORBC Notes: February 2009 by Jean Iron

12. Nikon Photo Quiz By Glenn Coady. An interesting raptor spotted in Toronto.

13. Carden Bluebirds update for 2008 by Herb Furniss

14. Changes to the OFO Board and Committees


1. 2009 Birdathon information and pledge form

Volume 27 Number 2 June

1. Birdathon 2009–a summary of OFO Celebrity Birders John and Victoria Carley’s Toronto‐based birdathon this year.

2. Tommy Thompson Park: Toronto’s Birding Gem–the Carleys are members of Friends of the Spit and actively involved in the protection of this unique natural area. See what makes it so special.

3. Sketching a Theory of Bird Identification–Rob Maciver suggests that those who persist with bird identification discover that there is no substitute for experience.

4. Pileated Woodpecker Not Fooled–a short follow‐up to the Hydro One article featured in the February newsletter.

5. Ghost Bird: A Cautionary Tale–a review of the recently‐released documentary film Ghost Bird, about the Ivory‐billed Woodpecker search in Arkansas, which was shown at the HotDocs Festival in May.

6. The Barn Owl: Ontario’s Ghost Bird–Bernt Solymár shares some experiences in searching for this elusive species.

7. Bringing Back the Barn Owl to Ontario–looking at the efforts and successes of the Ontario Barn Owl Recovery Project.

8. Whip‐poor‐will: Voices in Decline–COSEWIC recently recommended the Whip‐poor‐will for SARA listing. A discussion of Whip‐poor‐wills in Ontario and elsewhere.

9. Ron Tozer: Distinguished Ornithologist–the Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Ron Tozer will be the 2009 and 12th recipient of the Distinguished Ornithologist Award granted by the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

10. Ontario Field Ornithologists 2008 Financial Statement

11. Book Reviews–A Sound Like Water Dripping: In Search of the Boreal Owl; Birdwatcher: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson; Handbook of the Birds of the World, volume 13: Penduline‐tits to Shrikes.

12. A Late Fall Bonaparte’s Gull with Alternate Plumage Appearance–discussing the observation of a black‐hoooded Bonaparte’s Gull in November.

13. OBRC Notes, June 2009

14. Nikon Photo Quiz–a small grayish bird observed in a wet woodlot.

Volume 27 Number 3 October

1. The Adventure of Yellow Rail Research on the James Bay Coast–Audrey Nowicki shares her experiences participating in Yellow Rail surveys in northern Ontario.

2. Monitoring Chimney Swifts in Ontario–Hazel Wheeler discusses the efforts and results of the newly‐launched SwiftWatch program.

3. Taxonomic Update–50th Supplement to the AOU Check‐list of North American Birds

4. Birding Inland in Winter–Mike Burrell shares some of his favourite places to find raptors around Waterloo, and Pete Read offers some great winter birding sites in the London area

5. Coastal Winter Birding Destinations in Southwestern Ontario–a complement to Pete Read’s inland birding piece, on good winter birding along Lakes Erie and Huron.

6. Legislative Update–Changes to Ontario’s Species at Risk List

7. Surveying for Whip‐poor‐will–a follow up to last month’s article, which shares some of the results from survey efforts this summer

8. Baillie Birdathon 2009–the birdathon wrap‐up, with final results

9. OFO 2008 Donations, list of donors

10. Book reviews–The Migration of Birds: Seasons on the Wing by Janice M. Hughes; Birds of the Horn of Africa by Nigel Redman, Terry Stevenson and John Fanshaw

11. The Birder’s Vocabulary–test your birdy knowledge with this quiz

12. Chipping or Clay‐colored Sparrow?–Roy John shares an unusual observation from the Ottawa area

13. Nikon Photo Quiz–the Nikon quiz will be rotating between beginner‐, intermediate‐ and advanced‐level identification challenges. This issue is of an interesting sparrow; an intermediate‐level quiz.


1. Membership renewal form and return envelope for 2010

2. List of 2010 field trips

3. 2010 OFO Board of Directors & Committees

2008 IssuesTop

Volume 26 Number 1 February

Waxwings and Winter Finches - Chris Earley describes the large irruption of winter finches in Guelph and relates it positively to Ron Pittaway's Winter Finch Forecast.

Greetings OFO Members - a welcome message from John Black, the new OFO President.

Carden Alvar Point Counts - Don Barnett invites OFO members to join in this annual event.

A Tribute to Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway, OFO News Editors 1994-2007 - Ron Tozer reviews the growth of OFO News over 14 years under their editorship, and comments on the wide diversity of specially-commissioned articles.

Announcements: 2008 OFO Annual Convention, Report Colour-banded Colonial Waterbirds, Baillie Birdathon 2007 and 2008.

The Endangered Species Act - Rob Maciver examines the new provincial act to protect species at risk and compares it to the old act.

Announcement: Birds of Hamilton and Surrounding Areas by Bob Curry - a second printing.

2007, A Remarkable Year for Northern Saw-whet Owl Migration - David Okines presents the statistics on banded Saw-whets and explains why in some years there are more owls than others.

Birding with a Samsung YP-K5 4GB MP3 Player - Robert Stamp reviews the value of this playback on an overseas birding trip and for everyday birding at home.

Book Reviews: Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Edited by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott and David Christie, and Bird Songs around the World by Les Beletsky.

OBRC Notes - Margaret Bain provides updates on the latest activities of the Committee, including the need to continue reporting wild Whooping Cranes, but not ones with wing-tags.

Juvenile Caspian Terns - Chip Weseloh describes how Caspian Terns banded as nestlings at Presqu'ile Provincial Park were later observed at Hamlin Beach State Park in New York.

The Deserted Cabin on Duck Island - Jean Johnson recalls landing on an small lonely island with a cabin inhabited by two Common Mergansers incubating eggs.

Future OFO Field Trips - An impressive list of upcoming trips.

Ontario Winter Bird List - Mark Cranford encourages birders to report their current and past winter bird sightings.

New OFO News Editorial Team: Jim Heslop, Seabrooke Leckie, Dave Moore, Christine Vance. Layout and Design: Judie Shore. Museum Consultants: Michel Gosselin and Mark Peck.

Volume 26 Number 2 June

Red Knot Stopover Feeding Sources Protected by Christine Vance

Harry Lumsden - Distinguished Ornithologist by Ron Tozer, Ron Pittaway and Bill Crins

OFO Annual Convention 2008 by Chris Escott

OBRC Notes June 2008 by Jean Iron

Where have all the Migrants Gone? by Seabrooke Leckie

Atlas Launch by Mike Cadman

Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, 2001-2005: More About the Atlas by Robert Curry

Book Reviews by Lyndsay Smith and Geoffrey Carpentier: Erwin’s Merlin: Birding by Ear and Binocular by Erwin Meissner; Intelligence from Choosing Wildness by Claude Arbour

OFO 2007 Financial Statement

Future OFO Field Trips

Thank You OFO Donors

OFO Rare Birds Photo Page by Carol Horner

Members’ Poll: Electronic versus Paper Newsletters

Volume 26 Number 3 October

1. Birders, Photographers and Values–by Christina Lewis

2. Changes to the AOU Check‐list of North American Birds–by Jim Rising

3. Have You Been Gulled Recently?–by Randy Horvath

4. Saving a Gull Impaled by Fish Hooks–by Geoff Carpentier

5. Ontario Field Ornithologists Annual Convention 2008–by Jim Heslop

6. OFO Certificates of Appreciation–by John Black

7. Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Update–by Jessica Steiner and Elaine Williams, Wildlife Preservation Canada

8. In Memoriam: Douglas Campbell Sadler 1916–2008–by Geoff Carpentier

9. OFO Field Trips

10. Book Reviews: Best‐ever Backyard Birding Tips, A Field Guide to the Birds of Peru–by Geoff Carpentier

11. Niagara Birds–by John Black and Kayo Roy

12. Results of Members’ Poll: Electronic versus Paper Newsletters


1. 2008 Field Trips

2007 IssuesTop

Volume 25 Number 1 February

1. New Breeding Bird Atlas - Essential Book For Every Birder: Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway highly recommend that you pre-order a copy of the new Atlas at a sizable discount. They guarantee the second Atlas will be one of the most important and reputable bird books published in North America.

2. Duck Songs and Calls: Ron Pittaway describes five of his favourite duck songs. This is an excellent time to hear the songs and calls made by displaying ducks.

3. Gulls of Point Pelee - Record 18 Species in 2006: Alan Wormington authored the feature article in this issue. Alan provides an annotated list and historical documentation of the gulls of Point Pelee. He shows why the Point Pelee area is one of the best places North America for gull watching. The article also gives records of the Ross’s Gull, which was the only gull on the Point Pelee checklist that was not seen in 2006. Includes five gull photos taken in the Point Pelee area by Alan Wormington, Brandon Holden and Jean Iron.

4. Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2001-2005: Mike Cadman, Atlas Coordinator, explains the many new changes in the second Atlas such as lines on distribution maps showing the northern edge of the Carolinian Region, southern edge of the Canadian Shield, southern edge of the Hudson Bay Lowlands and more. The new Atlas will have coloured breeding evidence maps for every species and coloured relative abundance maps from point counts for many species, and comparisons of breeding evidence from the two atlases. All of these improvements over the first Atlas can be seen in the sample account of the Pileated Woodpecker on the next two pages. The Atlas discount presale has been extended to 31 March.

5. Pileated Woodpecker: OFO’s logo bird is used as an example of an Atlas species account. The two page centrefold of the Pileated Woodpecker is in colour as it will appear in the Atlas. The colour photo of a Pileated and young at the nest hole, detailed distribution maps in colour, graphics and informative text demonstrate just how impressive this new Atlas will be.

6. Book Review. Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 11: Geoff Carpentier reviews the latest volume of this authoritative series.

7. "Once upon a time...": Jim Richards wrote a guest editorial in the first issue of Ontario Birds in April 1983. It is reprinted in OFO News as an historical perspective of this year’s 25th Anniversary of the Ontario Field Ornithologists.

8. Little Known Facts About Binoculars: Derek Lyon discusses weight, field of view, eye relief and other information birders need to consider when purchasing binoculars.

9. Sandhill Crane bonanza along the north shore of Lake Huron: Erwin Meissner describes the impressive large flocks of cranes now staging north of Lake Huron. Photo of Sandhill Cranes on Manitoulin Island by Erwin Meissner.

10. Single White Female, Active, Social, 30s, Loves Birds: Audrey Norwicki started birding a few years ago. She tells about the learning experiences and resources, such as OFO and the birding course given by the Royal Ontario Museum, which helped her become a better birder.

11. OBRC Notes: Margaret Bain, OBRC Chair, provides an update of the activities of the rarities committee. Margaret reports on the progress being made on the OBRC electronic database of records. She also discusses possible removals and additions to the provincial review list.

12. Black Guillemot and Bald Eagle: Ron Pittaway gives new information about the dates when the guillemot was seen along the Spanish River in Massey.

13. Photos Wanted for OFO Anniversary: 2007 is OFO’s 25th Anniversary. Diane Henderson, OFO Archivist, asks for photographs for use in the 25th Anniversary and to expand the archival collection.

14. Future OFO Trips: Dave Milsom, OFO Trips Coordinator, describes the locations, dates and leaders for upcoming field trips between 17 March and 23 June 2007.

15. OFO’s Celebrity Birders 2007: Cheryl and Ben Edgecombe, mother and son team, of Burlington are OFO’s Celebrity Birders in this year’s Baillie Birdathon. A pledge form to sponsor Cheryl and Ben is enclosed with this issue.

Volume 25 Number 2 June

Here are the highlights of this 24 page special issue:

1. New Bird Gallery - Canadian Museum of Nature: Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway recommend visiting the museum’s new bird gallery in Ottawa. It is the largest and most modern bird gallery in Canada.

2. Distinguished Ornithologist: Mike Cadman will receive OFO’s Distinguished Ornithologist Award at the Annual Convention Banquet on Saturday evening at Point Pelee on 13 October 2007.

3. Additions to the Ontario Bird Checklist: 1982 to 2006. Feature article. Ron Tozer has compiled a list of all birds added to the official Ontario checklist by the OBRC as celebration for OFO’s 25th anniversary. This will be the most popular reference article ever published in OFO News.

4. Markham’s Reesor Pond: Stan Long describes the new habitats and birding opportunities at this little hotspot close to Toronto.

5. In Memoriam: John Baxter Miles: 1942 - 2006. Jean Iron recalls John’s achievements as a birder, bander and popular OFO trip leader. Photo of John leading an OFO field trip.

6. OBRC Notes: Margaret Bain, Chair, reports on the rarities committees annual March meeting held at the Royal Ontario Museum.

7. Hummingbird Torpor? Cause of Death: Cheryl Baxter of Almonte photographed a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird hanging upside down. Comments by Allen Chartier and Michel Gosselin.

8. Carden Alvar News: Loggerhead Shrike Update by Elaine Williams of Wildlife Preservation Canada and a letter about birding the Carden Alvar from England.

9. Carden Nature Festival: Jean Iron tells about the very successful first nature festival. Photo of Nath Rockhill of the Carden IBA presenting Ron Pittaway with Carden’s first Conservation Award.

10. OFO Financial Statement 2006: Eileen Beagan, Treasurer, presents a Balance Sheet and Income and Expense Statement.

11. Birds of South America - Rheas to Woodpeckers: Reviewed by Geoff Carpentier.

12. Birds of the Dominican Republic and Haiti: Reviewed by Geoff Carpentier.

13. Piping Plover Nest at Sauble Beach: Cindy Cartwright describes the discovery of the nest by Brendan Toews, age 13, and Brendan’s insistence that the nest be protected. Photo of Piping Plover by George Peck and photo of the habitat by Peter Middleton.

14. 2006 Certificates of Appreciation: Bob Falconer presents a list of recipients in 2006 and reasons for each certificate. Photo of Robert Bossu receiving his certificate from OFO member Blake Mann for creating a wetland on his property that attracts hundreds of shorebirds.

15. Future Field Trips: Dave Milsom, Trips Coordinator, lists the nine upcoming field trips and leaders.

16. Publication Announcement: Birds of Ontario. Now $49.24 in paperback. Sandilands, A. 2005. Birds of Ontario: habitat requirements, limiting factors, and status. vol. 1: nonpasserines, waterfowl through cranes. UBC Press. 365 pp. Includes shipping, handling and GST. Reviewed and recommended by Ron Tozer in Ontario Birds 23(2):99-100. Available from uniPRESSES, 34 Armstrong Ave., Georgetown ON L7G 4R9. Toll free 1-877-864-8477. Email: orders@gtwcanada.com

Enclosure: Registration form and descriptions of the field trips, special events and banquet at the 2007 OFO Annual Convention. Plan to attend the 25th Anniversary celebration at Point Pelee on 13/14 October 2007.

OFO Membership is $25 yearly in Canada. Members receive three issues of OFO News and three issues of the journal, Ontario Birds. We are planning a big 25th Anniversary celebration at the OFO Convention & Banquet at Point Pelee in October. If you are interested in becoming an OFO member, please email Eleanor Beagan, Membership Secretary, etbeagan AT sympatico DOT ca.

We are grateful to the authors, photographers and reviewers who made this issue possible.

Jean Iron & Ron Pittaway

OFO News Editors

Volume 25 Number 3 October

Here are the highlights of the 16 page October 2007 issue:


1. OFO 25th Anniversary Celebrations 1982 - 2007: This issue features several pages of colour photos of OFO’s inaugural meeting in 1982 and the 25th Anniversary Celebration at Point Pelee on 13/14 October 2007.

2. The OFO Checklist: Michel Gosselin of the Canadian Museum of Nature uses the Ontario Bird Checklist to provide insights into bird systematics. This is an important ornithology lesson that will benefit both novice and expert birders.

3. Marbled Godwits On The Go: Ken Abraham of the Ministry of Natural Resources describes a cooperative study with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/U.S. Geological Survey of tracking Marbled Godwits that breed in James Bay. Godwits are fitted with satellite or radio transmitters and colour bands. Tissue samples are taken for genetic and stable isotope analyses to answer questions about site and habitat use, dispersal, migration and wintering areas. Map shows the fall migration route taken by one Marbled Godwit from Akimiski Island.

4. Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Update: Jessica Steiner and Elaine Williams of Wildlife Preservation Canada report the breeding success of Loggerhead Shrikes in 2007. They also discuss the captive breeding program. They end with a concern that federal funding for the shrike recovery program is being severely cutback. Photo of two juvenile Loggerhead Shrikes on the Carden Alvar by Larry Kirtley.

5. Changes to AOU Checklist of North American Birds in 2007: Jim Rising, Canadian member of the Committee of Classification and Nomenclature, explains the changes affecting birds in Ontario that were announced in the 48th Supplement to the AOU Check-list published in the Auk.

6. OBRC Notes: Margaret Bain, Chair, reports on recent activities of the rarities committee. The big news is that birders can now count Trumpeter Swans seen in Ontario in 2007, but sightings before 2007 are not countable. The OBRC requests observers who submit photos also to provide written details, which greatly enhance the value of records.

7. The Land Between and the Carden Alvar: Ron Pittaway discusses the narrow contact zone where Paleozoic alvars meet Precambrian granite barrens along the southern edge of the Canadian Shield. This zone is called The Land Between. It is ecologically diverse and rich in birds.


1. Gulls At Niagara: A full page etching by Elizabeth Turner of gulls at Niagara Falls to set the mood for the OFO Gull Trip on Sunday 2 December 2007.

2. Paparazzi Birders: Ron Pittaway and Jean Iron ask if you are a paparazzo (singular) birder. The name Paparazzi birders has come into recent use describing those who stress birds by pursuing them too closely.

3. Carden Bluebirds: Herb Furniss reports that his bluebird boxes along Wylie Road on "the Carden Alvar in 2007 had their best breeding success in his 21 years".

4. Earthworms Threaten Forest Birds: Ron Pittaway reports that introduced earthworms threaten woodland birds because they eat the duff layer, which stores and slowly releases nutrients in healthy forests. When the duff layer disappears exposing bare ground, rain leaches away nutrients and woodlands become drier and less productive for birds and other plants and animals.

5. Juvenal, Juvenile and Immature: These often confusing terms are defined.

6. Morph or Phase: Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway explain why birders should use the correct term morph instead of the outdated "phase".

7. OFO Certificates of Appreciation: John Black, coordinator, lists the recipients of certificates in 2007 for their outstanding contributions to birds and the birding community.

8. OFO 25th Anniversary - Letters of Congratulations: A list of the letters congratulating OFO from the Governor General, Prime Minister, federal and provincial ministries, birding organizations and others.


Two inserts with this issue. (1) List of 2008 field trips. (2) Membership renewal form and return envelope for 2008. Please renew promptly and include updates such as a new email address. Eleanor Beagan, Membership Secretary, encourages you to renew now using the enclosed envelope to ease her busy workload as Christmas approaches.

This is our final issue as editors of OFO News. We thank the many authors, artists, photographers and map makers who supported us for 14 years and 42 issues. We wish the new editors continued success.

Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway
OFO News Editors 1994 - 2007
9 Lichen Place
Toronto ON M3A 1X3

2006 IssuesTop

Volume 24 Number 1 February

1. Point Pelee 2005 - A Big Year Like No Other: Alan Wormington in our feature article recounts his exciting year of seeing a record 292 species at Point Pelee in 2005. Five photos of Pelee rarities by the author.

2. Some Arctic Birds in Ontario for the Winter: Mark Pimlott writing from Nunavut tells about High Arctic birds that spend the winter in Ontario.

3. OBRC Notes: Margaret Bain, OBRC Chair, updates the recent and upcoming work of the rarities committee.

4. Atlassing in Polar Bear Provincial Park: Don Sutherland of the Natural Heritage Information Centre describes the finding of breeding evidence in June 2005 for Red-throated Loon, Pacific Loon, Ross’s Goose, Willow Ptarmigan, Whimbrel, Hudsonian Godwit, Parasitic Jaeger, Orange-crowned Warbler, Fox Sparrow, Smith’s Longspur and many more northern species. Photo of five atlassers.

5. Remote Atlassing in Ontario’s Boreal Forest: Pete Read tells about atlassing in June and early July 2005 around remote First Nation communities where they found Black-backed and American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Connecticut Warbler, Le Conte’s Sparrow and many other boreal species. Photo of a Bonaparte’s Gull on a tree top by the author.

6. Two Big Black Birds Going In Different Directions - Common Raven and Turkey Vulture: Mike Cadman and Peter Blancher of the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas outline the northward spread of vultures and southward spread of ravens. They discuss probable reasons for the range changes. Two tables and two maps accompany the article.

7. Fossil Gizzard Stones of Passenger Pigeon: John (Jock) McAndrews and Janet Chau discuss gizzard stones from Passenger Pigeons found at a Neutral Indian site near Grimsby in Niagara Region. Photo of gizzard stones by Janet Chau.

8. Art Auction - Wood Ducks by Robert Bateman: Bob Bateman donated an original painting of Wood Ducks for Bob Curry’s upcoming book on the "Birds of Hamilton and surrounding areas". Auction is at the Burlington Art Centre on 18 February 2006. For more information call Glenn Barrett at 905-525-2142.

9. Future OFO Field Trips 2006: Descriptions of 11 guided field trips giving the leaders, dates, locations, directions and target birds for each trip.

10. Carden Alvar - North America’s Largest Protected Alvar: Photo of the new sign commemorating the purchase of the Cameron Ranch on the Carden Alvar.

Volume 24 Number 2 June

1. Fall Birding in Canada’s Capital: In our lead article, Christina Lewis and Bob Bracken describe the best fall birding spots in the National Capital Region in preparation for the OFO Annual Convention in Ottawa on 30 September and 1 October 2006. Illustration of birds at Ottawa Beach by Christina Lewis.

2. Distinguished Ornithologist: Ken Abraham will receive OFO’s Distinguished Ornithologist Award at the Annual Convention Banquet on Saturday evening 30 September 2006 in Ottawa.

3. Birds At Risk - COSEWIC: Ron Pittaway gives an update on the most recent status designations affecting birds on the Ontario checklist.

4. Gordon Bellerby 1919 - 2006: Mary Ellen Hebb describes the life of one of Ontario’s best loved birders. Photo by Kayo Roy of Gordon birding with the late gull expert Peter Grant at Niagara.

5. Book Review: Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 10: Cuckoo-shrikes to Thrushes. Reviewed by Geoff Carpentier. This series is the best reference on the world’s birds.

6. OBRC Notes: Margaret Bain, Chair, updates us on some recent activities and decisions of the rarities committee including its election of new members.

7. Spring Migration of Common Loons Over Central Toronto 1995 to 2006: In our feature article, George Fairfield analyzes his 11-year study of loon migration including 4 figures showing numbers, migration dates, trends and a map of ice-out dates on lakes in Ontario. Photo of a Common Loon by Brandon Holden.

8. Book Review - Hawks From Every Angle: Reviewed by Derek Lyon. Derek recommends this new specialty guide, particularly for advanced hawkwatchers.

9. Dark Morph Rough-legged Hawks: Ron Pittaway reports percentages of dark morph Rough-legged Hawks seen on migration and in winter. Most eastern dark morph birds probably breed in northern Quebec and Labrador, not on the Arctic islands. Two photos of dark and light morph Rough-legged Hawks by Brandon Holden.

10. OFO Financial Statement including Income and Expense Statement for 2005: Report by Eileen Beagan, OFO Treasurer.

11. Native Vegetation in Provincial Parks: Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway report that some Ontario Parks will be removing non-native vegetation and encouraging native species.

12. Eight Announcements: 1. Birds of Hamilton by Bob Curry. 2. Search for Editors of Ontario Birds. 3. Search for OFO Website Coordinator. 4. Search for Ontbirds Coordinator. 5. Cornell’s Handbook of Bird Biology. 6. Your OFO Membership Information. 7. Thank You OFO Donors with list of donors in 2005. 8. Future OFO Field Trips this summer and early fall.

Volume 24 Number 3 October

1. Old and New English Names of Ontario Birds: Ron Pittaway discusses the importance of using official bird names. He provides a list of official spellings for frequently misspelled bird names, a list of old names, and a list of suggested new names from the 2006 “Birds of the World” checklist.

2. Birds, Husband, Kids - Do and Don’t Tips for a Birding Spouse: Cheryl Edgecombe tells about her passion for birds and describes the many ingenious ways she manages family, work and birding. Cheryl rarely misses a rare bird. Two photos: One of Cheryl and family, and another birding with her son Ben.

3. French rabbit Wine Helps Loggerhead Shrike Recovery: Tamara Burns recounts how French wine maker Jean-Charles Boisset and the LCBO through its Natural Heritage Fund are helping to save the endangered Eastern Loggerhead Shrike. Photo of the presentation giving a cheque for $160,000 to Wildlife Preservation Canada for the recovery of the Loggerhead Shrike.

4. OBRC Notes: Margaret Bain, OBRC Chair, gives an overview of recent activities of the rarities committee. She stresses the importance of documenting rare birds in the province. Photo of Margaret at the OBRC display at the OFO Annual Convention in Ottawa.

5. Chimney Swift and Purple Martin - two small birds going in the same direction: Mike Cadman and Peter Blancher discuss the Chimney Swift and Purple Martin which are showing dramatic declines in Ontario according to the atlas data. New analyses using atlas data reveal not only the extent of the decline, but the pattern as well. Article includes photo of Chimney Swift on nest and breeding distribution maps.

6. Sewage Lagoons, Shorebirds, Falcons and Wives: Ron Fleming describes the birds and birding at his two favourite sewage lagoons in York Region. He wonders about the impressions his wife and male friends have about his birding at sewage lagoons.

7. Markham’s Snider Marsh - A mini birding site guide: Stan Long describes the birding opportunities in one of his favourite tiny hidden hotspots in Markham just northeast of Toronto.

8. Book Review - Bird-watcher: Geoff Carpentier recommends this book for beginning young birders and educators. It is full of tips designed to stimulate ingenuity and creativity in young birders.

9. Changes to the AOU Check-list of North American Birds: Jim Rising, Canadian member of the Committee of Classification and Nomenclature, describes changes relevant to Canada in the 47th Supplement to the AOU Check-list published recently in the Auk.

10.Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario 2001-2005: Gregor Beck, Chair of the Atlas Management Board, outlines the progress of publishing Ontario’s second Breeding Bird Atlas. Gregor describes some changes in bird numbers and distribution. He explains that the new atlas will be an essential tool in assessing how environmental changes are affecting provincial bird populations. Publication date in September 2007. There is a considerable saving if you order a copy early at a special pre-sale price. See enclosed brochure with this issue.

11. Snyder’s Great Horned Owl: Jean Iron and Erwin Meissner tell about a nest of pale Great Horned Owls seen on the OFO trip to Manitoulin Island. Photo of nest with one nestling by Erwin Meissner.

12. Spotting the American Kestrel - Easier than you thought: Derek Lyon gives tips on finding kestrels and tells how to identify them using jizz.


A. OFO thanks retiring directors Sandra Eadie and Bob Falconer for their service to OFO. Sandra coordinated the OFO Website for the past six years and Bob handled the OFO Certificates of Appreciation for three. OFO welcomes new directors John Black of St. Catharines and Valerie Jacobs of Toronto. John and Valerie will share operation of the OFO Website, and Valerie will coordinate the OFO Certificates of Appreciation.

B. New Ontario Birds Editors: After 16 years as Editors of Ontario Birds, Ron Tozer, Ron Pittaway, Bill Crins and Art Consultant Christine Kerrigan are retiring with the December 2006 issue. The new Editors are Ross James and Glenn Coady, Art Consultant is Barry Kent MacKay, and Layout and Printing is Judie Shore.

C. New Publication - Birding at Point Pelee: A birder’s history of Canada’s most famous birding spot by Henrietta O’Neill. Price is $24.95. 224 pages with numerous photographs. Published by Lorimer and distributed by Formac Distributing. Phone 1-800-565-1975.

D. Future Field Trips: Dave Milsom, Trips Coordinator, lists the next six upcoming trips giving locations, dates, meeting times, leader names, directions and target birds.

2005 IssuesTop

Volume 23 Number 1 February

Meeting the Challenge - Ontario’s Monumental Atlas Project: Mike Cadman invites everybody to get involved in this final year of the Breeding Bird Atlas to make it the best information on the distribution, abundance and status of Ontario’s birds. The Atlas will be the basis for breeding bird conservation and research for decades to come.

Last of the Curlews: Glenn Coady congratulates Fred Bodsworth on his award winning book “Last of the Curlews”. February marks the 50th anniversary of Fred’s “classic novel detailing a fictional year in the life of the last pair of Eskimo Curlews.”

Cackling Goose, NOT new to Ontario: Ken Abraham, a research scientist specializing in geese with the Ministry of Natural Resources, tells what is known and not known about Cackling Geese in Ontario. Three photos of Cackling Geese and two range maps.

OBRC Notes: Ron Tozer, chair, encourages birders to document rare birds and gives examples of how we can contribute to the knowledge of Ontario’s rare birds.

What’s the Point of Point Counts?: Erica Dunn, Canadian Wildlife Service, explains the importance of point counts to the success of the Breeding Bird Atlas. Photos by John Black and Harold Stiver.

Landbird Conservation Plans Use Ontario Atlas Data: Peter Blancher, Bird Studies Canada, shows how Atlas data is already being used in developing conservation plans for landbirds. A list of 16 landbirds undergoing severe declines in southern Ontario is included. Photos of Northern Bobwhite by George Peck, Yellow-breasted Chat by Eric Holden, and Gray Partridge by Harold Stiver.

Early Birds: Ornithologist Ross James recommends getting out early to record breeding species for the Atlas. Photo of a pair of Gray Jays by Dan Strickland.

Hannah’s Story: Janice Haines tells the story of Hannah, a female Rufous Hummingbird, seen last fall by over 500 birders in Niagara Falls. Photo of Hannah by Janice.

Shivering in the Cold: Ross James explains that shivering in birds is an adaptation to keeping warm in the cold. Drawing of an American Goldfinch by Ross.

Reference Atlas to the Birds of North America 2003: Geoff Carpentier reviews this book by the National Geographic Society, which is a companion to the Field Guide to the Birds of North America.

Carden Alvar - Update on the Cameron and Windmill Ranches: Don Barnett, OFO representative on the Carden Alvar Advisory Committee, describes the land acquisitions and stewardship activities in progress by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and its partners that will protect the alvar and this world class birding area.

Volume 23 Number 2 June

Final Season of the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas: Mike Cadman invites you to be involved in the final year of the Breeding Bird Atlas to make it the best information on the status of Ontario’s birds.

Distinguished Ornithologist: Bob Curry outlines the achievements of Ron Pittaway who will receive OFO’s Distinguished Ornithologist Award in 2005.

Book Review: Birds of Australia.

OBRC Notes: Margaret Bain, 2005 chair, gives an update on the activities of the OBRC and the election of new members.

Book Review: Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 9. Cotingas to Pipits.

Book Review: Curassows and Related Birds.

Bald Eagle Flip: Photos and story by Brandon Holden.

Learning by Mistakes - Case of the Arctic Tern: By Ron Pittaway

Waterfowl of Eastern North America: The latest in a series of pocket-sized photo identification guides by Chris Earley.

Great Gray Owl Observations 2004 - 2005: Ron Pittaway reflects on observations from last winter’s irruption.

Relative Abundance Maps: Andrew Courturier, Bird Studies Canada and Atlas Point Count Committee Member, shows why point counts will form “the single most important database in the province...for decades to come.”

Publication of the Atlas: The Atlas is scheduled for publication in September 2007.

Late Season Atlassing: Mike Cadman encourages birders to fill important gaps in breeding evidence during July and early August when recently fledged young of many species can be easily confirmed.

Turkey Population: Ron Pittaway discusses possible effects of the burgeoning and spreading population.

Volume 23 Number 3 October

Atlas Data Collection Completed. By Mike Cadman.

Sabine’s Gull Pronunciation. By Ron Scovell.

2005 Changes to the AOU Check-list. By Jim Rising.

OBRC Notes. By Margaret Bain.

Atlas Trip to the Muketei River. By Judith King, Steven King, John Reaume and Michael Runtz.

Book Review: Birds of South Asia. Reviewed by Geoff Carpentier.

Ron Tasker: Order of Canada.

Royal Ontario Museum: Ghosts in the Collection. By Mark Peck and Brad Millen. This feature article with photos is about the extinct and endangered North American birds in the ROM collection: Labrador Duck, Whooping Crane, Eskimo Curlew, Great Auk, Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Passenger Pigeon and Carolina Parakeet.

Digital Song Player. By Paul Bisson.

Carden Alvar Bluebirds. By Herb Furniss.

Phyllis MacKay Appreciation

Book Review: The Big Year. Reviewed by Ted Armstrong.

James Bay Shorebird Survey. By Jean Iron.

My New Ears. By George Pond.

Loggerhead Shrikes 2005

OFO director Maris Apse Retires and welcome to new OFO director Wendy Hunter.

2004 IssuesTop

Volume 22 Number 1 February

Diamond Birds in the Rough - Ron Pittaway describes the major developments coming to James Bay and the Hudson Bay Lowland because of a proposed diamond mine south of Polar Bear Provincial Park.

Greater Snow Geese in Eastern Ontario - Brian Morin writes about the now annual spring migration of 1000s of white morph Greater Snow Geese, a relative newcomer to the province.

A Young Birder and Photographer - Brandon Holden, 16, tells his story being an avid birder who also loves photography. Photos of a Peregrine Falcon and a Common Loon by Brandon.

Great Crested Flycatcher Nest - George and Jean Fairfield document the nest building, incubation, feeding young, and fledging of GreatCrested Flycatchers in Toronto.

Do Some Survive? - Ron Tozer discusses a banded young Gray Jay in Algonquin Park that recovered after being hit by a car.

Loggerhead Shrikes Find New Home - Pete Read tells about the release program and new breeding facilities for the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike.

OBRC Notes - Bob Curry gives an update on the activities of the Ontario Bird Records Committee.

Atlas going well, but we need you more than ever! - Mike Cadman discusses the decline in grassland birds. The atlas is looking for birders to take on specific tasks, such as doing point counts and finding elusive species. Includes a map and a table.

On the Prowl for Owls - Nicole Kopysh gives the results of three field seasons atlassing owls. Nicole tells how you can get involved in owling to record breeding evidence and relative abundance.

Cooper’s Hawk Attacks Pheasant - Randy Horvath describes a juvenile Cooper’s that narrowly missed catching a female Ring-necked Pheasant.

Turkey Condor - Ron Pittaway proposes changing the Turkey Vulture’s name to Turkey Condor.

The Great North American Birding Trivia Game - Hugh Currie reviews this new board game for birders.

Glossy Ibis Strays - Potential Victim of Botulism - Randy Horvath saw a Glossy Ibis eating mudpuppies, which is Ontario’s largest amphibian and a major carrier of botulism.

Birds At Risk - Ron Pittaway gives the latest COSEWIC designations of birds in Ontario.

Cat-eyed Skimmers Update - Ron Pittaway adds information to his note in the last OFO News about skimmers, which are the only birds whose pupils narrow to vertical slits in bright light.

Future OFO Field Trips - Don Barnett, Field Trips Coordinator, outlines 12 upcoming field trips.

Announcements of the 2004 OFO Annual Convention and Banquet, and two new publications by OFO members.

New Checklist - This mailing includes a complimentary updated Ontario Bird Checklist 2004. Two illustrations by Ron Scovell.

Volume 22 Number 2 June

1. Jim Rising - Distinguished Ornithologist: Jean Iron describes the accomplishments of Jim Rising of the University of Toronto, who will be the seventh recipient of the Distinguished Ornithologist Award. The award will be presented to Jim at the OFO Annual Convention and Banquet in Oakville on Saturday, 2 October 2004.

2. Jaeger Watching at Van Wagners Beach: Brandon Holden, 17, tells how and when to watch jaegers on Lake Ontario at Hamilton with tips on identifying the three species. There are two photos by Brandon and one by his father, Eric Holden.

3. Atlas Relative Abundance Maps - Hot off the Plotter: Mike Cadman explains the importance of “point counts”, which sample the numbers of most species at specific points in a square. Using point counts, Mike shows how relative abundance is mapped for six breeding birds.

4. Harry Lumsden: Order of Canada: Stan Long outlines the achievements of Harry Lumsden, retired MNR biologist and research scientist, which led to his appointment to the Order of Canada. There is a photo of Harry.

5. To Catch a Trumpeter: Bev Kingdon tells an interesting story about Harry Lumsden and the Order of Canada. There is a photo of Harry holding a Trumpeter Swan.

6. OBRC Notes: Bob Curry, 2003 chair, reports on the March meeting of the rarities committee held at the Royal Ontario Museum.

7. Fishing For New Birders: Is Ron Pittaway kidding us? He says that Ontario’s million plus anglers include thousands of potential new birders.

8. My Introduction To A Shrike: Bev Kingdon describes how a Northern Shrike killed and ate a starling just outside her cottage window near North Bay.

9. New Field Guides to West Africa: Hugh Currie, having recently returned from West Africa, discusses several field guides and books covering this rich area for birds.

10. Bird Bills - ID Tip: Ron Pittaway notes that top birders often use bill shape to clinch tricky identifications.

11. Birds From The Ground - The Record of Archaeology in Ontario: Geoff Carpentier reviews the latest book by OFO member Doug Sadler and Howard Savage, which gives findings and insights into the pre-history of the birds in the province.

12. First Annual Little Gull Viewing Day: Chip Weseloh, Richard Joos, and Tyler Hoar tell about viewing Little Gulls at Oshawa Second Marsh on Lake Ontario, which is one of the best spots to see Little Gulls in North America. There are two photos by Richard Joos.

13. Swallows Mob Northern Goshawk: Randy Horvath describes Tree and Barn Swallows mobbing a juvenile Northern Goshawk.

14. Save More Carden Alvar - Windmill Ranch: Don Barnett tells about the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s agreement to purchase the 1600 acre Windmill Ranch along Wylie Road, which will protect more of the Carden Alvar. Your support is needed.

15. Birding Software Review - Birder’s Diary v.3 World Edition 2003: Geoff Carpentier reviews the latest software used to keep checklists of birds ranging from day and backyard lists to world lists. It covers 10,241 species with built-in checklists for every country in the world.

16. OFO Financial Statement 2003: Eileen Beagan, treasurer, presents a “Balance Sheet” and “Income and Expense Statement” for the year ending 31 December 2003.

17. Future OFO Field Trips: Don Barnett, field trips coordinator, outlines the upcoming guided trips, leaders, locations and dates during August, September and October to birding hotspots in Ontario.

18. OFO Annual Convention and Banquet 2004: Enclosed with this issue is a registration form for the Annual Convention and Banquet in Oakville on 2-3 October 2004. Banquet speaker is Bruce Mactavish of Newfoundland and Labrador. Bruce is an identification expert on North Atlantic seabirds and European vagrants. He has a great sense of humour. The Annual Convention also includes field trips on Saturday and Sunday, Ron Scovell’s bird book sale, displays, presentations, and a time to get together with birding friends.

Volume 22 Number 3 October

1. New President’s Message: Chris Escott

2. OBRC Notes: Ron Tozer

3. Changes to the AOU Check-list of North American Birds, 2004: Jim Rising

4. Atlassing the North in 2004: Mike Cadman

5. Atlassing Trip to the Pen Islands, Hudson Bay, Ontario: Don Sutherland

6. An Atlas Adventure on the Lower Shamattawa and Winisk Rivers: Glenn Coady, Gerry Binsfeld, Karl Konze and Mark Peck

7. A Ululation of Loons: Stan Long

8. Solunar Birding: Ron Pittaway

9. An Untrustworthy Observer: Jonathan Dwight

10. Is the Loggerhead Shrike a Habitat Specialist?: Ron Pittaway and Jean Iron


1. Birds of Elgin County: Reviewed by Ross James.

2. Birds of Chile: Reviewed by Ron Pittaway.

3. Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Chile: Reviewed by Geoff Carpentier.

4. Migrating Raptors of Hawk Cliff: Reviewed by Ron Pittaway.

5. Hawks and Owls of Eastern North America: Reviewed by Jean Iron.

6. Guide to Hawk Watching in North America: Reviewed by Ron Pittaway.

7. The Sibley Field Guides to the Birds of Eastern and Western North America: Reviewed by Geoff Carpentier.

2003 IssuesTop

Volume 21 Number 1 February

Carden Alvar: Loggerhead Shrikes 2002, Cameron Ranch Update, Carden Bluebirds.

Minising Swamp: Dave Milsom describes the best birding times and locations to see birds in this huge wetland west of Barrie. Map by Andrew Jano.

Atlas Results After Two Years: Mike Cadman outlines some species that are expanding/increasing and some that are contracting/declining. Photo by Sam Barone.

I Can’t Believe I ate the Whole Thing: Wolfgang Luft describes how a Solitary Sandpiper ate a very large tadpole, which would be analogous to a human swallowing a grapefruit in one bite.

Weaver Loggerhead Shrikes: Ron Pittaway tells of a shrike using barbed wire to hold twine to shred off strands for the lining of its nest.

Notes From The OBRC: Peter Burke reports on recent activities of the rarities committee, including the names of retiring and newly elected members.

A Summer with Merlins: Mary Anne Miller describes the activities of nesting Merlins at her cottage in Haliburton County. Sketch of Merlins by the writer.

Atlassing Adventures: Andrew Keaveney, University of Guelph student, tells about his atlassing adventures last summer in northern Ontario.

Always Have a Back-up Plan: In the depths of winter and few birds, young birder Ian Shanahan remembers the joys of seeing common spring birds. Illustrated with a Ruby-throated Hummingbird by the writer.

Should We Feed Birds? Why Not? Steve Elliot of Wild Birds Unlimited discusses how to clean feeders to prevent diseases. He also suggests feeder designs and seed choices. Photo of an easy to clean squirrel proof feeder.

Ontario Forest Bird Monitoring Program: Mike Cadman examines some population trends among forest birds over the project’s first 15 years from 1987 through 2001. Two illustrations by Brenda Carter.

Stranded Loons and Grebes: Annie and Erwin Meissner tell the story of loons and grebes that were stranded by ice close to Manitoulin Island. They were later eaten by Bald Eagles.

Early Fledged Mourning Dove: Ron and Mary Tasker show two photos of a newly fledged juvenile Mourning Dove in Toronto on 28 March 2002.

Volume 21 Number 2 June

Distinguished Ornithologist - Bob Curry: The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Bob Curry will be the 2003 and sixth recipient of OFO’s Distinguished Ornithologist Award. The award will be presented to Bob at OFO’s Annual Convention & Banquet on 20 September at Point Pelee.

Portrait of an Artist - Betsy Potter: Willie D’Anna tells of his life partner’scareer in art and their shared interest in birds. Betsy contributed four bird paintings to this issue.

What is the Saw-whetter? George Fairfield describes his first encounter in 1949 with a singing Northern Saw-whet Owl in northern Ontario. George discusses the origin of the Saw-whet’s name from its call. Illustration by Brenda Carter.

OBRC Notes: Peter Burke, retiring OBRC Chair, discusses electronic rare bird submissions. The committee decided that it is still too early to count sightings of Trumpeter Swan on your list in Ontario.

In Search of Short-eared Owls: Marcel Gahbauer outlines the decline of the Short-eared Owl and how birders can contribute to a study of this species. Illustration by Brenda Carter.

Book Review: Birders - Tales of a Tribe: Bill Crins says that “all of us will be able to recognize familiar characters, including ourselves, and situations in our own birding experiences” in this fascinating book about birders.

Nature-friendly Golf at Whitevale: Geoff Carpentier tells how some golf courses are being excellent land stewards by enhancing wildlife habitat and practicing water conservation. Three photos by Brian Sambleson.

Favourite Birding Hotspots: Lake Erie Shore: Willie D’Anna has written the first birding site guide to the fabulous birding from Rock Point to Fort Erie. It includes three shorebird illustrations by Betsy Potter and a detailed map by Andrew Jano showing the locations described in the text. You’ll want to take this guide into the field with you this summer and fall.

Some Forest Bird Changes: Ron Pittaway describes some forest changes he sees coming in Haliburton County and Toronto’s ravines, which will affect future bird diversity.

The Value of Point Counts to the Atlas: Mike Cadman, with the use of range maps, shows how point counts will give important added value to the atlas by indicating the relative abundance for many breeding species.

Rails Retrieve Eggs: Ron Pittaway discusses Clapper Rails, which carry lost eggs back to their nests. He wonders if other rails retrieve eggs.

Tree Top Bittern: Jean Iron tells about an American Bittern, which she found perched near the top of a tall maple tree in Toronto. Photo by Jean Iron.

Tiny Marsh Trip Report: Ron Fleming tells about the birds seen on OFO’s first field trip in late April to Tiny Marsh, one of the best birding spots in Simcoe County.

Future OFO Field Trips: A list of locations, dates, leaders, and birds expected to be seen on guided field trips this summer and fall.

Carden Alvar - Cameron Ranch Saved: Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway thank the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Couchiching Conservancy, Toronto Ornithological Club, OFO, Ontario Parks, and contributors who made possible the purchase of the 2869 acre Cameron Ranch, which will protect the nucleus of the Carden Alvar.

Volume 21 Number 3 October

Late Winter Red-necked Grebes: A Mystery: In the lead article, Ron Tozer objectively examines both the “Frozen Out Hypothesis” and “Early Migration Hypothesis”. Both hypotheses have many supporters. Draw your own conclusion. Photo by Willie D’Anna.

Nightmare on Belmont Street: Hillary Dextrase, age 9, reports on the food habits of urban Merlins nesting in Peterborough. Two photos by Alan Dextrase.

Three Years of Atlas Field Work: Mike Cadman mentions some exciting new findings in northern Ontario. He also discusses the declines in members of the swallow and goatsucker families.

Changes in the AOU Check-list of North American Birds: Jim Rising, Canadian member of the check-list committee, tells of important new changes to the taxonomy and names of North American birds. Illustration by Brenda Carter and photo by Sam Barone.

William Henesey Carrick (1920 - 2002): Eleanor Beagan writes a tribute to the life of “The Original Father Goose”, who was a birder, naturalist, cinematographer, and OFO member. Includes photo of Bill on his 80th birthday.

A Beginning Young Birder: Anthony Miller, age 18, describes how he recently became a passionate birder. He tells about his favourite birds, birding hotspots and birding mentors.

Knots from Argentina: Don Shanahan, with an illustration by his son Ian, discusses his sightings of colour-banded knots, which were seen at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

Markham’s Coyote Pond: Stan Long tells gives directions to this easily accessible small pond near Toronto, which is a lure for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl.

In addition to the above articles, there are the following shorter notes: Yellow Warbler in Spider’s Silk by Randy Horvath, OBRC Notes by Bob Curry, Baillie Birdathons for OFO by Chris Escott, Cat-eyed Birds by Ron Pittaway, Ring-billed Gull Eats Snake by George and Kittie Fells, What is a Raptor? by Ron Pittaway, a list the 2003 OFO Awards and recipients, and a list of future OFO field trips.

2002 IssuesTop

Volume 20 Number 1 February

At 20 pages, this is the largest ever. Also with this mailing, you will receive a free completely updated 2002 Ontario Bird Checklist with a cover illustration of a Great Gray Owl by Barry Kent MacKay.

Ontario’s Far North: Ken Abraham describes his birding experiences while banding geese in the Hudson Bay Lowland, the third largest wetland in the world. Map by Andrew Jano and photos by Ken Abraham.

Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas: Mike Cadman encourages birders to atlas central and northern Ontario. He includes a list of Atlas Workshops.

Carden Bluebirds Have Banner Year: Herb Furniss explains how new bluebird boxes increase bluebird numbers. Photo by Sam Barone.

Cooper’s Hawk Cannibalism: John Miles reports a Cooper’s Hawk eating another Cooper’s Hawk.

Hermit Thrush at Bird Feeder: Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway have a Hermit Thrush feeding on an elevated bird feeder.

Virginia Rail Attacks Object: Kevin Dance describes a close encounter with a Virginia Rail.

Notes from the OBRC: Peter Burke, Chair of the Ontario Bird Records Committee, tells us about its Annual Meeting. He welcomes new committee members and thanks the retiring members.

Young Ontario Birders: Brandon Holden describes his stay at Long Point and Ian Shanahan wins ABA Awards.

1905 Bird Checklist of Ontario: Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway compare C.W. Nash’s 1905 checklist with the latest 2002 checklist. They list the species in 1905 with selected annotations. Modern interpretations and comments are in italics. Find out what species have been added since 1905. Illustration by Nash.

Field Trips: Future OFO field trips, and a report of the fall trip to Hawk Cliff by Pete Read.

Algonquin Park Square Bash: Ron Tozer invites birders to atlas the spectacular “East Side” of Algonquin Park on this special OFO event.

Maris Apse is OFO’s Celebrity Birder in this year’s Baillie Birdathon. Flyer enclosed.

Volume 20 Number 2 June

Save Cameron Ranch: The Nature Conservancy of Canada with the Ontario Field Ornithologists, Couchiching Conservancy and Toronto Ornithological Club is fund raising to buy the Cameron Ranch, the nucleus of the Carden Alvar. Please consider a donation.

Bruce Falls - Distinguished Ornithologist: Bruce Falls of Toronto will be the fifth recipient of the Distinguished Ornithologist Award to be presented at the OFO Convention and Banquet in Kingston on Saturday, 22 September 2002.

A Young Birder’s Story: Andrew Keaveney tells what it’s like being a young birder in 2002.

Winter Ovenbird: George Bryant describes the occurrence of an Ovenbird in Toronto, which attempted to winter.

Tough Dove: Ron Tozer reports about a Mourning Dove that fell down his chimney and survived in his stove for six days without food and water.

Early Fledged Mourning Dove: Ron Pittaway describes two juvenile Mourning Doves seen in Toronto April 14, 2002, which is apparently the earliest record of fledged independent Mourning Doves in Ontario.

Feeding Loggerhead Shrikes: Is Ron Pittaway kidding us when he suggests supplementary feeding of nesting adult shrikes during severe cold spells to prevent young shrikes from dying in their nests of starvation and hypothermia?

Notes from the OBRC: Peter Burke, OBRC Chair, gives an update of the committee members and recent changes.

Coker Bluebird Boxes: Two photos and a drawing showing the dimensions of this new nest box are provided by Herb Furniss. Many of these new bluebird boxes are now used in Carden.

New Peterson Guide: A book review by Ron Pittaway explains why the new fifth edition 2002 Peterson is the best guide for new and intermediate birders.

Disease in Wild Birds: Bruce Hunter of the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph puts bird diseases in perspective.

Kinglet Killer: Jean Iron tells about birds killed by the burs of Common Burdock, a dangerous plant to small birds such as kinglets.

Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas: Mike Cadman reports that the second year of the Atlas is going very well. He suggests that travelling Atlassers use the Casual Observation Card to record uncommon birds and confirmed breeding evidence for any species not in their 10 km squares.

Volume 20 Number 3 October

Record Roundup of Ross’s Geese: MNR biologist Ken Abraham reports on the record high numbers of Ross’s Geese banded and observed last summer along the Ontario coast of Hudson Bay. Two photos.

Algonquin Park Square Bash: Ron Tozer and 15 birders spent a week in June atlassing part of Algonquin Region 27 which has 157 squares.

Flycatching Ring-billed Gulls: Don Shanahan describes his observations of Ring-billed Gulls catching tiny flies at Presqu’ile.

Throw out those cowbird eggs? A tale of two Song Sparrows: Ross James questions the wisdom of removing cowbird eggs from nests.

Douglas Campbell Sadler: Distinguished Naturalist, Teacher and Author: Geoff Carpentier tells the remarkable story of Doug Sadler, a mentor and teacher to many of Ontario’s top naturalists. One photo.

Rock Point Provincial Park: Willie D’Anna reports on OFO’s first field trip to birding the Lake Erie shore from Rock Point to Fort Erie.

Changes to the AOU Check-list of North American Birds: Jim Rising, Canadian member of the AOU Check-list Committee, gives insights into the workings and recent decisions in 43rd Supplement of the AOU Check-list that are of special interest to Canadians. Wilson’s Snipe photo by Sam Barone.

Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas: Mike Cadman reports on the second successful atlas year and outlines some range changes, both increases and decreases, since the first atlas.

Viewing Stands in Elgin County: Bill and Marjorie Prieksaitis describe the locations of six popular bird viewing stands (hides) in Elgin County. Three photos.

Should We Feed Birds? John Prescott and a group of veterinary students at the University of Guelph surveyed bird feeders for hygiene and Salmonella. John also discusses ways to feed birds that prevent diseases and he recommends adopting standards for feeder designs and bird feed.

2001 IssuesTop

Volume 19 Number 1 February

1. “Spring Warbler Migration Guide” by Ron Pittaway. It is an annotated list of the 44 species of warblers recorded in Ontario, with a focus on southern Ontario and Point Pelee. It lists the best places in southern Ontario to see migrating warblers, with tips on finding rare and secretive species. A full page migration chart of 36 warblers for Point Pelee gives peak migration times and early and late dates. It discusses “fallouts” and “flyovers” and the best time to see “spring overshoots” of southern warblers. The spectacle of “reverse migration” at the Tip of Point Pelee is described and theories of reverse migration are discussed. There is information on budworm warblers, preventing “warbler neck”, songs and calls, preferred habitat and behaviour, foraging height and recommendations for the best warbler guides and recordings. Photos are by Sam Barone and illustrations by David Beadle, Mike King, Peter Lorimer, and Ron Scovell.

2. “Algonquin’s Golden Mile” by Ron Tozer. This guide with a map describes the upper part of the Mizzy Lake Trail, one of the best birding spots in Algonquin Park to see northern birds such as Spruce Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Common Raven, Alder Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher. The directions and map show you how to drive to the closest point of this choice birding area. Other nearby birding areas are also described and shown on the map by Andrew Jano.

3. Pileated Woodpecker: “Lord God, What a Bird!” by Jerome A. Jackson. Jerry Jackson co-authored with Evelyn Bull the Pileated Woodpecker account in The Birds of North America series. Jerry discusses the Pileated’s habitat, populations, and feeding ecology, which is linked to carpenter ants. Christine Kerrigan has illustrated two Pileateds at typical deep large oval and oblong holes made to locate carpenter ants. Ross James has illustrated a close up of the barbed tongue of a Pileated Woodpecker, showing how it catches ants. Jerry contrasts the Pileated and Ivory-billed Woodpeckers.

4. Also in this issue are “Notes from the OBRC” by Bob Curry, an annoucement of the new “Point Pelee Natural History News” edited by Alan Wormington, a listing of future field trips, information of the 2001 Breeding Bird Atlas, a short story and photo of deer eating at bird feeders. There is an annoucement of the next OFO Annual General Meeting at Point Pelee on 29 and 30 September 2001. The Saturday evening banquet features Allen Chartier on Hawk ID and Migration at nearby Holiday Beach and the Birds of the Gulf of Mexico by Alan Wormington.

Volume 19 Number 2 June

George K. Peck - Distinguished Ornithologist Award: Jim Richards outlines the many accomplishments of George Peck, who will receive the OFO Distinguished Ornithologist Award at the Annual General Meeting and Banquet at Point Pelee on Saturday 29 September 2001. See flyer insert with this issue to register for the AGM, Banquet and Field Trips.

Birds Don’t Vote: Ron Pittaway examines the loss bird habitats in southern Ontario due to urban sprawl and changes in agriculture. He lists many of the birds that are in steep decline. However, global climate change is the biggest threat to birds. It will greatly alter bird habitats, distribution and numbers.

Shorebirds Show Their Colours: Mark Peck tells about the work of the Royal Ontario Museum and international groups that are studying the important migration and wintering areas of long distance migrants such as the declining Red Knot. Find out how you can help researchers by watching for colour banded individuals and by doing counts of Red Knots, Ruddy Turnstones, Sanderlings, and White-rumped Sandpipers.

A Walk In The Clouds: Pam Blakey describes the birding opportunities along a 750 metre long walkway that is 20 metres up in the canopy of an “Old Growth” White Pine Forest in Haliburton County. A list of the birds of the Haliburton Forest and Wild Life Reserve is included.

Plovers at Presqu’ile: Ian Shanahan, 15, of Brighton illustrates the Snowy Plover and one of the two Piping Plovers seen this spring at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

Red-headed Woodpecker and Mouse: Don Kerr describes a Red-headed Woodpecker that was eating a mouse.

Brenda Carter - The Next Step in a Portrait of an Artist: Brenda describes her quest of finding and sketching 514 species of birds in the wild in North America in 1999. OFO News is illustrated with three of her marvelous drawings.

Calling Sapsuckers: Ron Pittaway tells us about a method of locating sapsuckers by tapping wooden dowels on trees to imitate their drums. This information should be useful in Bird Atlassing.

Gonys: Ron Pittaway describes the gonys and Peter Lorimer illustrates the gonys, which is one of the most misunderstood terms in birding. Peter illustrates gonydeal comparisons of House Finch, Western Meadowlark, and Yellow-billed Loon. There also are photos by Jean Iron of a Heermann’s Gull showing the gonys on a gull. The illustrations definitely have a western bias, but that’s another story to ask us about in the field. The correct pronunciations of gonys and gonydeal angle are given. As well, the origin of the term gonys is discussed and how its meaning has changed over the years.

Ontario Bird Laws: Ron Pittaway updates us on changes affecting birds in the new provincial Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. He discusses the 8 species of Specially Protected Birds other than raptors. The Act also list 6 species of birds where the bird, its nest and eggs are not protected in most of Ontario, but the exceptions are mentioned. A list of the 9 provincial game birds is given. There’s information on the use of provincial birds for education and science. Finally, there’s an updated list of the 11 birds protected by the provincial Endangered Species Act.

Notes From The OBRC: Peter Burke, new Chair of the Ontario Bird Records Committee, updates us on the work and membership changes of the rarities committee. The report includes a full page 20 year chart showing the OBRC membership from 1982 to 2001.

Volume 19 Number 3 October

Age Duck Tails: Ron Pittaway and Peter Lorimer tell how to age ducks, geese and swans in the fall by the shape of the tip of their tail feathers. Peter illustrates four feathers: a juvenile tail feather with the down still attached, two examples of notched juvenile fearthers after the down tip breaks off, and a pointed feather from an older bird or adult.

Fall Birding in Elgin County along the Lake Erie Shoreline: Dave Martin’s site guide describes the many birding hotspots from Port Burwell to Port Stanley along Lake Erie.Dave tells us where to look and what to find in each habitat. Illustrated by Peter Lorimer and map by Andrew Jano.

Atlas Up and Flying: Mike Cadman summarizes the first year of Ontario’s second Breeding Bird Atlas. Early trends indicate that some species are up and others are down.

Buffy Baldpates: Ron Pittaway says that it’s normal for a brief perod in fall that male American Wigeon have buffy crowns suggesting Eurasian Wigeon or even hybrid American x Eurasian Wigeon, but the buff fades rapidly to white.

Grass Fire Birds: Ron Pittaway suggests that the huge reduction in grass fires in recent years may be contributing to the decline in grasslands birds.

The American Oystercatcher: Erica Nol of Trent University, Peterborough tells about her doctoral thesis research on the biology of the American Oystercatcher, which led to her co-authoring this oystercatcher in The Birds of North America. Two photos by Alan Wormington and an illustration by Brenda Carter.

Point Pelee Natural History News: Jean Iron reviews this new publication to the Ontario birding literature by editor Alan Wormington.

Redtail and Roadkill: George and Jean Fairfield report a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk feeding on a road-killed skunk.

Loon Bill Flick: Ron Pittaway says that Red-throated Loons often can be picked out at a distance because they bill flick, even in flight, much more often than other loons.

Lake Ontario Pelagic Trap: Ron Pittaway explans why the west end on Lake Ontario at Hamilton is the best place in interior North America to see birds that are more typical of the ocean. Find out about the origins of jaegers, kittiwakes, gannets and the next wreck of Thick-billed Murres. Map by Andrew Jano.

Notes From The OBRC: Peter Burke, chair of the Ontario Bird Records Committee, tells about the recent policy meeting and decisions of the rarities committee. This mailing includes the revised OBRC Review List of Reportable Species for Ontario.

Great Crested Flycather and Red Squirrel: Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway examine the evidence that suggests a Red Squirrel killed the young flycatchers in a nest box in Toronto.

2000 IssuesTop

Volume 18 Number 1 February

1. Birding Guide to Carden Alvar – Ron Pittaway presents a 35 km car birding tour through Carden’s back roads, complete with map and annotated list of Carden birds. The guide is on the OFO website: here

2. Field Sketching – Ian Shanahan, 14 year old birder and artist, expands on his technique with illustrations from his 1999 sketch book comparing Western and Semipalmated Sandpipers.

3. Birding Tip – Willie Yung shares how she crosses water without hip waders.

4. Announcement: Taverner Cup Birding Competition, 27 May 2000.

5. New Falconry Laws: Ron Pittaway updates us on Ontario’s new Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (FWCA), which became law on 1 January 1999, and how it regulates the use of birds of prey in falconry.

6. Favourite Birding Hotspots: Canoe Lake Road and Chaffeys Lock/Opinicon Road – Bruce Di Labio and Paul Mackenzie guide us through this outstanding birding area north of Kingston, along with target birds and map.

7. Whip-poor-will Sees Red – Jean Iron witnessed an encounter between a Whip-poor-will and a Red Squirrel, where a Whip-poor-will puffed itself up and did not budge.

8. Hooked: Jean Iron’s photo shows a Ring-billed Gull tangled in a fishing hook at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

9. OFO Port Burwell Trip – Dave Martin reports on the successful trip to the hawkwatch and surrounding area on 18 September 1999.

10. OFO Certificates of Appreciation 1999 – a list of the worthy recipients.

11. Semipalmated Plover in The Birds of North America – Erica Nol, professor in the Biology Department of Trent University in Peterborough and co-author of this account, describes her fascination with shorebirds and elaborates on /her Semipalmated Plover research.

12. Thank You OFO Donors - a list of those who supported OFO with a charitable donation.

13. Baillie Birdathon – Chris Escott reports the results of this year’s Birdathon by Celebrity Birder Jean Iron and seven others.

14. Birding Etiquette – Clive Goodwin reminds us to present a good image while out birding.

15. Seacliffe: A new location at Point Pelee to observe hawks and other diurnal migrants – Alan Wormington takes us to this excellent recently discovered spot to watch hawks in the fall, with statistics, map and directions.

16. Notes from the OBRC – Bob Curry updates us on the latest news from the 1999 Records Committee.

Volume 18 Number 2 June

1. J. Murray Speirs will be the third recipient of OFO’s Distinguished Ornithologist Award.

2. Cormorant Law and Control in Ontario – Ron Pittaway explains that cormorants are not protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty, but are covered by the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, which allows hunting or control programs for species such as cormorants.

3. Favourite Birding Hotspots: Britannia Conservation Area and Ottawa River – Bob Bracken and Christina Lewis provide a guide to the six best birding areas in Ottawa, complete with map and area specialties.

4. Reporting Banded or Marked Birds – Marcie Jacklin outlines exactly what to do if you see banded birds, complete with phone numbers and website addresses.

5. Tracking Birds at Night – Rhonda Millikin describes her doctoral research into using a remote sensing system to track concentrations of birds, which will help determine where to focus conservation of habitat for songbirds.

6. Meadowlarks in Ontario – Bruce Falls, professor at the University of Toronto, traces the historical distribution of Western and Eastern Meadowlarks in Ontario, and outlines his fascinating research into differences between these two species. Illustrations by Peter Burke.

7. Status of Cerulean Warbler in Eastern Ontario – Jason Jones is with the Cerulean Warbler Monitoring Project at Queen’s University in Kingston, and updates us on the results of current research into this declining species, especially regarding the ice storm of January 1998.

8. OFO Trip to Kingston – Paul Mackenzie gives highlights of the 105 species recorded on this well-attended trip to the Kingston area, including Amherst Island.

9. Spitfire Birds – Ron Pittaway draws our attention to the birds that routinely pursue and dive bomb birds of prey.

10. Return of the Wild Turkey in Ontario – Karen Bellamy, a biologist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, brings us up to date on the success of the reintroduction program along with a map illustrating the expanded distribution.

11. Notes from the OBRC – Bob Curry communicates the latest news from the Records Committee, especially from their annual meeting on 25 March 2000.

12. Urban Crows and Nighthawks – Ron Pittaway proposes a potential relationship between the increase in urban crows and the decline in Common Nighthawks, which bred commonly in towns and cities.

13. Confessions of a Big Day Addict: How to Do a Big Day – Tom Hince, with Paul Pratt and Glen Gervais set a new provincial record of 200 on 29 May 2000. Tom reveals some of his big day strategies and secrets of success.

14. Photo of Art and Noreen Hawtin receiving an OFO Certificate of Appreciation for maintaining habitat on their ranch on the Carden Alvar for Loggerhead Shrikes and other grassland birds.

15. Bird-Finding Guide to Canada – Ron Pittaway announces a revised issue of this guide book edited by J. Cam Finlay.

Volume 18 Number 3 October

1. A Gull Watching Guide by Ron Pittaway. The guide features the best places in Ontario to see gulls. There is an annotated list of all 20 species of gulls recorded in the province. The guide includes an illustration of gulls at Niagara Falls by Peter Lorimer and photos of Ivory, Iceland, Thayer’s and Glaucous Gulls.

2. Birding Guide to Presqu’ile Provincial Park and Area by Don Shanahan. A detailed site guide to birding the park and nearby areas with route descriptions and maps. Don describes the excellent birding route from Coburg to Presqu’ile and other areas north and east of Brighton. Illustrated by Ian Shanahan.

3. The AOU Committee on Classification and Nomenclature by Jim Rising. Jim gives us insights into how the checklist committee works and he tells us why the AOU changed the Oldsquaw’s name to Long-tailed Duck.

4. Breeding Bird Atlas 2001 - 2005 by Mike Cadman. This is the first in series of notes on Ontario’s second Breeding Bird Atlas that gets underway next spring.

5. There are photos and a list of OFO Awards given at the Annual General Meeting on the 16 September 2000.

6. Long Point Trip: Ann White tells about the Carolinian breeding birds seen on last June’s field trip to the Long Point area led by John Miles.

7. There is a note by Wolfgang Luft on “House Sparrow Kills Cicada” and two notes by Ron Pittaway on “Urban Hawks” and “Hawk or Grouse?”.

Author IndexTop

Author Index to OFO News

Volumes 12 to 25, February 1994 to October 2007.

Editors: Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway – 1994 to 2007.

Index compiled by Jean Iron

Keyword IndexTop

Keyword Index to OFO News

Volumes 12 to 25, February 1994 to October 2007.

Editors: Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway – 1994 to 2007.

Index compiled by Jean Iron