This fall, there has been quite an influx of EVENING GROSBEAKS into southwestern Ontario.  Quite a number of birders have reported these beautiful birds of the north coming to their feeders.  And usually EVENING GROSBEAKS don’t just show up as a single bird here and there.  When they show up, they show up enmass.  It would not be unusual to have 3, 5 or 15 of these birds crowding around each other to get at the feed.  Often some disruption in their normal diet in their typical northern home results in these birds heading south to look for greener pastures.  They can be a bit nomadic in this way.  And sometimes their travels can be hard to explain, as they aren’t migratory.

So keep an eye open for these birds this year.  They are around and they just might pay you a visit.  If they do show up at your feeder,  be sure to post a comment on this blog.  I would be most interested in hearing about it.

Sandy, the superstorm, not only brought havoc and destruction to such a large area of eastern North American, it also brought quite a number of “unusual” bird sightings.  Quite a number of seabirds were pushed inland.  And one of the best places to witness this is in the Hamilton area, Van Wagners Beach, to be exact.  This past week, birders gathered there to watch and wait for rarities to show up.  And they were not disappointed.  As report on the American Birding Association’s website, “Ontario birders had Black-legged Kittiwakes (including 88 at Hamilton), Red Phalaropes, Pomarine, Parasitic, and Long-tailed jaegers. But scoring higher on the rarity scale were Leach’s Storm-Petrels at least two locations (only the 4th and 5th records for the province), Wilson’s Storm-Petrel at Hamilton, Sabine’s Gull at the mouth of Lake Huron, and a Razorbill at Whitby.”

Another “good” spot to look for these rarities, it the Lighthouse,  in Point Edward, near the Bluewater Bridge.  Birders there this week saw jaegers, Brant, and Kittiwakes in good numbers.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mary Bloomfield on November 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Hey Dave, your post explains it all…My husband called me to the livingroom window just after I had filled the feeders this morning around 7:30…He says what’s that and I said well that’s an evening grosbeak…We had two hanging around for about an hour…so cool..We also saw three bald eagles last weekend when we went over to the rez to buy gas and a couple of weeks ago I let the dog out around 6:30 in the morning and heard two owls(not sure what kind) so I promptly starting calling to them and the next thing you know we were all talking to each other (I think the neighbors think I’m crazy) They don’t know what they are missing…Thanks again for your posts!!!


  2. Posted by lynn sanders on November 3, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Thanks Dave Got to observe something interesting last week. I’d been at Masonville Manor on the sad occasion of moving my mother-in-law out and into respite care in Strathroy. Her room was on the third floor facing south with several linden trees outside the balcony and windows. Late in the afternoon of October 23rd I could see a young robin, no spots left, all fluffed up, but a much lighter coloured breast than adults. But I soon was distracted by a flock of cedar waxwings, about 30 of them, just outside the window in the same linden tree. Next morning, the same characters were still about. My ears were attracted to a robin singing, somewhat thinly and since we don’t hear a lot of robin singing this late in the year I glanced out the window and through the branches, where thought I’d spotted my singer. I could see what I took to be the singer’s tail bobbing very slightly with each burst and walked closer to the window, When I got closer I could see that the adult male that I could now see fully was not actually singing at all. But he was focused so intently on the song that he was moving his tail with the notes. So who was the singer? Below him was the young adult, facing the adult male, performing or practising for the very appreciative adult male. It was the intensity of the listener that impressed me the most. I knew that birdsong is learned but I’d never observed the learning happening before. Very cool. Lynn Sanders

    Date: Fri, 2 Nov 2012 17:46:51 +0000 To:


  3. Posted by Joy Pierce on November 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Seen at our feeder in Coldstream area on November 1st midday was a flock of 12
    Evening Grosbeaks, males & females, We appreciated your explanation above.
    Highlight of my birding year!!! Their stay was only about 10 minutes or so…and then
    they were gone.


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