Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, Region 24 (Ottawa)

Region 24 (Ottawa) Report for 2001

by Christine Hanrahan

Breeding evidence has been found for 165 species this year, with confirmed breeding for 117. An additional 6 species were observed for which breeding evidence was lacking.

Highlights include a breeding Northern Hawk Owl in Tatlock (UR80), a Bald Eagle with young on nest in McCreary Mtn/Norcan Lake (UR50), the same square in which a Bald Eagle was found on the last atlas, and a pair of Gray Jays in the Shamrock square (UR52).

While it is much too early in the project to draw any conclusions from the data, results thus far at least confirm what birders already knew for certain species. To no one’s surprise, Northern Cardinal, and House Finch were recorded widely. House Finch on 31 squares compared to 4 last atlas, and Cardinal on 37 squares compared to 19 before. Merlins also made their presence felt! They were recorded on 10 squares with breeding confirmed on two, VR42 and VR43. Ottawa Centre (VR42) had at least three nests with young, and there were many more observations of single birds or pairs in various parts of the square. The remaining 8 squares had possible or probable breeding categories. On the last atlas, we recorded Merlin on only one square, UR57 (Westmeath). Introduction of Wild Turkey to Eastern Ontario has resulted in establishment of a breeding population, and this is reflected in the number of squares reporting this species: 7, compared to one last time.

On the negative side, Loggerhead Shrike was found on only one square, VQ29 (Dwyer Hill) and recorded as a possible breeder (H). Last time we had breeding evidence from 20 squares. Red-headed Woodpecker is another scarce species with only two squares reporting , UR92 and VR02. We hope to find more evidence of this species over the next four years, but may not record it on as many squares as last time (17). Common Nighthawks, recorded on 38 squares 20 years ago, were reported from 5 this year. Given how uncommon this species now appears to be, it will be interesting to see final results for nighthawks in 2005.

Over the past few years I’ve heard birders comment on the dearth of some sparrow species. While Song and Savannah Sparrows are common enough, Field, Vesper and Grasshopper seem more elusive than usual. What this means, if anything, remains to be seen. However, I can say that none of these species were widely recorded this year on the atlas. This may be indicative of a general decline in the species or it may be a reflection of atlasser’s lack of familiarity with their songs, as well as less time spent in suitable habitat. We’ll take a look at what data reveals in year five both in our region and for the atlas as a whole, but for now I can tell you that Field Sparrow was recorded on 20 squares (61 last time); Vesper Sparrow on 15 (68 last time), and Grasshopper Sparrow on 4 (27 last time). Remember, this is just an observation, not an indication of population decline (yet!).

Breeding Evidence Codes

X- Species observed in its breeding season (no evidence of breeding)
H – Species observed in season in suitable nesting habitat
S – Singing male present or breeding calls heard in breeding season in suitable nesting habitat.Probable:
P – Pair observed in their breeding season in suitable nesting habitat
T – Permanent territory presumed through registration of territorial song on at least 2 days, one week or more apart at the same place
D – Courtship or display between a male and a female or 2 males including courtship feeding or copulation
V – Visiting probable nest site
A – Agitated behaviour or anxiety calls of adult
B – Brood patch on adult female or cloacal protuberance on adult male
N – Nest building or excavation of nest hole
DD – Distraction display or injury feigning
NU – Used nest or egg shell found (occupied/laid during atlas period)
FY – Recently fledged young or downy young
AE – Adults leaving or entering nest site in circumstances indicating occupied site
FS – Adult carrying faecal sac
CF – Adult carrying food for young
NE – Nest containing eggs
NY- Nest with young seen or heard
 – photos; click camera icon to view
Species Observed Possible Probable Confirmed
Common Loon NY
Pied-billed Grebe  NY
Double-crested Cormorant  X
American Bittern FY
Great Blue Heron NY
Green Heron FY
Black-crowned Night-heron X
Turkey Vulture NY
Canada Goose  FY
Wood Duck FY
Gadwall P
American Wigeon FY
Amer. Black Duck FY
Mallard FY
Blue-winged Teal FY
Northern Shoveler FY
Northern Pintail P
Amer. Green-winged Teal P
Redhead X P
Ring-necked Duck H
Lesser Scaup X
Hooded Merganser FY
Common Merganser FY
Ruddy Duck FY
Osprey CF
Bald Eagle NY
Northern Harrier NE
Sharp-shinned Hawk CF
Cooper’s Hawk  NY
Northern Goshawk FY
Red-shouldered Hawk  NY
Broad-winged Hawk CF
Red-tailed Hawk NY
American Kestrel FY
Merlin  NY
Peregrine Falcon NY
Gray Partridge FY
Ring-necked Pheasant S
Ruffed Grouse NE
Wild Turkey T
Virginia Rail   FY
Sora T
Common Moorhen H
American Coot H
Sandhill Crane H
Killdeer Killdeer on nest. Photo by Sandy Lang NE
Spotted Sandpiper NY
Upland Sandpiper T
Common Snipe CF
American Woodcock D
Wilson’s Phalarope FY
Ring-billed Gull NE
Herring Gull H
Common Tern D
Black Tern   X
Rock Dove NY
Mourning Dove NY
Black-billed Cuckoo CF
Yellow-billed Cuckoo S
Eastern Screech-Owl  S
Gt. Horned Owl NY
N. Hawk-Owl  CF
Barred Owl T
Long-eared Owl S
Short-eared Owl FY
Northern Saw-whet Owl T
Common Nighthawk P
Whip-poor-will T
Chimney Swift V
Ruby-throated Hummingbird AE
Belted Kingfisher CF
Red-headed Woodpecker FS
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker NY
Downy Woodpecker NY
Hairy Woodpecker NY
Black-backed Woodpecker X
Northern Flicker CF
Pileated Woodpecker NY
Olive-sided Flycatcher T
E. Wood-Pewee FY
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher T
Alder Flycatcher  CF
Willow Flycatcher CF
Least Flycatcher FY
Eastern Phoebe NY
Gt. Crested Flycatcher CF
Eastern Kingbird NY
Loggerhead Shrike H
Yellow-throated Vireo T
Blue-headed Vireo T
Warbling Vireo CF
Red-eyed Vireo CF
Gray Jay P
Blue Jay  CF
American Crow NY
Common Raven NY
Horned lark CF
Purple Martin NY
Tree Swallow NY
N. Rough-winged Swallow NY
Bank Swallow NY
Cliff Swallow NY
Barn Swallow NY
Black-capped Chickadee NY
Red-breasted Nuthatch FY
White-breasted Nuthatch  CF
Brown Creeper NY
House Wren NY
Winter Wren T
Sedge Wren S
Marsh Wren N
Golden-crowned Kinglet CF
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  S
Eastern Bluebird NY
Veery CF
Swainson’s Thrush H
Hermit Thrush NE
Wood Thrush T
American Robin NY
Gray Catbird CF
Northern Mockingbird FY
Brown Thrasher NY
European Starling NY
Cedar Waxwing  FY
Golden-winged Warbler S
Nashville Warbler A
Yellow Warbler NE
Chestnut-sided Warbler CF
Magnolia Warbler CF
Cape May Warbler S
Black-throated Blue Warbler CF
Yellow-rumped Warbler CF
Black-throated Green Warbler CF
Blackburnian Warbler T
Pine Warbler T
Bay-breasted Warbler S
Black-and-white Warbler CF
American Redstart CF
Ovenbird NY
Northern Waterthrush CF
Mourning Warbler T
Common Yellowthroat  NY
Canada Warbler P
Scarlet Tanager FY
Eastern Towhee S
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-coloured Sparrow T
Field Sparrow CF
Vesper Sparrow CF
Savannah Sparrow NY
Grasshopper Sparrow FY
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow  CF
White-throated Sparrow  FY
Dark-eyed Junco S
Northern Cardinal FY
Rose-breasted Grosbeak CF
Indigo Bunting CF
Bobolink CF
Red-winged Blackbird NY
Eastern Meadowlark FY
Common Grackle NY
Brown-headed Cowbird NE
Baltimore Oriole CF
Purple Finch FY
House Finch CF
Red Crossbill FY
W-w Crossbill A
Pine Siskin B
American Goldfinch FY
Evening Grosbeak FY
House Sparrow NY

Atlasser Effort Per Square
Number of Species Found and Confirmed, Number of Hours Spent Atlassing

The results that follow show the number of species found per square, the number of confirmed species per square, and the number of hours spent atlassing in each square.

Casual Observations:
Where casual observations are included this is noted. In most cases casual observers do not record time spent birding so the hours shown generally reflect only those of the square’s ‘owner’. There are exceptions. Some casual observers put in a lot of time and effort and recorded their hours on their data cards. Where this is so, the hours per square reflect both those of the casual observer and the square’s ‘owner and is indicated. Where data in a square that was assigned to an atlasser comes only from casual observations this is noted and the square is marked N/A – data not available (see Legend for explanation) – but the number of casual observations is given. I have prepared the information this way so that if you are checking your square for data, and find it differs from your records, this is why!

Because this project is collecting data on breeding birds the pertinent information concerns the number of species found with breeding evidence. Species recorded as X (observed only, no breeding evidence) are important but do not constitute data for breeding evidence . Thus for each square I have first counted only the number of species for which some level of breeding evidence was recorded. This is the first number given in the ‘Number of Species’ column. Species recorded as an X are added to the total in brackets ( ). So if a square recorded 75 species with some level of breeding evidence, the first number would be 75. If there are a further 3 species recorded as X, they are added to the total and shown in brackets as (78).

As noted earlier, this is a draft report and the numbers in some squares below are subject to change as more information is submitted.

NOT ATLASSED – the atlasser contacted me and said they were unable to atlas this year.
NOT ASSIGNED – the square not yet assigned to anyone
N/A – the square assigned but atlas data not available either because the square was not atlassed (but I wasn’t told) or the atlasser has not yet returned the data. N/A followed by number of species (e.g., N/A 71) indicates casual observations submitted by other than the assigned atlasser.

Square name & no. No. of species No. confirmed No. of hours in Square
VR01 Blakeney 73 (78) 17 19.5
VR02 Kinburn 102 (104) 19 30
VR03 Fitzroy Harbour 99 (103) 33 43
VR04 Quyon (5%) 68 (57) 20 10
VR10 Appleton 79 (80) 30 23
VR11 Corkery N/A
VR12 Marathon/Carp 73 (76) 12 10
VR13 Constance Bay N/A
VR14 Eardley (5%) N/A
VR20 Munster 93 (100) 40 45
VR21 Kanata/Stittsville (incl. casual observations) 72 (77) 27 31
VR22 S. March N/A 56 (68) 13 30 (casual observations only)
VR23 Dunrobin N/A
VR30 Richmond 107 (116) 57 81
VR31 Bells Corners (incl. casual observations) 79 (81) 20 23
VR32 Britannia (incl. casual observations) 46 (51) 17 3
VR40 Manotick 44 (47) 24 10
VR41 Uplands Airport 84 (87) 35 62.5
VR42 Ottawa Centre N/A 48 (50) 30 casual observations only
VR43 Rockcliffe (incl. casual observations) 45 (47) 10 6
VR50 West Osgoode 71 (86) 59 30
VR51 Greely 73 (74) 16 18
VR52 Ramsayville 106 (108) 43 88
VR53 Greens Creek 49 (53) 1 20
VR60 Vernon 31 1 6
VR61 Edwards 34 (37) 4 6
VR62 Carlsbad Springs 42 (46) 22 3
VR63 Martin’s Corners (incl. casual observation) 19 11 6.5
VR64 Cumberland (5%) 10 0 0.5
VR70 Morewood 55 (58) 16 15.5
VR71 Russell 70 (72) 25 10.5
VR72 Vars 83 (87)  22 54.5
VR73 Sarsfield 53 (55) 4 7.5
VR74 Rockland 44 (45)  3 1
VR80 Crysler 53 (54) 21 2.5
VR81 Gagnon 79 (82) 14 15
VR82 Cheney (incl. casual observations) 71 (73) 12 10.5
VR83 Bourget 60 (65) 8 11.5
VR84 Clarence 55 (56) 7 14
VR90 Berwick 60 (61)  20 3
VR91 Mayerville 25 16 3
VR92 Lemieux 44 16 3.5
VR93 Pendleton 23 (26) 3 9
VR94 Jessups Falls 49 (50) 4 13
UR50 McCreary Mtn./Norcan Lake N/A 1 casual observation
UR51 Ferguson’s Lake (incl. casual observations) 69 (70) 8 5
UR52 Shamrock 69 (70) 5 8
UR53 Balsam Hill NOT  ATLASSED
UR55 Cobden 50 (52) 7 11
UR56 Beachburg 45 (50) 3 4
UR57 Westmeath 32 (34)  casual observations only
UR58 Flannagan Bay 37 (38) 2 4
UR60 Flower Station 46 (47) 7 20
UR61 Calabogie 62 (63) 8 25
UR62 Ashdad 97 (101) 29 49
UR63 Renfrew 55 (9) 9 10
UR64 Haley Station 62 (4) 6 10
UR65 Queensline (incl. casual observations) 64 (71) 12 10
UR66 Norman Rapids 40 6 1.5
UR67 La Passe 29 5 1
UR68 Davidson 10 1 0.5
UR70 Darling Long Lake 16 (19) 2 6
UR71 Bagot Long Lake 43 (3) 6 9
UR72 Burnstown 45 (46) 8 21
UR73 Goshen 50 (52) 0 7
UR74 Castleford  19 4 2.5
UR80 Tatlock 122 57 77
UR81 Lowney Lake 68 (73) 10 9
UR82 White Lake 76 (82) 17 18
UR83 Sand Point 54 (57) 1 5.5
UR84 Rhoddy’s Bay (5%) NOT ASSIGNED
UR90 Clayton 87 (94) 37 14
UR91 Cedar Hill 70 (72) 16 13
UR92 Pakenham 77 (79) 24 48.5
UR93 Arnprior 83 (91) 2 3
VQ19 Black’s Corners (incl. casual observations) 79 (81) 40 25
VQ29 Dwyer Hill  74 (78) 33 38
VQ39 Malakoff 97 (98) 40 18.5
VQ49 North Gower 53 (56) 11 11
VQ59 Osgoode 72 (83) 52 12
VQ69 Winchester Bog 47 (48) 5 5
VQ79 Winchester 73 (75) 25 8
VQ89 Chesterville 71 (74) 27 7.5
VQ99 Finch  78 (81) 24 12.5

List of Volunteers

Ken Allison
Robert Alvo
Ted Baldwin
Cliff Bennett
Lynda Bennett
Marg Benson
Peter Blancher
Ludmilla Borshevsky
Brian Bowen
Colin and Pat Bowen,
Rob Bowyer and Catherine Smith
David Britton
Tim Brophy
Richard Brouillet
Peter Browne
Gerhard Bruins
Emily Burton
John Cartwright
Janet Castle
Bob Cermak
Laurie Consaul
Daryl Coulson
Dale Crook
Ron Curtis
Bruce Di Labio
Erica Dunn
Bill Fyfe
Marcel Gahbauer
Colin Gaskell
Jessica Gawn
Mark Gawn
Carol and Alan German
Jim Gillick
Al Graham
Anne Hackston
Christine Hanrahan
Chris Harris
Mark Hovorka
Terry Huzarski
Roy John
Paul Jones
Rick Killeen
Maryanne Koot
Bernie Ladouceur
Alexander (Sandy) Lang
Jennifer LeBlanc
Chris Lewis and Bob Bracken
MacNamara Field Naturalists
Paul and Michelle Martin
Barb Martinovic
Bev McBride
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
Daniele Mitchell
Dave Moore
Carolyn Murphy
Bev Peterkin
Remy Poulin
Eric Ridgen
Jack Romanow
Mary Rothfels
Linda Ryan
Paul Schoening
Bev Scott
Arnie Simpson
Dan and Chris Simpson
Langis Sirois
Jeff and Angela Skevington
Ellen Smith
Dave Smythe
Daniel St. Hilaire
Mark Stabb and Caroline Schultz
Blair Stevens
Bruce Tate
Eve Ticknor
Ailsa Tuttle
Kathryn Warner and Mike Enright
Sloane Watters
Laurie L. Wood
Eleanor Zurbrigg