All signs were pointing to Boreal Owls this autunm in northeast ontario and perhaps further south. last night we started our owl banding season and caught 3 Boreal Owls and 13 sawwhets. This is the first year that the first owl captured was a boreal owl. In the past ontbirders have made the trek to see Boreal Owls at our marsh in the beautiful boreal forest if you ebirders are thinking this is the year you can add a boreal to your list then i would recommend thanksgiving weekend. good luck convincing family to pass on turkey for a glimpse of a boreal owl. Boreals irrupt every four years based on northrn crashes of their main food source the red backed vole which happens every four yeras this is the peak of the vole southern boreal irruption cycle. please feel free to contact me off line to dsicuss opportunities.
Hilliardton marsh is located about 5 hours
north of toronto we are 2 hours north of north bay a wee drive off of hwy 11 as
the boreal owl flies. Boreal owls have been reported in alberta and tadoussac
quebec so this is not an isolated event . Depending on how far south they come
you may see them in owl woods near kingston this autumn but you would pass on a
trip to the boreal.
Update: October 2, 2012
Last night at the hilliardton marsh we were joined by a couple for iowa who made
the three day trek to hilliardton which is 15 minutes for newliskeard. We
managed to capture and band 8 boreal owls and caught 1 that we had banded the
night before. This could be THE weekend to see these boreal beauties. Please
refer to www.themarsh.ca for directions. In
other bird news we had an early pine siskin and banded our first american tree
sparrow of the season. We are located about 5 hours north of toronto. banding is
open to the public nightly from 9 to 11. Check weather as we do not band if it
is raining. All the best birders . Sincerely Bruce Murphy thanks to Glenn Reed
and Chris Sukha foir their help. We have now banded 20 boreal owls. An
intersting bit of information is that 17 of them have been adults while about
95% of the sawwhets we have been banding are young of this year.