Common Grackles have been second only to Red-winged Blackbird in terms of abundance in the area of late. A dedicated group of about 20-40 individuals have been frequenting the feeders at the FBS “office”. This species has already begun nesting in the region and will be commonly encountered during the Frontenac Breeding Birds program in late spring through summer.
Purple Finches were scarce during the past winter but have returned to the area en masse in the last month or so. Much like other northern finch species, populations of the Purple Finch are closely tied to seed crops and also outbreaks of budworm catterpillars in the north. Distribution and abundance maps from the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas mark a strong association of this species to the Southern Shield region where high quantities of suitable habitat can be found (coniferous and open mixed-deciduous forest). Despite its more robust features, interspecific competition with the introduced House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) has significantly reduced population size of the Purple Finch.
Our first Rose-breasted Grosbeaks of the spring were recorded this morning and we’ve been fortunate in having two males join the finches and grackles at the feeders this afternoon.